Allowing donors, supporters, members, or other interested third parties to communicate with and about a nonprofit through its social media networks can facilitate and improve a nonprofit’s communication and marketing efforts, aid in fundraising and membership development, and otherwise help further the nonprofit’s mission. Nonprofits may therefore allow and even encourage third parties to post messages or display content to the nonprofit’s controlled social media pages. However, allowance of user-generated content on social media pages controlled or operated by a nonprofit can raise a number of potential legal risks and liability issues, which are due in large part to the fact that the nonprofit may not have complete control over what a third party posts or displays. Below is a non-exhaustive list of legal steps to consider that will help minimize the likelihood that legal liability arises from user-generated content posted to a nonprofit’s social media pages.
Know the Role: Establish and know when a communication or posting is published or edited on behalf of the nonprofit, and when a posting or other content is provided by a third party (and thus, outside of the nonprofit’s control).
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