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Taboo Topics Online: Social Campaigns with Privacy

Drug and alcohol addiction, sexual health, suicide ideation, foreclosure—many of the critical topics Americans face are not ones they want to be publicly associated with and tied to online. So how then should nonprofits, marketers, those able to offer support enable digital conversations? Is social media off the table? Many current communications campaigns in the last year have broached taboo topics online using unique strategies and digital tools and proved that you can be social with secrets.
This panel will present best practices for capitalizing on the anonymity of the Internet without raising privacy concerns, and give an overview of the technologies, platforms, and tactics—from secret Facebook groups, to SnapChat messages, to popular forums-- available to social marketers. Learn from industry experts about the decisions they make to encourage the sharing of personal information while remaining sensitive to privacy.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What technologies and tools exist to allow online users to share secrets?
  2. What platforms, mobile and digital, work best for sensitive topics and what reaction and moderation plans need to be in place?
  3. What information is OK to share and what should be hidden?
  4. When is it time to intercede in a cry for help and what actions should you take?
  5. How can you convince followers to participate in conversations and share learnings while making them feel secure? Does everything have to be anonymous?



Meg Rushton, Manager, Public Relations & Social Media , Ad Council

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