Charity Commission for Northern Ireland offers charities guidelines on social media

Frances McCandless, chief of the CCNI, says charities should apply checks and balances to avert reputational risks

Frances McCandless
Frances McCandless

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has published guidelines for charities using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

The guidance sets out five suggestions, such as having plans governing who has access to an organisation’s social media account and choosing carefully the type of people a charity follows or engages with online.

The commission, which this week launched its own Twitter account, said that it had decided to issue the guidance in the light of its own research into the effects of charities using online communications such as Twitter and Facebook, not as the result of a specific incident or concern.

Frances McCandless, the chief executive of the CCNI, said it was understandable that, in increasingly austere times, many charities were turning to social media as a way of boosting their profiles and causes.

She said it was important that people understood the potential effect that misusing social media could have on an organisation.

She said: "There is the potential for a rogue or careless post to attract adverse attention, to undermine the work of a charity and to break charity law or other laws. This is very possible, and we think that if charities use social media they should also have some checks and balances in place."

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