As part of people’s digital identity, we join communities and groups that are relevant to us and to our interests. In particular when it triggers our feelings – love, aggression or maybe compassion. It’s easier than ever to share your feelings with your friends. This blog post is about how people can achieve social change with help of social communities, and how your company chooses to act in a time of crises when all eyes are drawn at them.

Nestlé – A worst case senario

We all know how fast scandals are traveling. When Greenpeace revealed that Nestlé used palm oil in some of their products, bought from companies destroying Indonesian rainforest, there were many people who engaged themselves in the campaign and criticized the company on their Facebook Page.

Instead of meeting people with respect and understanding, Nestlé did a terrible mistake when answering people with sarcastic, irritable and rude messages. They made things get even worse. The news about Nestlé’s deforestation was then spread, of course, even faster and wider. To make a long story short – Nestlé handled things very wrong when they didn’t realize how important every customer’s opinion is and that they actually are communicators on the worlds largest social network. Their page is still facing hard criticism.

The new target – Our greatest social network

Now Greenpeace is gathering people’s attention once again to a great company for the sake of social change; namely Facebook itself. Greenpeace claims that Facebook’s massive data centre in Oregon, U.S., running the massive daily traffic to the site, is provided by a huge amount of electricity from polluting coal power. Greenpeace are now asking people to join the Facebook: Unfriend Coal campaign to put pressure on Facebook to switch to 100% renewable energy,

The response

So how does Facebook handle this? On the Greenpeace blog, a Facebook representative has replied to the claims and explained the situation. So far, Facebook has seemed to handle the situation with care and respect. Here you can see one of Greenpeace’s ‘Likers’ that has posted a reply that he got from Facebook after sending the criticism of their use of coal power. If you know anything more about this case or if you have seen how Facebook has acted, please let us know.

Time will tell how the environmental process will end up. Maybe Greenpeace has started rolling the boll of social change this time as well. When companies are under great public pressure – their survival can be on hold (Facebook’s extinction seems faaar away though). More importantly – social media let people demand more from companies, which can result into great changes in the world. Greenpeace shares their message with help from the video below and their Facebook page. The stats of their video look pretty good so far with nearly 15,383 shares in five days.