‘Scum’ attack on Greenpeace campaigner linked to paper company Solaris

Days after Solaris took out full page ads claiming it wanted to engage constructively with Greenpeace over protecting Sumatran tigers, computers linked to the paper giant have been used to post abusive and personal comments about the campaigning organisation, Mumbrella can reveal.

The comments include calling a Greenpeace campaigner “scum” and suggesting that management of superstore chain IGA who hail from overseas should “go home” after cancelling a contract with the paper company.

Greenpeace put IGA in the firing line last month after a tiger died on land owned by Solaris owner Asia Pulp & Paper.

IGA has stocked toilet paper made by Solaris but the supermarket’s owner Metcash cancelled the contract as a result of the Greenpeace campaign.  

Solaris defense adEarlier this month Solaris – which is being advised by public relations agency PPR – took out full page newspaper ads saying the attacks were unfair and that it was trying to “sit down and talk about solutions to the problem” with Greenpeace.

After Mumbrella reported the story, an early comment came from somebody describing themselves as “Lover of Country”.

As well as describing Greenpeace as “the worst people in the world”, the commenter said of IGA:

“And on top sadder still people like IGA drop companies like Solaris the second Greenpeace say anything. Where is there any courage in this world? As a woman, I have no respect for the lack of testicles shown by the IGA management. To all you South AFricans running the show there, WE LOVE BRAVE AND STRONG MEN IN AUSTRALIA SO GO HOME. I will be shopping at Aldi from now on. I won’t give my business to anyone who lays down at the feet of Greenpeace and their lies.”

After becoming suspicious of the large number of comments hostile to Greenpeace, Mumbrella investigated the IP addresses of those comments.

A few days later somebody from the same IP address – calling themselves “Act Responsibly” launched a highly personal attack on Reece Turner, forests campaigner for Greenpeace Australia Pacific, who had joined in the comment thread. The commenter accused him of being “scum”. In the attack, Act Responsibly wrote:

Dear Reece,

I really have to wonder how the fuck you can look at yourself in the mirror in the morning. You are a bloody hypocrite of epic proportions. You choose tactics like breaking and entering and destruction of property because you truly believe “The end justifies the means” and that only Greenpeace has the facts and the truth. You abuse the very laws and legal system that protects you. You are the worst form of parasite. Its all a show about money.

I know for a fact that APP and Solaris have tried to engage you and YOU WON’T TALK TO THEM. So how the fuck do you know what they are doing? How many times have you been to the Indonesian forest? If you are going to open your fucking mouth get your facts straight. Its very clear why you won’t meet them—BECAUSE YOU ARE SCARED YOU WILL LOOK LIKE THE BLOODY IDIOT YOU ARE.

Furthermore, you took the video of the tiger and mocked up a full production with titles and fancy production work, and emailed it to thousands of people with a simple pledge to “Save a tiger for 33 cents per day”. So let’s just own up to it. I would have some respect for you if you could stand up like a man and admit it–ITS ALL ABOUT MONEY AND FUND RAISING AND MAKING YOURSELF FAMOUS. Well there are two ways to do it, either be outstanding or STAND OUT. Its clear you chose the latter, as the former is beyond your capabilities. You exploited a dead tiger to raise money. You are the worst of them all, Reece, you are a man who masquerades around acting like a “do gooder” when in reality you are just scum.

You have cost APP and Solaris jobs in this country and more investment. Exactly what Australia needs. Congratulations you ass, you made our country weaker due to your manipulations. I hope you can go and meet the families you have rendered unemployed due to this and look them in the eye and explain to them why they cannot feed their families and don’t have a job. Good Australian families. And when APP, one of the largest paper companies in the world, invests outside of Australia, instead of putting that investment here, well I hope you can live with yourself. You weakened a nation, asshole.

I hear there is a rally and a push of many to organize against GP And throw these people out of our lives. I am joining, and I will tithe even like at church to make this happen. Hypocrites!

The IP address of both the above comments is registered to office.solarispaper.com.au. A third comment came from that address came from “Crusaders.Fan”.

A further 20 comments all attacking Greenpeace – came from another single IP address. One of those comments comes from “Crusaders Plus”.

