Facebook promises no more third-party surveillance – that means companies who sell to police agencies information on Facebook users, typically civil protesters.
“Today we are adding language to our Facebook and Instagram platform policies to more clearly explain that developers cannot ‘use data obtained from us to provide tools that are used for surveillance’,” posted Facebook on March 13 on its Facebook and Privacy Page. “Our goal is to make our policy explicit. Over the past several months we have taken enforcement action against developers who created and marketed tools meant for (police) surveillance, in violation of our existing policies; we want to be sure everyone understands the underlying policy and how to comply.”
The American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups complained last fall when it was discovered Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all cut access to a private company – Geofeedia – which had been selling to Oakland police information on demonstrators in that California city, legendary for its political activism and street demonstrations.
“Social media monitoring is spreading fast and is a powerful example of surveillance technology that can disproportionately impact communities of color,” The ACLU said at the time. “Using Geofeedia’s analytics and search capabilities and following the recommendations in their marketing materials, law enforcement in places like Oakland, Denver, and Seattle could easily target neighborhoods where people of color live, monitor hashtags used by activists and allies, or target activist groups as “overt threats.” We know for a fact that in Oakland and Baltimore, law enforcement has used Geofeedia to monitor protests.”
Of course, none of this means Facebook and Instagram will stop collecting data on you for it’s own advertising purposes.
More help for nonprofits from Facebook
And in more do-gooder news from the social media behemoth, Facebook is increasing the ways nonprofit organizations can use the platform to raise money.
Beginning with a roll out in January, nonprofits can now use Facebook to:
- Raise money through the Facebook Live posts of supporters and friends.
- Add “donate” links to individual posts.
- Create custom landing pages specifically for fund raising efforts.
“Have supporters who have created a Fundraiser for your organization? Now they can attach that fundraiser to a live video,” explains FB. “Then when they go live, viewers can contribute to the fundraiser during the live video. This is a great way to take advantage of the growing video engagement on Facebook.
“You can add a fundraiser to your live video with your personal profile on Android and iOS. In order for people to create fundraisers on your nonprofit organization’s behalf, your organization must be a US-based 501(c)(3) that has applied or can be found in Network for Good. Learn more.”
Adding a “donate” button to posts is easy.
“Your supporters can now easily raise money for your cause by adding a donate button to their posts,” Facebook explains. “When creating a post, your supporters will have access to all of Facebook’s rich storytelling tools (such as tagging friends, checking into locations, sharing feelings / activities etc). Adding a donate button is simple (follow the steps below or learn more here):
- Click Feeling/Activity
- Scroll down to click Supporting
- Select a nonprofit
- Click Post
- Click Add Button to confirm you want to add the donate button to your post
“People can engage with the post by liking it or sharing it with their friends and in turn promote visibility and awareness of your cause. Must be a US-based 501(c)(3) that has applied or can be found in Network for Good.”
Creating a custom landing page for fund-raising may become a useful tool but organizations will want to make sure not to duplicate efforts or confuse potential donors with too many and confusing ways to give. Keep it simple.
“Every (Facebook-created) landing page has a unique URL that can be used anywhere: in your email marketing, Facebook posts, tweets, etc,” says Facebook. ” When people click on the URL, they are taken to your nonprofit’s customized landing page where people can create a fundraiser for your nonprofit, see existing fundraisers for your nonprofit, and learn about how Facebook fundraisers work. Must be a US-based 501(c)(3) organization and apply.”
Give credit where credit is due. Facebook (including Instagram) has really stepped up its game for nonprofits in the last three years. A thriving nonprofit organization should ignore it at its own loss. Let’s face it, a social network with 1.8 billion inhabitants should not be ignored.
Anyone familiar with Relevanza knows we spend (and donate) quite a bit of our time trying to help nonprofit organizations succeed in the digital spaces. Advancing the greater good has always been close to our hearts. Relevanza co-founder Birgit Pauli-Haack is widely seen in our original home base of Southwest Florida as the leader in advancing the digital causes of nonprofit organizations. She runs Southwest Florida Tech4Good and has recently launched a podcast for nonprofits.
There is little doubt Facebook has over the past three years greatly expanded its usefulness not only to business but especially to nonprofit organizations.
Facebook announced last fall organizations could start adding a “donate” button to Facebook Live videos and expand even further its Fundraisers tool to nonprofits based in the U.S.
“Fundraisers let (other) people raise money for your nonprofit on Facebook,” explains FB. “Your supporters can set up a dedicated page to share their story, tell others about your mission and rally around a fundraising goal. We’ll make it easy for people to raise funds with tips and advice, safe payments and reminders when it’s time to reach out.”
Facebook users can launch individual Fundraiser campaigns, dedicated pages, for specific nonprofit organizations (once the organization has been approved for the program by FB.
Friends seeing that Fundraiser page will be able to click and donate directly from their FB Newsfeeds. The exchange is actually handled through Facebook’s Messenger app which has had money transfer capabilities for quite a while.
Facebook will send the donated money to the organizations every 15 days for all donations collected over $100 total.
And, yea sure, Facebook keeps 5 percent of the money raised through Fundraisers to cover costs, provide online security but the remaining 95 percent will go directly to the charities and nonprofit organizations for which individual Facebook users are raising money.
Only Facebook users in the U.S. can actually launch individual Fundraisers (at least for now) but those 160 million or so U.S. citizens of Facebookistan could potentially raise a ton of cash for nonprofit organizations. Donations can flow to the individual Fundraisers from anywhere in the world, potentially all 1.8 billion Facebook users.
And if you haven’t used the Facebook Live videos this would be a great time. Our own, initial experience with Facebook Live videos last summer found a total viewership around 50,000. Imagine that kind of reach with a donate button.
And for heaven’s sake start now to take advantage of the Facebook Events feature. Its rewards are great.