The Internet Strikes Back

Internet Consumer ActivismLarge companies are quickly learning that they can no longer implement unpopular changes in the dark of night without the Internet shining a very bright spotlight on them.

Thanks to the Internet, consumers are able to quickly organize boycotts and other forms of protest in response to the proposed implementation of unpopular changes.

Consumers effectively organized against unpopular changes and quickly beat them back multiple times in 2011.

Remember the proposed $5/month debit card fee that was going to be implemented by Bank of America? Consumers expressed their outrage through sites such as Twitter and Facebook and organized a national “Bank Transfer Day”. Bank of America eventually folded to the intense pressure and decided against implementing the monthly fee. Other banks that were thinking of doing the same thing also followed suit. If it weren’t for the Internet, Bank of America customers would all be paying a $5/month fee for debit card usage right now. There is no way that consumers would have been able to organize and mobilize as quickly as they did without the Internet.

What about Verizon’s proposed $2/payment “convenience” fee for making one-time payments over the phone or online? The outrage was immediate and Verizon ended up backing down after just a day. Word of the proposed fee quickly spread through social media sites and the company quickly decided against implementing the fee.

What about Godaddy and their previous support of SOPA (Stop Online Privacy Act). Once the Internet caught wind of the fact that Godaddy was a SOPA supporter, a very large boycott was organized and Godaddy ended up losing hundreds of thousands of domains in a very short period of time. Godaddy not only dropped their support of SOPA, but they are also now reportedly against the bill.

Netflix also upset a large portion of their customer base after proposing the splitting of their service into a streaming and physical DVD plan (remember Quixster?). Again, outrage quickly spread through Twitter and Facebook, and the company eventually ended up backing down. Months later, Netflix is still trying to pick up the pieces and make things right with their customer base.


The days of large companies pushing through unpopular changes without much resistance from their client bases are pretty much over, thanks in large part to social media sites.

Filed under: General Knowledge

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