ICYMI: Meta, Musk and MAGA: Report

Claire Riley recapped Flannel and Blade's webinar "Meta, Musk and MAGA," which gathered nearly 200 people involved with nonprofit communications. "...Our session was a response to the massive shake-ups happening in social media," said Claire. "Capitalism is cracking all over the world: people are rising up here and quiet-quitting there. AI and other technology is exploding into a cultural Renaissance, with an ever expanding division of audiences and growth of niche sub-subcultures."

"That leads us to ask: what are the biggest risks of social media, for organizations in the world today, who are trying to do good? We hope that you'll see by the end of our report-out, that sometimes even these kinds of big shake-ups can lead to silver linings."

"The world is increasingly polarized on every - single - thing. And every communication that an organization puts out has the possibility of being questioned or pushed back on. For nonprofits, it’s so easy to get put off by the negativity, and sometimes outright aggression, that can come back at you. We’re all individuals who process and understand information differently, and it’s hard for non profits who are trying to reach as broad an audience as possible with their messaging—the reality is, you can’t please everyone."

"But, where the light comes in is that nonprofits can (and do) model a better kind of public discourse than the aggression we sometimes sadly see from other people online. Orgs who have the opportunity to go out to people that support them through social media have the opportunity to change the narrative on polarization every single day, over and over, and on every single platform, by posting as a force for good."

"It also presents the opportunity to take stock of our audiences on our platforms, and learn how to have healthier relationships with more social platforms, so we are not dependent on any one of them."

How to handle tech risks:

  • Put security at the forefront. The security situation has deteriorated faster than most expected. Staffing shortages across Twitter mean that the site is a considerably less safe and less responsive platform than before.
  • Practice digital hygiene. Prepare for anything associated with your account to get into the wrong hands or become public. Clearly map out who has access to your accounts. Avoid linking your bank account or critical information. Clean out your DMs. And clearly document and limit who has access to your organization’s Twitter credentials.
  • Don’t leave just yet. Threat experts are concerned that the turmoil at Twitter, including the sudden lack of cybersecurity leaders and many community moderators, will cause parts of the site to stop working and, at worst, that security holes might lead to compromised accounts. But deactivating a Twitter account also poses risks because an impersonator could then more easily manipulate a person’s followers.

"There are real people with real life issues, and sometimes life threatening problems, that rely on nonprofit social channels for support and information. If you are a nonprofit that has service based users that connect with you on Twitter, if you decide to exit the platform, you need to sign post people to where you’re going and leave information so people know how to find you."

"And remember: even if the platforms lose their safeguarding teams or requirements, you still have the power to safeguard your nonprofit through community management. You can pick and choose which comments are seen, which comments are deleted, which comments you respond to, how you phrase the language that you use in your own little pocket of good. So if you're still showing up in that community, there's no reason why you have to lose that community. "

Read the full report here.