Other names used from that IP address included “Natalie”, “Adrian Pert”, “Patrick Saver” who claims to be a big game hunter, “Liz Lombardo”, “Johnnie Lombardo”, “Mary Anne”, “John”, “Greg”, “Susan”, “Matthew Beacon”, “Walter Cunningham”, “Peter McK”, “Michael B”, “Emma”, “Billy” and “Anthony”. The most recent from the IP address, a few minutes ago, came from “Maurice” saying:

“Hey Reece

” ‘ooooo oooOOO oooOOOOOO OOOOOOOOO, eheheheh ehehEHEHEH ehEHEHEHEHEHEHEH.’

“Translated from Apeian language into English means,’REECE you are a Fucking Idiot extraordinaire.’ “

The director of corporate affairs for Solaris, Steve Nicholson is currently out of the country. He told Mumbrella that he was surprised to hear of our findings and that he hoped to make a further comment when he had spoken to staff in Australia.

Mumbrella also invited PPR to comment.

A spokesman for Greenpeace told Mumbrella: “After a clumsy attempt at greenwashing, it’s disturbing that instead of responding to Greenpeace’s evidence of rainforest destruction, Solaris – Asia Pulp and Paper’s Australian affiliate – seems to have been caught-red handed resorting to personal abuse.

“Customers of Solaris in Australia are already questioning the role of the company in driving widespread deforestation in Indonesia. These kind of allegations will do nothing to improve their credibility.”

Comments


  1. wayne kerr
    16 Aug 11
    1:49 pm

  2. epic smackdown.

  3. Tim
    16 Aug 11
    2:35 pm

  4. beaten into a pulpy mess

  5. Anon
    16 Aug 11
    2:37 pm

  6. Woaw Nelly! That is some serious corporate craziness!

  7. john thomas
    16 Aug 11
    2:50 pm

  8. i am using a psuedonym but only because I’m scared of these whackos getting on to me….

    for the reocrd i’m no chamion of Greenpeace but i have met Reece a number of times and whilst he is a bit of a he man (cripes you should check out his guns) – he has been to indo forests many times, knows his stuff backwards and is also a very reasonable and charming man (or so my wife says)

    sounds like a classic case of muppet land @ solaris though!

    was the PR man in Indo trying to release those tigers solaris have been trapping?

  9. Anonymous
    16 Aug 11
    3:02 pm

  10. typo – IPA or IGA?

  11. mumbrella
    16 Aug 11
    3:25 pm

  12. Thanks anon – typo sorted.

    Cheers,

    Tim

  13. krystal
    16 Aug 11
    3:35 pm

  14. nice piece of investigating mumbrella – great to see

  15. Bewildered and bemused
    16 Aug 11
    3:47 pm

  16. Okay – At what stage does a PR agency say – “You know what this is not good for our brand” too often agencies like PPR see short term dollars rather than long term damage. PPR in defending APP / Solaris have sold out to the dollar and cheapened their brand – I wonder how their other larger brands feel about them representing what seems to be a dishonest organisation.

    Bravo Mumbrella for the IP address investigation.

    I ain’t no tree hugger but in this case give me Greenpeace over APP/PPR any day.

    Go the Tigers !

  17. Disgusted with Solais
    16 Aug 11
    3:56 pm

  18. I’m thoroughly disgusted by this corporate bullying by Solaris.

    What products can we boycott?

    LIVI

    I’ll be emailing them to voice my feelings:

    info@solarispaper.com.au

  19. Samantha
    16 Aug 11
    4:30 pm

  20. it seems to me that the points made by Solaris are fair – if true.

    From what I have read, it seems the company was not responsible for the tiger dying and that Greenpeace was maybe using the tiger trap to sell some memberships, donations etc.

    On the other hand, those who expected the cameraman to rescue a tiger may be kidding themselves a bit. it may just be fear and not a conspiracy by Greenpeace as some allege. After all, who is going to go up to a tiger in a trap and undo the trap and risk getting clawed to death.

    I mean , who carries a tranquilliser gun and darts with them. I am guessing the only options the cameraman had were to film it or maybe to kill it if they were armed with a normal gun. Killing it would have been far more humane than filming its death, but I guess that wouldn’t sell the cause.

