Disney uses fan sites for ‘research’

The local news station ‘Local 6′ recently ran an interesting piece on how close an eye Disney keeps on its online fan community. It focuses largely on Disney podcaster Ricky Brigante of ‘Inside The Magic‘, but has clips from LaughingPlace.com and WDWMagic.com as well. Good stuff.

We in the online community have known this for some time. Back in the the infancy of the web a number of websites were sent cease & desist orders from Disney’s lawyers telling them they had to give up their domains with ‘Disney’ in the title. Even before that it was fairly well known that Disney had people reading the USENET groups. (I bumped into few of the researchers in my days at Disneyland. Both of them were Disney fans too.)

About a year ago Cartoonbrew had sourced confirmation that Disney CEO Bob Iger was looking at their website and had commented on a story they had recently posted. What’s interesting about this news story is that it’s the first time a Disney executive is quoted as confirming that they do look at websites for research purposes.

So there you are. Be careful what you say. You might make someone change their mind.

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