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  2. To be honest I think many not-for-profit organisations adopt this “We’re a good cause – the ends justify any means” even in offline activities. It’s not the way to build a relationship, it’s a way maybe to get a one off donation and earn the resentment of many people who in other circumstances might have been happy to help over a longer period. I don’t know if many of these organisations realise how badly hiring backpackers and students is damaging their brands.

    1. I agree with both of you. and I’m always a bit questioning of verification – if you are truly a member of the community, people know you, and you don’t need to “prove” who you are. Veriifciation is a short cut to trust, but only at the beginning. What you do with a verified account from then on leads to success or failure in social networks.
      Well, I reckon anyway. 😛

  3. Yes, it’s spammy for sure, no doubt about it. I hope they see the error of their ways soon and rectify the situation, as Médecins Sans Frontières (or Doctors Without Borders) do some excellent work around the world. Let’s not lose sight of that eh? It’s a shame to see them acting inappropriately here.

    It’s easy to heavily criticise though. Has anyone contacted them directly to help them by letting them know they’d do well to change their approach? People seem to all to willing to do this when it comes to companies or celebs with verified accounts who act inappropriately.

  4. It doesn’t matter if it’s for profit or not, these messages in a block are just an instant turnoff. By now almost everyone has realised that you can only add this stuff if you are already trusted. We all expect a little “behind the scenes” or personalisation to sweeten a diet of even well meaning spam.

  5. Loathe to defend such a spammy account, I do think we should avoid confusing verification with any sense of social media responsibility.

    Verifying an account is merely a confirmation that the person or organisation is who they claim they are. It doesn’t mean a stamp of approval or imply people should follow them. It merely avoids scam artists and parody accounts from being confused with the real thing or trashing a brand. I am sure a verified account is just as likely to fall afoul of Twitter’s guidelines as any other account if enough complaints are received.

    However, in this case, verification just means that the charity has managed to trash itself while waving at everyone that, yes, it really is them – and proves that businesses, charities or any kind of brand should actually educate themselves about what they are doing before diving in.

  6. The messages you’ve shown here from our Twitter account are part of our outreach for our “Starved for Attention” campaign on the crisis of childhood malnutrition, a condition that affects the lives and futures of 195 million children around the world. It’s a condition that is curable now, but needs the awareness and political will to make a change. It is a scourge Doctors Without Borders medical teams are responding to in more than 30 countries and cannot be addressed appropriately without the mobilization of governments and people around the world.

    We are hoping to take advantage of all that the Twitter community has to offer in mobilizing the necessary resources to conquer childhood malnutrition. We are using Twitter as a tool to reach out to individuals we thought would be interested in the campaign based on their other conversations on Twitter; this includes mothers, chefs, nutritionists, global citizens, people interested in food aid legislation, etc. Many have responded to our outreach by tweeting about the campaign, appreciating the opportunity to have a great impact on this issue.

    Our method has been to send out about 20 messages in the morning or late afternoon, followed by tweets to our whole feed with news from the field, advocacy, media mentions, and conversations with our followers. We welcome suggestions from the community here on how to adjust this strategy. Throughout our efforts, we have continued to ask ourselves whether social media can be a tool for social change on such a devastating crisis. It is a question we hope will be answered by the actions of millions in the Twitter community.

    Jason Cone
    Communications Director
    Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

    1. Jason,

      No one is questioning your cause or its validity.

      What people have is a concern with how you have approached your delivery. If the above approach was undertaken by another organisation or Supplier of some of those wonder Pills then we would all agree that it is Spam and would block those accounts.

      As Laurel has suggested maybe it is worthwhile taking a step back and listen and learn from what other people have done and the feedback that has been provided. A good example of a charity that uses Twitter is @mcgrathfdn a Breast Cancer charity in Australia.

      I hope that you take this and the other feedback in the way it has been intended from all parties.


      Jason Woods.

    2. You really don’t need to post the same message over and over again to get your message out. If what you’re posting is worth retweeting, people will do so!

      And if one of your followers is following ten of the ones you are sending the same message to, his feed will have ten of those messages. And that gets quite annoying pretty fast.

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