Facebook urged to take safeguarding concerns seriously after launch of new fundraising tools

Social media and technology company Facebook is being urged to take safeguarding concerns seriously following the launch of its new fundraising software. 

Facebook is in the process of rolling out new products throughout the rest of September and October that could increase a charity’s capabilities on the platform’s advert manager. 

The company said in a statement: “Non-profit organisations who are onboarded to the Facebook Fundraising tools now have the option to bring their donation advertising campaigns onto the Facebook platform with On-Facebook Donation Ads. 

“This new signal-resilient product enables your organisation to benefit from Facebook’s personalised advertising solutions with two new custom audiences: previous donors and previous fundraiser creators.”

It will allow charities to measure conversions, their return on advertising spend within the platform’s advert manager, and understand which advertising tactics are having the most impact. 

In addition, donors will have the opportunity to share their contact information.

But Charities Against Hate, a campaign group that includes representatives of more than 40 charities, warned that while the update provided a great opportunity to raise money, charities must never disregard the huge dangers of their audiences becoming the victim of hate via those platforms.

A spokesperson for the group added: “Online hate, bullying and racism has a devastating impact, and we remain unconvinced that the platforms are doing enough to tackle this. 

“We would urge any charities using Facebook to raise this issue with the platform as a matter of urgency – and to get in touch with us at Charities Against Hate to find out how we are evolving to serve the sector and bring together people interested in tackling this scourge."

CAH has previously called on social media platforms to enforce stricter penalties for individuals who engage in hate speech or harassment online, and provide support to victims of such abuse.

Caroline Bernard, director of communications at the Young Women’s Trust, which is a member of CAH, said: "Young Women’s Trust uses Facebook extensively for engagement with young women and for raising vital funds to continue our services. 

“While this latest feature is a positive development, we urge Facebook to take safeguarding issues into account to ensure that any instances of hate or abuse are immediately addressed. 

“This issue affects charities across the board and we need to be able to deliver on our fundraising objectives in a positive way and in a safe space."

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