The social networking giant, Facebook, turned ten today, but what does that have to do with Greenpeace?
Well, whether you’ve signed in or not, Facebook has become a prime mover in digital activism. It's played a role in, and contributed to the success of, many of our campaigns. Social media is shifting more and more power in the hands of people, as companies and governments can no longer control all the ways they are portrayed in public.
I asked my colleagues what they thought was the most memorable campaign we ran on Facebook. Here are the five best:
Guinness world record and Facebook friends renewable energy
The most comments on a single Facebook post in 24 hours? We bet we could get 50,000 in a single day - and we did (actually reaching 80,000), along with the certificate to prove it!
That Guinness world record wasn’t just for fun, it was part of a long campaign to convince Facebook to commit to start running its servers on renewable energy. In the end, the company announced in its goal to run on clean, renewable energy in 2011.
Stop Coca-Cola from trashing Australian beaches.
Last year, Coca-Cola tried to stop a recycling program in Australia. It was a simple system (hand in your used bottles, get cash back) which would help reduce the amount of plastic waste littering Australian beaches.
Thousands of people (including many Greenpeace supporters) took to Coca-Cola’s Australian Facebook page to ask them to stop their plans. They also posted a banned TV ad targeting the company on the site. But, it’s not over yet - the campaign is still on-going and you can join it here.
VW and the climate
Some of the absolute best campaigns come from volunteers - and this particular moment is a perfect example.
VW was one of the car makers actively blocking key new legislation in the EU that would have helped the climate by lowering CO2 emissions from cars. We had been running a campaign to convince them to join the light side of the force for a few months already, when a volunteer in the UK spotted a post on their Facebook page on January 1st 2012. "What would you like to see us do more of this year?"
It was an open door to hundreds of people who could now ask VW to clean up their act and stop blocking key legislation that could help the climate.
Fashion brands are driven by image. For the past three years, concerned citizens and consumers have been using social media - in particular, the brands' Facebook pages - to ask them to rid their clothes and manufacturing process of harmful chemical substances. The results prove that it’s working: last week, Burberry became the 19th fashion brand to commit to Detox.
If we had to point to a single moment when the corporate world realised they couldn’t ignore what happened on their Facebook pages, this would be it:
In 2010, after a Greenpeace report exposed how some Nestlé products, including KitKat bars, were produced using palm oil grown in deforested areas. Thousands of people went on Nestlé’s Facebook page to demand answers from the company. However, it was really Nestlé's own answers on their Facebook page which sparked global attention.
After what has become known as one of the worst corporate social media disasters, Nestlé did commit to change its sources of palm oil.
Despite many new social networks popping up every day, Facebook is still leading. 'Like' us on Facebook if you want to hear the latest news and ways you can help our campaigns.
- Juliette is a Digital Mobilisation Specialist at Greenpeace International. She likes chocolate, narwhals, and is slightly obsessed with the Arctic.