    If people lost jobs here in Australia because of Greenpeace’s seeming false tying of the tiger death to the paper company, then you can understand the paper company employees being a tad pissed off.

    Losing one’s job is not good, so i don’t think its the end of the world if a few people from the company vented a little bit – hey it’s probably natural.

    Ad& media agencies use multiple postings here all the time – you see it when all the defenses come right after an ad or a strategy gets reviewed badly.

    Most of us here are adults and assume the practice goes on here as it does on the wider internet.

    It’s not the end of the world.

    P.S. I do not work for the paper company (sorry I am too lazy to scroll up and see what their name is again Solar? or something like that)

    P.P.S. if i were a local villager in the area, I would probably be setting traps too. It’s easy to say one should protect tigers when one lives thousands of miles away from them. If you or your children risk being tiger food, you may change your opinion on protecting them. (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvvdOOTeJUk)

  21. AdGrunt
    16 Aug 11
    4:33 pm

  22. It seems monumentally stupid of Solaris to enable this so trackably.

    It seems in spite of Greenpeace’s cretinous stance, they have managed to lose themselves any high ground they may have had.

    It still doesn’t answer how Greenpeace think their own greenwashing will make a difference, but that’s almost moot.

  23. Alberto Rosso
    16 Aug 11
    4:54 pm

  24. You’d wonder how many anti-government callers to likes of Alan Jones and the other rabid talk back hosts are actually employees of large corporations or are contractors of their PR companies.

  25. Disgusted with Solais
    16 Aug 11
    6:08 pm

  26. Samantha, you think it’s okay to attack an individual through hidden names?

  27. Doughboy
    16 Aug 11
    6:16 pm

  28. This company have acted disgracefully.
    Good on Tim for exposing them.
    Good on IGA for giving them the boot.

  29. paul
    16 Aug 11
    8:32 pm

  30. Great reporting, and if this nasty reposnse is typical of corporate tactics via social media, please keep investigating etc.

  31. Grant
    16 Aug 11
    11:09 pm

  32. I appreciate that this is a shoddy bit of PR that deserve our mocking, but I’d question whether it’s wise to tell your blog’s users that you are willing to trace and publish their IP address locations. It’s not the best way to encourage visitors.

  33. Samantha
    17 Aug 11
    2:11 am

  34. Hi Disgusted with Solais

    I think on the internet you never know who is who, so I just assume no-one is who they say they are generally and if they are, well that’s a plus.

  35. mumbrella
    17 Aug 11
    8:46 am

  36. Hi Grant,

    We do point out in our privacy policy that where people attempt to mislead our readers about who they are, we reserve the right to make them aware of it.

    Cheers,

    Tim – Mumbrella

  37. John
    17 Aug 11
    10:38 am

  38. Samantha- respectfully disagree with every justification for personal attacks via the internet you make here. If the Solaris employees had done this from home, I guess that’s different- but it’s still idiotic considering their offer to talk to Greenpeace and work together on this. Obviously Solaris have no intention of following through. Consequences will never be the same! Great sleuthing Tim.

  39. Nate
    17 Aug 11
    10:47 am

  40. Grant, while I appreciate where you’re coming from, I think you’d have to be pretty naive not to realise that every time you interact with a website your IP address is recorded.

    If you’re going to not just visit a site but also leave a comment and contribute to the discussion, you’ve got to be prepared to stand by your point of view and not hide behind the perceived anonymity of the internet.

  41. JG
    17 Aug 11
    10:53 am

  42. I wouldn’t even wipe my arse with anyone from Solaris management let alone their toilet paper.

  43. Irv
    17 Aug 11
    1:36 pm

  44. Greenpeace is every bit as big a spinner as any major corporate. They don’t hesitate to iresponsibly trash corporate brands to garner headlines, so don’t drink their Koolaid without thinking about the allegations first. It’s a pity that any highground was lost through the actions of one or a few imbeciles at Solaris. With judgement that poor, (not to mention abominable writing skills) the offenders should no longer be employed by that firm.

  45. Alberto Rosso
    17 Aug 11
    1:51 pm

  46. >>I wouldn’t even wipe my arse with anyone from Solaris management let alone their toilet paper.

