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Black Milk Clothing angers fans in Facebook controversy

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Australian fashion brand Black Milk Clothing gave social media marketers a lesson in how not to treat fans this past Sunday.

After posting a meme on May 4 about trying to be a "geeky goddess," Black Milk experienced considerable backlash from fans who felt the post mocked girls who didn't conform to the "ideal" standard of beauty.

This is even more relevant considering Black Milk's previous claims to support women and girls of all body types and appearances. The company upholds a list of Ten Commandments on their Facebook page, one of which states, "Commandment #5 - You shall not make critical comments on other women's bodies."

Many fans of Black Milk took issue with the post, but the real backlash began after the brand began replying to comments in a defensive and sometimes condescending manner. Black Milk insisted that the post was in line with their company's standards and that anyone irritated by it should simply "unlike" the page. Loyal fans of the brand were not happy with this tactic.

Black Milk even resorted to banning fans and deleting comments that they perceived as negative on their Facebook page. The company explained their reasoning with a post that said:

People can always drop us an email with how they feel about everything, that's no issue. As always though, this is our space here and so if we don't like the way people talk to us or the way they choose to discuss an issue with it we can remove it. Just the same as customers control and own their own Facebook accounts, we take care of this page.

One Facebook fan's comment gives some insight into the effect of this experience on the community:

I love BM, but I must say I'm pretty disappointed that this post was handled in the way it was & people told they're trying to find negatives in a funny post & they should move on from BM after many years of being a loyal customer. Would have been nice to have their worries addressed & the post deleted rather than a 'lighten up or leave and don't buy from us again' response if you get what I mean?

Another commenter said:

BM has legit changed my life and the community means so much to me but this is such a disappointment.. :( Not even the original post so much, but your responses to it.. :( please stahp!!

In the end, Black Milk removed the post but remained unapologetic about the content as well as the way they treated dissenters. A Buzzfeed article on the whole situation reports that "many fans are now stating that they will no longer be supporting the brand. The amount of likes on the company's Facebook page has already dropped by several thousand."

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