Social Media and Civil Society Organizations (CSOS): Transformed Challenges for Governance

Kari Steen-Johnsen (Institute for Social Research, Norway) and Bernard Enjolras (Institute for Social Research, Norway)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 260
EISBN13: 9781466685383|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8188-0.ch009
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This qualitative case study describes and analyzes the use of social media by Amnesty International Norway (AIN), a medium-sized human rights organization. Specifically, the case looks at how and to what extent AIN fulfilled its aims of enhancing information, public debate, and mobilization for campaigns through the use of Facebook and the organization's own website blog. While AIN saw great potentials in using social media, a core question was whether opening up for more lateral communication would lead to a loss of trustworthiness and organizational identity. Although AIN experienced an initial lack of success in using social media to generate response and mobilization in 2011, it was able to develop a powerful social media strategy resulting in high degrees of activity and exchange in 2014. Findings indicated that this change seemed to rely both on the ability of AIN to reflect upon its own governance structures and on the organization's ability to learn from experience.
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