So I read on Common Dreams that Monsanto is trying to “fight back” using Web 2.0.
One example of a company that effectively did that is PC maker Dell Corp. Dell-bashing escalated a few years ago, giving rise to the term "Dell Hell." When the company finally started its own blog, it became the forum of choice for critics.
Monsanto similarly appears to be trying to steer discussion about critical issues to its blog so it’s easier to influence the debate, Barnes said.
"Now they’re controlling the posts, they’re answering the questions, they’re directing them to different places within Monsanto and maybe another site," she said. "They’ve taken control of the situation."
Why even bother to comment on their blog? That allows them to control the debate which cannot be allowed. It’s one thing to monitor their online activities but totally another thing to engage them on their own battlefield. For example I follow the dirty coal industry’s @americaspower on Twitter. I responded to them a few times but no more. There’s no point. Now I just monitor what they’re saying. It’s about building power against them not engaging them.
Monsanto has been in the cross hairs of social activists for decades, going back to its days as a maker of Agent Orange and PCBs. That didn’t change with the company’s new focus on biotech and agriculture.
A decade ago, activists expressed themselves by torching fields of genetically modified crops and throwing tofu cream pies at Monsanto’s chairman. These days, activists are challenging the company through the use of YouTube videos and countless blogs that demonize GMOs.
Facebook, the social networking site, is full of anti-Monsanto groups, including one, Millions Against Monsanto, with more than 22,000 members. Another group’s avatar depicts CEO Hugh Grant with a handful of soybeans. Below the words: "No Food Shall Be Grown That We Don’t Own." It seems there’s a way to revile the company in any language.
There is a reason to hate Monsanto and the entire board of directors and other executives, not only their current CEO Hugh Grant. After watching the documentary The Corporation I myself saw the face of evil. Just look at the cows in the documentary.
This is what Monsanto is capable of
Monsanto’s artificial bovine growth hormone BGH (Posilac) is designed to make cows produce more milk. Ignoring the fact that no body needs more milk one of the problems with the use of the hormone is that it pushes the cow to the limits of production and causes illness such as Mastitis. In Monsanto’s own words: "Use of Posilac has been associated with increases in cystic ovaries and disorders of the uterus…digestive disorders…enlarged hocks and lesions (lacerations, enlargements, calluses) of the knee…" On March 1993 the Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee of the FDA unanimously agreed with the Monsanto conclusion that "Cows injected with Posilac are at an increased risk for clinical mastitis." If you drink milk you will be pleased to know that this disease is treatment with high levels of antibiotics which no doubt find their way into the milk supply. Since the introduction of BGH in the USA, reports of serious health and reproductive problems among U.S. cows have increased significantly.
The Internet is a tool that can be used by both sides. It is just one tool and it is not the only one either. The foundation will always be organizing and communication.