This has drawn the ire of an increasingly large scientifically adept food and farming community, and many have taken to the Stonyfield Facebook page to voice their discontent.
Ten years ago you would have seen Rob Wager, Prakash, Anastasia, Karl, @mem_somerville and a few others weighing in. The scientific comments would be buried in a sea of shill accusations from a series of facade accounts (and Ena Valikov).
It makes my heart happy to see scientific traction catching on. The comments come from hundreds of people -- farmers, moms, students -- all presenting reasoned rebuttals to Stonyfield's bad science campaign.
And it is changing minds. How do we know?
Because the soft, accurate and kind comments are being systematically scrubbed from the website. Here's just a taste of the venom that Stonyfield flagged as inappropriate:
A pox on your home Michelle Jones, you monster! Banned!
And my comment was pretty outrageous.
Wow, that crosses a line. I can understand why I was banished.
Why would Stonyfield ban people from its website and censor scientific information? Because science literacy is affecting their bottom line. If you can't scare people into your products, you have to remove the scientific information that is influencing buying decisions.
Furthermore you must discredit anyone speaking about science, which is why they claim the the scientifically precise comments all come from bots, trolls and fake accounts.
Join the Party
I think it is critical to keep illustrating Stonyfield's disregard for a legitimate scientific conversation and ethical marketing practices. Go to their Facebook page and leave a comment, an honest, kind and genuine one, if (and only if) you feel their campaigns are unethical. Don't do it to harass them. Do it to share science.
Take a screenshot, watch your post disappear, and then join the group Banned by Stonyfield over on Facebook. Share your screenshot there.
Stonyfield is Losing Trust
Consumers make food decisions based on trust, and Stonyfield has exploited that for a long time. They have appealing edges about supporting local co-ops, etc, and that would be a great platform for marketing. But their main thrust is vilifying their conventional competition. When their social media erupts with scientific comments in a kind vein, it makes their loyal customer base wonder if they are doing the right thing by paying more for equivalent products and/or supporting a company that lies to consumers.
That's why the comments are expunged. Accurate information is making a difference, and scientific information is changing buying patterns. That's something to celebrate.