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Panasonic Mutes Consumer Calls for Conflict-Free Electronics

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Panasonic Mutes Consumer Calls for Conflict-Free Electronics

Posted by Lauren Clyne Medley on October 11, 2011

Panasonic Mutes Consumer Calls for Conflict-Free Electronics

"Step Up for 1502," a new Raise Hope for Congo Facebook campaign, is pressuring the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their member companies to back down from a legal challenge against the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, over Dodd-Frank 1502, and to implement the regulations with no additional delays or phase-ins.

As part of the 1502 campaign, activists took over Panasonic’s Facebook wall this morning with variations of the following message:

Really, Panasonic? When you stand behind the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, you stand for child labor and rape in eastern Congo. Free your supply chain of Congo conflict minerals. Step up for Dodd-Frank 1502. Say NO to the Chamber's push to derail strong SEC regulations.

By 2:00 p.m., over 90 Congo-related posts and comments flooded Panasonic’s wall. The activists’ takeover was a success—for a few hours.

Shortly thereafter, administrators of Panasonic’s fan page removed every Congo-related post and comment from their wall. Panasonic also banned several activists from posting anything else on their page.

Activists were quickly notified that their comments had been deleted. In response, several activists called Panasonic’s customer service department and posted on Panasonic’s Facebook page asking the company to restore their comments. After receiving complaints, Panasonic restored less than ten percent of the original posts.

Unlike other companies, Panasonic’s fan page does not publicly display a removal policy for comments and posts. However, the company responds to criticisms regularly, and often turns a blind eye to spam-like posts.

Looks like Panasonic would prefer to have spam posted on their Facebook wall, instead of activists’ concerns about rape and conflict in eastern Congo.