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Reference no. 9B12M011
Ivey Publishing (2012)
Facebook's director of policy communications was faced with a situation caused by a YouTube video posted by the non-governmental organization (NGO) Greenpeace. This video publicly critiqued the environmental sustainability of Facebook's decision to build a new data center, its main objection being the fact that the new facility would be connected to a local utility provider that supplied electricity mainly from the burning of coal, one of the largest sources of global warming. This video was only the latest of a series of actions, commenced by Greenpeace eight months earlier, immediately following Facebook’s decision to build the new facility. Greenpeace had dubbed these actions the 'Unfriend Coal Campaign,' which now had 500,000 followers and had generated numerous media stories. Greenpeace’s goal was to pressure Facebook into adopting cleaner energy policies by leveraging Facebook's own social media against the company. As Facebook had no plans to stop building the facility, the director needed to figure out the best course of action for Facebook to take in response to the mounting pressure from Greenpeace in order to alleviate the increasingly negative attention from media and consumers.