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Toxic 'mylecules' on facebook

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Everybody knows that to reach a wide audience these days you can't just rely on traditional media.

Even the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the lobby for the chemical industry, knows that. How do I know that? Facebook, of course. The public relations arm of the ACC recently created its own facebook application, called 'mylecules.'

The ACC on facebook: Your friends as molecules
The application is similar to other facebook applications and, according to the ACC press release, it "allows users to create "molecular bonds" with select friends or groups of friends to establish the "common bonds" users share with their friends. The virtual three-dimensional molecular bonds allow each user the ability to interact with their very own Mylecule, and to connect directly to the profiles of their friends."

Ok, so the ACC decided to re-brand themselves. That's a good idea. Because, you know, most people know them as the as the well-heeled chemical industry lobbyists who have fought tooth-and-nail against overhauling the failed federal toxics law that has allowed over 80,000 chemicals to be used in commerce with little or no safety tests, ultimately polluting an entire population. Yes, you included.

Is Mylecule popular? Not so much.
The ACC's first effort on facebook was creating a fan page for American Chemistry, without the word Council in it, because, I guess that sounds too much like a group a group of industry lobbyists - which they are. But you don't know that until you click on 'info' where you learn that "The American Chemistry Council represents the companies that make the products that make modern life possible, while working to protect the environment, public health, and the security of our nation." How many fans? 279. Ouch.

With so much information out there, consumers need to be careful when filtering what is relevant and what not, what is trustworthy and what not. I am curious to see how the new ACC application does and whether it reaches more than its current 8 fans and whopping 152 users. I am still not sure of its relevance, but maybe I just don't need to see my social connections in molecular format. You?

Join EWG on Facebook: Meanwhile, while you're on facebook, don't forget to join EWG's facebook group! There are thousands of us - more and more every day. See you there.

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