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Nestle Discovers The Streisand Effect... But Only After Making Things Worse And Worse... And Worse

from the how-not-to-do-things dept

Earlier this week, reader Jorvay sent over the news of how food giant Nestle had massively overreacted to an (admittedly disgusting) anti-Nestle video put together by Greenpeace and posted to YouTube. The thing was, this video was getting no attention. It had less than 1,000 views... but someone who should have known better at Nestle filed a bogus copyright claim to take down the video. There is no copyright issue in the video at all, so it was a bogus takedown. Even if there had been a legit reason for the takedown, doing so only drew much more attention to the issue, and the video quickly went back up on Vimeo, where it started getting even more views, a lot of which came because of the takedown.

Okay, bad enough, right? I was going to post that story, but before I had the chance, Nestle decided to make things worse.

Because of all this new attention, a bunch of anti-Nestle people went to Nestle's Facebook group, and started posting messages that were certainly anti-Nestle. Now, there are lots of ways to respond to such things. The one thing you don't want to do is respond the way Nestle's "moderator" did. First, they threatened to delete comments from anyone using a modified Nestle's logo, claiming that this infringed on trademarks (which is an interesting claim, but unlikely to hold up in court, where countless times the use of a logo in protest has been upheld). This resulted in some pointed responses from group members, such as "It's not OK for people to use altered versions of your logos, but it's OK for you to alter the face of Indonesian rainforests? Wow!"

Nestle then didn't do itself any favors by having its moderator respond sarcastically ("Oh please...it's like we're censoring everything to allow only positive comments") and then go with the foot stomping response as well ("it's our page, we set the rules, it was ever thus.")

Eventually, Nestle admitted that it was wrong and apologized, promising that the moderator would be a lot friendlier. However, by then the damage had been done. An issue that very, very few people would have noticed turned into a huge ordeal thanks to repeated mistakes in handling them. The company attempted to stifle speech with both bogus copyright and trademark claims, and then when called on it failed to realize that it was only making things worse.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:03pm

    Why dont they just stop buying palm oil, certainly there are alternative ingredients.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:05pm

    So here's the theory. Nestle' has too many lawyers. Where I work, we don't get around to this stuff that fast. We get Alarmist Emails, then it dies down, everyone forgets about it, and it goes away. Too many lawyers. Spoken by one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Dan (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:17pm

    Turned me off of Greenpeace

    Turned me off of Greenpeace more then Nestle

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    no kids?, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:35pm

    They got no...

    Nuf said

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    davebarnes (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:45pm

    Grammar Nazi Alert

    @Mike,
    "It had less than 1,000 views"
    fewer
    views are discrete events
    continuous - less
    discrete - fewer
    4th grade
    ,dave

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Any Mouse, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:47pm

    Re: Grammar Nazi Alert

    Thank you for your nonsensical post. What does this mean, anyways? Are you really that big of an ass?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    davebarnes (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:50pm

    Well, given that tomorrow is "Meat Out" day

    I am going to have a KitKat after my burger.
    Palm oil = Tasty
    Rainforest = not so much

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    davebarnes (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:51pm

    It means that Mike should pay attenton to grammar

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    itisme (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:59pm

    Re: Grammar Nazi Alert

    Next time you wish to correct others on grammar, please use complete sentences to make yourself appear less foolish and petty. Also, avoid using a comma as the closing before your name.
    Thanks,
    Better Greek Grammar Nazi

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:59pm

    Re: It means that Mike should pay attenton to grammar

    Shhh! Don't say that anything about teh grammah, it will get you labeled as a troll!

    http://xs.to/image-0615_4BA42742.jpg

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Grammar Nazi Alert

    On the less/fewer debate, this has been done over a thousand times and most people now admit that the two are interchangeable and are understood either way. Please, let's focus on the actual content of the post.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:14pm

    ""it's our page, we set the rules, it was ever thus.""

    And that's fine, but it's our planet, WE set the rules, and you don't get to file for bogus IP claims and tell others what they can and can't do outside of your website through our broken court system.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:21pm

    Re: It means that Mike should pay attenton to grammar

    sheesh

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Peter Garin, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Re: It means that Mike should pay attenton to grammar

    Here's a thought, Nestle has an "old school" corporate culture. This is nothing new, but some people need to remember what a real old corporate culture is like.

    I suspect the moderator is simply acting the was he sees the corporate culture around him reacts to this. If you've ever been to a Swiss hotel school it still is very "top down oriented" and restaurant kitchens? Oh please...

    The sad thing is they see the world in those same terms. Nestle sells boxes, they put things in boxes, they measure success on how many boxes they sell.... so I think, it's hard for them to... yeah, you guessed it... "think out of the box..."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 10:04pm

    Re: Well, given that tomorrow is "Meat Out" day

    Did you forget your meds today?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Arthur Taylor, Mar 20th, 2010 @ 4:21am

    Re: It means that Mike should pay attenton to grammar

    You didn't even capitalise your own name you fool, and what's going on with that final comma ",dave"?

    Love and cuddles,

    Arthur

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    NestleGuy94, Mar 20th, 2010 @ 5:07am

    Nerds are fucking stupid

    That's right everyone, keep arguing about grammar. That's the real injustice.

    muahahahaha

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2010 @ 5:53am

    Re: Well, given that tomorrow is "Meat Out" day

    I guess you wouldn't understand unless you saw it first hand like I have.

    Large swathes of flourishing Rainforest are being chopped down in favour of line after line of Palm trees.

    The native animals are being killed and replaced with Palm plantations, sterile places where nothing else lives.

