Social Media used to target companies

 

The Enough Project which I have also mentioned earlier in my blog launched a new strategy to their Change the Equation Campaign last year, using “21st Century style activism”.  They targeted 5 major companies: Dell, Apple, Nintendo, Intel and Rim to pressure them to be accountable for the source of some of the minerals used in their technology products.  They do this by encouraging consumers to visit the company’s facebook page and post a polite message asking it to sign a letter supporitng tough legislation that would require better “transparency and accountability in mineral supply chains”.  Enough has backed legislative measures in the House and Senate to address trade issues regarding conflict minerals.  They also launched an earlier campaign asking people to send messages to legislators on Facebook and Twitter asking them to support the bills.

This is an effective and modern strategy which targets companies directly involved with trade in the Congo.  They use social media to incorporate Corporate social responsibility into their campaign which combines accountability politics with information poliitcs to move information in lightening speed by using social media. 

Check out the full article here

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About Samapti Rahman

For more than a century, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) has been plagued by regional conflict and a deadly scramble for its vast natural resources. More recently, the global demand for cell phones and computer chips is helping fuel a bloody civil war, resembling the conflicts that developed over blood diamonds in the 1990s. Armed groups earn hundreds of millions of dollars per year by trading four main minerals such as the ores that produce tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold. This money enables the militias to purchase large numbers of weapons and continue their campaign of brutal violence against civilians, with some of the worst abuses occurring in mining areas. The majority of these minerals eventually wind up in electronic devices such as cell phones, and computers. Major American and International companies continue to trade for these high demand minerals, leaving consumers no way to ensure that their purchases are not financing armed groups that regularly commit atrocities, including mass rape. Let's clean up the Congo and take a stance against trade practices that promote violence!
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2 Responses to Social Media used to target companies

  1. It is very reassuring that there is an organization like yours that is addressing the problematic issues with regards to Africa’s natural resource wealth. This is a problem not just in the Congo but in many nations of this primary commodity rich, and politically unstable continent. The subject of conflict minerals within Africa has indeed created much awareness within the U.S., and it is good that groups like yours are identifying corporations in the U.S. that trade in such products.

    Organizations that advocate for restrictions on the trade of conflict products like yours should also focus on nations whose foreign policies are directed around the consumption of conflict products. One nation that comes to mind for me is China. China’s seemingly insatiable demand for oil, has led China to be the number one oil exporter, and the largest arms importer to the Al-Bashir regime in Sudan. I am sure that most of your readers are aware that the acts of mass murder that these Chinese made weapons have had upon the population of the Darfur region in Sudan. Africa’s oil is powering Chinese industry, and Africa receives not wealth for schools and hospitals, but wealth for the procurement of instruments of genocide.

    This problem is further shown to be true with regards to China’s involvement in the Liberian civil war. China not only has demonstrated an enormous demand for African oil, but also for African timber products. Liberia is a nation with enormous timber reserves, and much of it was used to fund a very disastrous civil war in order to keep the despot Charles Taylor in power. The nation that bought much of this Timer???? China.

    China has spent much of the last ten years deciding that it wishes not to extract its own natural resources to fuel its economic growth, but to essentially sell weapons to the dictators of Africa in exchange for their peoples natural resources. Putting pressure on corporations that trade in conflict products is an important thing to do, but addressing the issues with national policies that deal in conflict products should not be ignored.

    All the best

    Don

  2. Target 5.A says:

    This is an interesting campaign that seems to have had some measurable progress. Since this campaign was initiated, the Enough Project released a report assessing corporate behavior. Research began over two years ago, when the Enough Project engaged with 21 electronics companies about conflict minerals to “call their attention to this issue and inquire about the steps they were taking to ensure their products were conflict-free. In December 2010, they release a study ranking these companies on their progress to tackle the conflict mineral issue. The report can be accessed here, and is certainly worth a read: http://www.enoughproject.org/publications/getting-conflict-free

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