social media campaigning@gold

Week 1

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We watched Greenpeace’s campaign video on Nestle’s use of palm oil particularly in KitKat. This video (

As most people know, oil palm plantation massively damages the environment, however palm oil is a necessity for cheap food products such as chocolate, cookies and deep-fried food.

Therefore many tropical developing countries in South East Asia and Africa are eager to grow oil palms.

The following website summarises the ecology around palm oil:

Greenpeace received lots of media attention through this campaign so the campaign itself was successful, however it doesn’t mean they could make any change to the situation.

*Environmental activist groups such as Greenpeace make funny videos like above almost every week but it’s quite rare for them to be able to get  good media attention.

We then looked at Twitter’s hashtag. Hashtags had already been used by activists/campaigners before Twitter came in. I tried to find some information related to it but couldn’t find any.

Twitter’s hashtag was invented by Chris Messina and the first post including it was, “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?”

Using hashtags you can make or see streams of people’s tweets about certain topics. We split into groups and looked at certain hashtags. We did “#policing” and “#immigration #romanian”. #policing mainly had tweets about how brutal police officers have been recently.

We then moved onto a hashtag analysis website called flocker ( This website allows you to see who is in the centre of a certain topic bound by a hashtag and who is the medium connecting people in different interests.

We tried #policing on flocker and found out that the Brazilian president @dilmabr is in the centre of the topic, meaning she has the most influence on #policing.

You can also switch the search mode on flocker. We tried Data Laboratory and Word cloud.

We will have made our own name (your course, something about the course, your skills and experience) on the social media campaigning wiki by next week.

I’m skeptical about whether campaigning can fundamentally change something or not. It seems to be the attempt of patching over each problem temporarily when it arose.


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