    The thing is, Palm Oil isn't an essential ingredient. We're trading our planets rich diversity for a biscuit. It doesn't have to be that way. We can have both.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2010 @ 5:54am

    Re: Grammar Nazi Alert

    I learned less than and greater than in third grade math. Given that this is a tech blog math out weighs language arts.

    I guess all that palm oil makes people dim.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Bad move, Dave, Mar 20th, 2010 @ 8:19am

    Re: Grammar Nazi Alert

    @Mike,
    "It had less than 1,000 views."
    fewer

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Ava, Mar 20th, 2010 @ 10:35am

    Many people passed up a much higher salary job from a much more prestigious company and a position with more responsibility because of the corporate climate.
    ''The YES Movie'' produced by Louis Lautman
    www.TheYESmovie.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    James, Mar 20th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Well, given that tomorrow is "Meat Out" day

    Dear AC,

    Please get down off the cross someone needs the wood. Thank you.

    Kind regards ,James (mis-placed comma added for dramatic effect)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    DS, Mar 20th, 2010 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Well, given that tomorrow is "Meat Out" day

    Good. Rainforests suck ass.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    enrolled agent, Mar 20th, 2010 @ 5:23pm

    Suicide

    Reading the article above, that really looks like a business suicide...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    paul, Mar 20th, 2010 @ 6:36pm

    Re: Re: Well, given that tomorrow is "Meat Out" day

    Spiders, snakes, ebola, malaria... all in rainforests. Fuck 'em.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2010 @ 7:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Well, given that tomorrow is "Meat Out" day

    I hope you're not serious about wanting our rainforests to be destroyed. I suspect that those on techdirt are not serious, but I really hope the people here at least have some regard for the environment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Ryan Diederich, Mar 21st, 2010 @ 3:18pm

    Ugh

    Of course rainforests are important, but it isnt appropriate to throw this in the face of Nestle, who is using the cheapest and most available source of the ingredient.

    Instead of whining, solve the problem, and propose your solution. Better yet, dont eat things with palm oil. Thats the democratic way of doing it.

    Obviously people dont care about palm oil or rainforests, of else Nestle wouldnt be a GIANT.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2010 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Ugh

    While I am strong on free market capitalism when it comes to issues of promoting the progress of innovation (ie: fewer and less restrictive intellectual property laws) and when it comes to good economics, I do not see free market capitalism as a good solution to environmental concerns.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Well, given that tomorrow is "Meat Out" day

    I am in favor of some of our rain forests being destroyed. Not all, but some to provide some use besides a mosquito habitat. And at least they are putting trees back up. If it was a mining effort then you would definitely be looking at scorched earth.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Wess Stewart, Mar 28th, 2010 @ 5:20pm

    Ugh...

    Stupid, anti-capitalist liberals. Don't they have anything better to do with their time than demonize companies? You can't please everybody, and unfortunately you can't shut them up either.

    Stupid, stupid people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    bob, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 3:18am

    I'm Starting To Think

    That this whole Streisand effect is I think, threat mitigation.
    Some of the more fringe Eco types take direct action like the ELF (Earth Liberation Front) using directs acts of terrorism like arson and bombings.
    By making sure that these groups get some attention, it might reduce their angst. Reducing the acting out actions of the more fringe elements.
    Just a thought.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    yuregininsesi, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 3:57pm

    While I am strong on free market capitalism when it comes to issues of promoting the progress of innovation (ie: fewer and less restrictive intellectual property laws) and when it comes to good economics, I do not see free market capitalism as a good solution to environmental concerns.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    devoted river, Sep 18th, 2010 @ 3:02am

    Its sad to hear that companies like Nestle, who already have the good will in the market will be in such a situation, I am still interested in knowing more about the Streisand Effect, to understand really if its going worse, or is improving!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    laughing blade, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:52am

    Good to Comment

    I hoped that companies with good opinion among people are too good but its wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    the crying of the dream, Oct 7th, 2010 @ 10:26pm

    While I am strong on free market capitalism when it comes to issues of promoting the progress of innovation (ie: fewer and less restrictive intellectual property laws) and when it comes to good economics, I do not see free market capitalism as a good solution to environmental concerns......fine.........

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    free willing individual, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 8:40pm

    Large swathes of flourishing Rainforest are being chopped down in favour of line after line of Palm trees.

    The native animals are being killed and replaced with Palm plantations, sterile places where nothing else lives.

    The thing is, Palm Oil isn't an essential ingredient. We're trading our planets rich diversity for a biscuit. It doesn't have to be that way. We can have both.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Office 2010 Standard, Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 5:34pm

    This is my first time i visit here. I discovered so numerous interesting stuff in your weblog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all of the enjoyment here! maintain up the great work

    This is my first time i visit here. I discovered so numerous interesting stuff in your weblog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all of the enjoyment here! maintain up the great work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    the door of the someone, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 12:17am

    i agree with it this was a better then others site and this was a useful site.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    shores in the luck, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:58pm

    Its sad to hear that companies like Nestle, who already have the good will in the market will be in such a situation, I am still interested in knowing more about the Streisand Effect, to understand really if its going worse, or is improving!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    review ratings, Dec 20th, 2010 @ 3:16am

    Comment

    There is no copyright issue in the video at all, so it was a bogus takedown. I think to prevent this incident they must conduct review ratings for the products who copy the logo.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    review ratings, Dec 20th, 2010 @ 3:16am

    Comment

    There is no copyright issue in the video at all, so it was a bogus takedown. I think to prevent this incident they must conduct review ratings for the products who copy the logo.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    plumbers tucson, Aug 21st, 2011 @ 10:36pm

    Great post!! Keep up the good work - I'm sure someday soon, someone will be doing an Ada Lovelace post about you!

    plumbers tucson

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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