Since my organization is interested in diversifying its use of social media, I’m currently exploring the types of information or campaign that are successful on social media, but also the not-so-successful ones.
Digital fundraising has greatly benefitted from social media. It gathers people together for a good cause in record time. I found this article http://reasondigital.com/advice-and-training/5-more-social-media-campaigns-that-have-boosted-fundraising/ very interesting. I would have thought that Twitter would have been the most efficient social media platform but realised there’s plenty of other ways to “go viral ”. I have no chance to set a fundraising for work, but I am fascinated by the Swear Jar campaign on Twitter and the Movember campaign effects around the world and on more than one platform.
Another aspect where social media have proven useful are emergency or major event situations such as Amber Alerts (see my previous post), demonstrations that get out of control (identifying hot spots, redirecting traffic) , traffic accidents (e.g. Ottawa Traffic on Twitter) or the unfortunate shootings, such as the one in Moncton un 2014 or the one on Parliament Hill about a year ago…
To illustrate this last case, I read a lot of articles, but the one I really liked for its visuals is the CBC’s A Day in Social media – Ottawa Shooting (http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/blog/ottawa-shooting-a-day-in-social-media) . I was on maternity leave when the incident happened, but followed the developments on social media and TV and I experienced first-hand how much faster the information was passed on through social media. The article shows very well how fast the tweets were spread around town. It’s pretty impressive to see how parliamentarians used social as well to reassure the population and their families. The risky aspect of social media in this specific case though was that there was no way to know if there was a second shooter early in the lockdown and it was difficult to contain the social media influx indicating where police officers were looking, thereby also warning the potential second shooter.
There’s a new trend to post videos or descriptions of people who committed criminal acts. If you want, it’s something like citizens taking justice into their own hands, or virtual vigilantism. (see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/crimes-caught-on-camera-do-more-harm-than-good-expert-1.2989654). The problem with this use of social media is that it affects the decision of a victim to come out or not and can alert the alleged criminal(s) or create confusion as police is trying to sort tips and determine what’s true and what’s false.
Have you ever thought what would happen if you started to vent about your employer on Facebook? Well, Facebook is social media and it’s the perfect platform for freedom of speech, right?… Think again : social media CAN be used (and has been used) to prove defamation, just like any other means of communications : http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bclrb/doc/2010/2010canlii62482/2010canlii62482.html
We’ve been faced with an explosion of cases of cyberbullying in the last few years, despite fairly aggressive campaigns at all levels. Canada doesn’t seem well-equipped with proper legislation when it comes to certain types of crime, although the cases below certainly helped push legislation.
In B.C., Amanda Todd’s video on Youtube generated unbelievable attention in 2012, and revealed the ugly side of cyberbullying.
The striking case of Rethaeh Parsons, in Nova Scotia, who committed suicide following rape and extensive cyberbullying and sexting, went viral around the world in 2013. It attracted as much attention here with the authorities than with “vigilantes groups”.
Can we stop cyberbullying and any other case of wrong use of social media?