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Writer Anna Lenzer has brought it to my attention that the subject of her recent Mother Jones expose, Fiji Water, is looking for social media help. And that’s not surprising, considering the thousands of anti-Fiji Water tweets and Facebook comments piled up after the Mother Jones article was published. As Lenzer revealed in the story, Fiji Water is produced in a country ruled by a military junta and despite its green image, its signature bottles uses twice as much plastic as competitors’.

To combat the negative publicity, Fiji Water first tried issuing a statement against the article. Then we posted a rebuttal. The co-owner of the company made libelous comments about the article on Twitter, and Fiji Water’s go-to press rep, Rob Six, posted comments on blogs and newspaper sites. Presumably not seeing much payoff, Fiji Water went with a softer tactic: contests with prizes and feel-good stories about the company’s charitable works.

The company has another Twitter strategy, though: bribery. According to multiple users, @FijiWater contacts those who have tweeted positively about the company and offered them free water. Or, if they’re less lucky, a coupon code or a beach towel. In its desperate bid (or so it seems) to get followers, @FijiWater writes back to just about anybody who tweets nicely about it. Judging by the job listing, even with the swag, it’s still not working as well as they’d like.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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