Social media as an activist tool

Social media as an activist tool

social media attack

Social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Flickr have become invaluable mobilization tools for activists.

No longer is social networking just for gossiping, hobnobbing or telling your friends what you had for breakfast. Increasingly, it has become an effective communications tool to mobilize masses to effect change.

Lately we have seen:

  • Intel was attacked by activists opposed to minerals mining in the Congo inundated Intel’s Facebook page. They wanted Intel to pledge its support for a congressional bill that would restrict the import of “conflict minerals” that contribute to fighting in the war-torn country.
  • Human rights group Amnesty International  launched a social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and through bloggers, designed to raise money for a full page ad buy attacking oil company Shell in a UK national newspaper.
  • Nestlé, was attacked by Greenpeace for using palm oil from companies that where trashing Indonesian rainforests, threatening the livelihoods of local people and pushing orang-utans towards extinction. Greenpeace prepared a frontal assault with prepared assets such as off-brand logos, detrimental videos, and called for their Twitter followers to attack Nestle’s Facebook page.
  • Greenpeace, initiated a “Rebrand the BP Logo” contest. Greenpeace asked its supporters to “ . . . create a logo for BP which shows that the company is not ‘beyond petroleum’ – they’re up to their necks in tar sands and deepwater drilling.”
  • A Facebook group called “Boycott BP,” it’s urging a worldwide boycott of all BP brands and services, has drawn more than 800.000 fans.
  • YouTube users are uploading a steady stream of videos – about the oil spill – that use humor to express their anger about BP
  • And the Lady GAGA remake song “Big Oilmance”

There is no brand immune to a negative event … it happens, that’s life and most companies plan for this to happen by developing action plans.


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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and United Kingdom

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