Social media - Twitter, Facebook, and beyond

We're starting this topic to get feedback on and have a discussion about how best to use the @robfordmustgo Twitter account and the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/robfordmustgositin

If you've been following along on Twitter specifically and there are things we've tweeted that you've liked or things we've tweeted that you've had concerns about, please share your thoughts here! Our intention is to have really informative, meaningful, inspiring, useful, and inclusive social media channels.

Thanks for sharing, John.

Daniel Dale once referred to our account as useful because it was a livestream of the mayor's office.
If a Ford supporter shows up, that's a part of that, isn't it? Do we want that livestream to be something that we do? I would say yes.
And I think it lets people know what we're about if we tweet about having civil encounters with these Ford supporters. When I tweet, I try to come from a place of truth and compassion. Truth - I'll let people know what's happening. Compassion - if someone tells me something in confidence, I'll reserve the right to decide if it's newsworthy and if I will take the personal responsibility of sharing it. That has been my personal take thus far.

Any social media policy that we decide on, I hope it will hold these values - of truth and compassion - together.

I think it's also important to remember that as we tweet to the RFMG account, we are using our initials, so we must take personal responsibility for what we post as well. People know the 'BW' means me, 'Benjamin Wert'. I have to take responsibility for any tweets with the 'BW.' as myself, as well as a representative of the disparate people that are sitting as 'Rob Ford Must Go'.

-Ben

I joined the sit-in not as an act of politics, but rather as an act of social solidarity. I do not see the sit-in as a means to remove Rob Ford from office. That will be done via institutional means (i.e. an election). To this end, I would prefer to see the Twitter handle act more as a form of citizen journalism that embraces all people, and reports on everything through the lens of community, justice and solidarity.

This means I disagree with John Furr's comments above. But it also means I disagree with many tweets that focus (and even give light) to Ford's daily antics outside of City Hall. I'd prefer that the feed stick to reporting on what is happening inside the sit-in discussion, and what is happening outside of Rob Ford's office - from the mundane to the profound.

i agree that personal opinions are best left for personal accounts;
the kind of material that i think would be best to showcase is what milang said:
what is happening at the sit-in (discussion, activities, etc)
and what is happening outside of ford's office
as well as announcing people when they show up

Interesting discussion so far.

So like... for example... consensus is it was dumb for me to use the official RFMG twitter account to compare Ford to a toddler yesterday?

Yeah... that was probably dumb. I apologize for that. Will keep that kind of purely opinion-based material to my personal account henceforth.

I've enjoyed the real-time aspect that the twitter account offers. With that said, twitter is not a universal medium. Bloggers often integrate their twitter feeds on their website. Would it be possible for us to do this? This would allow non-twitter users to experience the data that is produced.

With regards to what is acceptable for twitter posts, perhaps we should consider having two "official" twitter accounts used for this movement. One can be dedicated to be used only for functional purposes, while the other account can be used/identified as random thoughts/concerns from sit-in participants. The account would be clearly defined as an "anything goes" account, and that posts do not represent the views of all participants. Would this resolve the problem? I very much think participants should be allowed to speak their minds, but recognize that this could raise all sorts of problems.

I don't think that there should be another Twitter account. Opinions and random thoughts can be expressed on the participants' personal accounts, which would then be picked up by the RFMG Sit-in Participants list.

The main problems with that are: 1) it needs to be kept up-to-date, which isn't happening, and 2) nobody else seems to know that it exists. The latter can be helped by adding a link to it (https://twitter.com/robfordmustgo/lists/rfmg-sit-in-participants) on the Twitter & Facebook page, plus occasional mentions on the main account; the former either needs someone who has access to the main account to take responsibility for adding participants' accounts, or whoever is anchoring at the time someone new shows up is responsible for adding that person's personal account (unless the participant doesn't want to be included on it for whatever reason).

Alternatively or additionally, participants can add #robfordmustgo to their tweets so that people can follow just the relevant tweets (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RobFordMustGo&src=hash&f=realtime) rather than everything they say if that's what they prefer. That link could also be added to the Twitter & Facebook page.

I'm working on getting the participants' twitter list up to date. Good idea about having whoever is anchoring add people to the list as they arrive! 

We've been experimenting with using the #RFMG hashtag in recent tweets. Leaves more room in each tweet. It was already associated with some kind of music group but had very low activity so hopefully won't be confusing.

I re-tweeted & tweet-replied to a bunch of media & official @tomayorford account stuff about the Fords' LA trip, Oscars, Kimmel, etc over the past couple of days... but have reconsidered that, as in retrospect I feel like I was drifting into kind of snarky and not-loving territory, and getting inappropriately caught up in the Fords'... uh... Fordness. Which is just... so easy to do on twitter. 

So - reading back over this thread, I think it does make very solid sense to keep the RFMG twitter feed - and other social media accounts - focused on the following stuff: 

  • people showing up for the sit-in
  • brief general notes about topics being discussed at sit-in
  • comings and goings of the Fords & staffers in view of the sit-in
  • interactions at the sit-in with councillors, tour groups, and others
  • call outs for anchors as needed
  • official startings and endings of sit-in days
  • tweets about updates to the RFMG website - new features, new information, etc
  • brief replies to followers/twitter users with questions about the sit-in
  • reasons #RobFordMustGo
  • what sit-in participants love about Toronto

Outside of sit-in hours, tweets should probably be constrained to a short reminders of upcoming start times, calls for anchors, and expressions of gratitude to participants. Probably makes sense to have very reduced official RFMG account twitter activity outside of regular sit-in hours. 

Also probably makes sense as a general policy to not engage trolls via the RFMG account. Some may want to using personal accounts. 

We should also probably be very, very sparing with re-tweets. Media retweets in particular. There's a balance between paying attention to what the Fords are doing vs giving them too much attention.

And we probably shouldn't promote groups, causes, or events that aren't directly related to the sit-in or what's happening around the sit-in at City Hall.

How does the above sound? 

Ah... ok, I realllly broke that "we should be very, very sparing with retweets. Media retweets in particular" idea last night during the entire Jimmy Kimmel show thing. Retweeted the heck out of that. 

So... possible amendment - be very very sparing with retweets except when there's something of obvious large significance happening, like Ford doing a guest appearance on a major US late night talk show. 

Or, say, as another example, getting arrested. 

 

An additional thought! More and more anchors are using the official RFMG twitter account now, which is great! And there'll probably be new kinds of tweets people will want to tweet out, not covered yet by rough guidelines/thoughts above. 

So one additional thought! - 

If you have access to the RFMG twitter account and are contemplating tweeting out something new - like a link to a new petition or event sign-up or just something that hasn't been done before - check first with a few other sit-in participants! Post your tweet idea on the forum and/or your personal twitter account and reach out for feedback! Remember, sit-in belongs to its participants!