by Mike Masnick
Fri, Feb 25th 2011 6:03am
The actual story behind this is a few years old, but it was just retold in a recent video by a social media person at NPR, about how the broadcaster got control over their Facebook fan page that had been set up by a fan:
Basically, this guy -- Geoff Campbell -- noticed that NPR didn't have a Facebook fan page. He emailed NPR about it and offered to set it up, and all he got back was a random "thanks for emailing us" note, which he took to mean "sure, go for it." It took some time, but eventually, NPR noticed the fan page and the lawyers freaked out, thinking that they needed to send him a cease-and-desist letter. However, as the video notes "along came 'Reasonable Andy'," who isn't named in the video, but is Andy Carvin, NPR's longtime social media guru who knows his way around the digital world better than most folks. Andy, smartly, told NPR to hold back on the legal threats, and just reached out to Geoff in a friendly manner, and a transfer of the Facebook group in a reasonable manner was arranged (though, Geoff insists that he never received any promised coffee mug).
Some will note that there's nothing "remarkable" about this story. However, we still live in an age where so many organizations reach for the legal threats first, rather than seeking a friendly discussion on matters -- especially in cases where it's obviously a "fan" who is trying to help. So, it seems worth posting stories like this to try to spread the idea of holding off on the legal threats as the immediate response.
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