SAP Mentor Anne Katherine Petterøe created a Facebook group to protest the change of Facebook’s Terms of Service(TOS). It reached 135K members within days and forces Facebook to go back to their old TOS version. In this SAP Mentor Webinar Ann Katherine Petterøe tells the story and we talk about the lessons we can learn from it.
What happened in the last two weeks?
- Facebook changes Terms of Service:
We own all of your content even if you leave our site.
- SAP Mentor Anne Katherine Petterøe especially frustrated that Facebook tried to sneak in the changed TOS starts Facebook group:
People Against the new Terms of Service (TOS)
- She invites all of her friends including lots of SAP Mentors to join the group. They forward her invitation to their friends.
- Dennis Howlett from ZDNet picks it up and blogs: Here, here, here, and here.
- Anne tracks twitter ‘TOS Facebook’ messages via Twitter Search and pings folks to join her group.
- Wolf Blitzer on CNN picks up the story when the group had just about 4000 members.
- Within days her group tips and has now (March 2nd) over 140K members (There were other groups created, but they didn’t get traction.)
- Facebook goes back to their old Terms of Service creates Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities group to discuss TOS. (In the meantime Mark Zuckerberg posted a blog where they outline their way forward with Facebook Principles here and the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities here.
- Anne had radio interviews, was on national TV, many articles were written including New York Times, and the most prestigious of them all: An appearance as guest of honor on the SAP Mentor webinar 😉
- Even after Facebook changed back to their old TOS, the group is still growing by many thousand members every day.
What can we learn from this experience?
(We ran out of time to really discuss this in depth. Let’s continue in the comments at the end of this post. Here are mostly my lessons learned)
- Our social network/graph is giving us a big lever to change things to the better.
- It doesn’t matter where we live for an idea or issue to be picked up.
- Take emotion out of your request to have broad appeal.
- It is great to have connected folks like SAP Mentors in your social network. (Of course I am super biased with this claim and it is tough to proof. Let’s say it is great to have SAP Mentor Dennis Howlett on your team, as I think his prolific blogging tipped the scale.)
- It is essential as a company that is operating in the public view, and which one isn’t, to have processes in place to react to such criticism. Ideally you want to work with the most influential spokespeople in advance. (Cue up the SAP Mentor hymn 😉
Anne it looks like you and your 140K friends made Facebook a better listener. That was so needed and at the end will make them so much stronger. Who’s next? Lot’s of organization needs hear that wakeup call. I am proud to know you and have you in my social network. That you are an SAP Mentor too, is icing on the cake.