Intel has always been seen as being open to social media. However, a recent flood of comments in its Facebook Fan Page to urge the company to support the US Conflict Minerals Trade Act put them in panic mode which saw the comments deleted and Fan Page temporary suspended.

Image hotlinked from Interesting perspective on the Intel issue too.

Intel’s knee jerk reaction only flamed the fire with the protestors bringing their virtual protest to Intel’s other Fan Pages and Twitter accounts.

Intel has since apologised for creating this “Virtual No Protest” zone.

Wrote Intel,

We’d like to apologize for deleting some comments and briefly shutting down the page for comments. We can tell you that our intent wasn’t to silence your valuable opinions. In trying to remain sensitive to all our fans, we often delete repeated messages that could be perceived as spam. We should have been more sensitive to this topic though. We welcome conversations and hope to have a meaningful dialog with you!

Intel’s act on social media has put their hard work in social media flushed down the toilet with blogs now highlighting how Intel do not understand social media. Intel is now known for creating this “virtual no protest zone”.

Deleting comments and suspending a social network because of negative remarks often results in the audience perceiving that the brand has something to hide or is too weak to deal with the problem.

What Intel should have done was made use of the comments and issue an official social media release based on the comments.

Yes, fans may counter each points again but at least it shows that the brand is having a dialog with the audience.

Intel, however, chose not to have a dialog with human right activist Lisa Shannon, author of A Thousand Sisters, who sat in front Intel campus in Hillsboro, Oregon to protest against the use of blood minerals.


Intel did not hear Lisa’s statement or the story of Generose: instead, they sent out two burly security guards to greet her. So Lisa and her mother, Ann Shannon, sat for five hours outside Intel’s Hillboro, OR campus holding laminated signs as the skies opened and rain poured down.

Ann sat in a lawn chair with a Wendy’s biggie drink, holding over her head a sign reading: "Your supply chain. Your problem."

Other signs showed photos of little girls and old women, stating, "We think she’s worth the 1c."

Notably, some Intel employees came out of the building, carrying pennies to hand to Lisa and her mom. Even passersby stopped their cars, rolled down their windows, and offered pennies as a token of support.

Electronic gadgets are part and parcel of the life of Singaporeans today. I am typing on a LG netbook that might be using blood minerals from Congo. But we can start from just asking.

I call on bloggers and IT journalists to ask the spokespersons at all the launch events of all electronic gadgets if the products are free of blood minerals from Congo and if they can certify that it is.

If my words can’t move you to do so, maybe this video can.


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