Monthly Archives: July 2013

  • 18 July 2013
Facebook Privacy for your Nonprofit’s Constituents

Facebook Privacy for your Nonprofit’s Constituents

What is Facebook's Graph Search and how does it affect privacy?

Facebook rolled out its Graph Search feature this month and expanded the scope for social connectivity by providing a user with the flexibility of searching on Facebook using a variety of phrases such as the ones in the screenshot below. Graph Search   In a previous post, we outlined a few steps that you could take to Optimize your Facebook Page for Graph Search. However, this exciting development has brought with it a whole host of privacy issues. Most of the privacy issues apply to individual Facebook users who might want to limit the audience with whom they share their Facebook activity. For organizations such as nonprofits, Facebook is one of the primary ways of creating awareness for their cause. The main idea behind having a Facebook page is to create visibility so it would not make much sense for nonprofits to restrict their Facebook activity. Thus, it stands to reason that the privacy issue may not be much of a headache for nonprofits. Privacy But wait, what about your nonprofit's constituents and staff? They are individuals who may have Facebook profiles and who may be concerned about their privacy. Granted, your nonprofit cannot control how an individual constituent or staff member ensures their Facebook privacy but it is possible for your nonprofit to have a privacy policy which could include the following two points to ensure that you are not breaching an individual’s right to privacy. 1. Make sure that you take a user’s permission before posting or tagging any photo of them that will be visible publicly. Facebook does offer the option for individual users to be notified of a tag and whether they want to accept or reject it. However, not all users enable this feature so it would be wise to take users’ consent before posting any information about them. 2. Outline your nonprofit’s policy of ‘friending’ your constituents, that is, do you want to allow your staff to ‘friend’ your constituents on their personal Facebook profiles? Would that create a conflict of interest? An article by Idealware talks about how a certain nonprofit had a social media policy of not allowing its staff to friend any of its constituents on Facebook to avoid a breach of privacy. Do you have additional ways of ensuring your constituents’ privacy? Share them with us! ~Ramya