    Care to give us the brand names – just so we know.

  47. karalee
    18 Aug 11
    12:28 pm

  48. This behaviour is nothing short of astroturfing and if Solaris have been advised or encouraged in any way on this, serious questions must be asked.

    Tim (quite rightly) has continually demonstrated his willingness to call out astroturfing on this site, so it is a bit naive or silly to think you can get away with it.

    I’d like to publicly point out that this behaviour is not indicative of the whole PR industry or indeed the other stakeholders who have been involved in this wider issue.

    The role of responsible and transparent Communications consultants is to not only advise on downstream communications tactics during an issue such as this, but on upstream business processes and decisions informed by listening and engaging with relevant stakeholders. I’m proud to say Text 100 played that role with our client and Greenpeace over this wider issue. And will do so again should we be asked to.

    Astroturfing has no positive place in communications, PR or lobbying and we must call it out and condemn it if we see it.

  49. AdGrunt
    18 Aug 11
    1:54 pm

  50. One also shouldn’t overlook the collective, yet personal, emotion of employees.

    Not supporting the ungainly attacks per se, but…

    …if a questionable, manipulative campaign (which this is) has been waged against your employer, resulting in the likely loss of your job, you might reasonably want to put in your 2c about it. Is that so wrong, even if from your workplace?

    A thorny conundrum, that doesn’t seem as clear-cut as a blunt “astro-turfing” label.

    Mumbrella’s view on this is quite important, as they chose to out the posters, but I’m unclear if this was for the “misleading about identity” or “defamatory” policy call-outs.

    If careless in such actions, Mumbrella itself may be exposed to defamation claims…

  51. Joey
    19 Aug 11
    1:11 pm

  52. Samantha…are you for real about villagers killing tigers?

    It’s large corporates clearing thousands of square kilometres to plant whatever…palm oil, plantation timbers, etc. That’s the issue, not the odd villager killing a tiger. If that is what happened.

    There are currently about 5,000 tigers left in the WORLD. People? Oh, about 7 billion!

  53. Liz
    19 Aug 11
    1:42 pm

  54. So Joey are you saying that because theres more people then tigers the local villagers shouldnt be setting traps ? Let the kids get eaten because theres so many more of them ?

    If greenpeace didnt blame APP for a trap that was most likely set by villagers, then that particular article would have never been written. if the lies werent written, then solaris staff wouldnt have felt offended and decided to stoop to the level of greenpeace.

    and if none of that happened, then some poor kid would probably be lunch right now for a hungry tiger. but like you said joey, there 7 billion people and only 5000 tigers. let the tigers eat hey

  55. AdGrunt
    19 Aug 11
    3:09 pm

  56. The Tiger is a furphy.

    Greenpeace need to outline what they are proposing as a solution, rather than this discombobulating emotional bilge.

  57. Saviour Forrest
    22 Aug 11
    1:07 pm

  58. I think it is fine to name and shame “blog hoons”.

    I have a couple of aka’s; I try not to be spiteful, nor malicious.

    I cannot belive that people at Solaris did this – unbelieveble. Mind you for a company willing to tear out the lungs of Indonesia; perhaps, sadly, I can…

  59. Belinda
    1 Sep 11
    8:45 pm

  60. Always best to run some checks before you run your mouth.
    A greenpeace campaigner attended the scene on the final day of the tiger’s life, with forest rangers. “Recently word came to our Greenpeace office in Indonesia that a Sumatran tiger was stuck in an animal trap … It was trapped for six days in total without food or water. After a week of suffering forest officers arrived to evacuate the tiger – but it was too late. The tiger died during the rescue attempt.
    Zamzami, a Greenpeace media campaigner, traveled to the area with the rescue team as an observer, and was present for the tiger’s last few hours.” (from http://www.greenpeace.org/inte.....log/35859/ ). the tiger died over a number of days while APP staff clear felled old growth rainforest just a few km’s away. – Also, solaris has choices – it’s toilet paper, why on earth would you be making that from old growth rainforest trees? why not use plantation timber sources or even better recycled paper? How ridiculous is this situation! the brands are black and gold and signature. and BTW there are only about 400 sumatran tigers left in the wild.