Nine Good Communication Practices for Vegans on Social Media: Making Progress in 2020
Okay, before anyone gets in a snit, I’m not saying I have all the answers; I’m not saying I have any answers. I am merely saying I have some ideas on communication practices to leave behind or adopt in the new year with spreading the vegan message.
Social media is no longer a shiny new toy and hasn’t been for a while. It is here to stay and as a medium for communication, it can be utilized powerfully and persuasively, but it can also work against our goals just as potently if we’re not careful. While it can be tempting to share links and make posts without much forethought because it is so convenient, I think we all need to craft our messaging thoughtfully so we can be as effective as possible. In that spirit, I have put together nine practices to consider adopting or leaving behind in the new year so we can get the most bang for our buck for the animals.
• Do not share sloppy journalism or unverified clickbait, no matter how much you want to believe it.
Some vegan media outlets seem to have a policy of growing their number of followers at the expense of journalistic integrity. It is understandable that these outlets are seeking clicks, shares, comments and engagement to boost visibility: it is a competitive landscape out there in social media land and we are on a 24-hour news cycle so I do get why this happens. That said, misinterpreting news stories to make them sound more favorable to veganism, cherry-picking factoids without the broader context that grounds the story in actual reality and generally hyperbolizing to create an uplifting post that people will want to share is an ultimately harmful practice. Anyone who spends even a few minutes clicking on the original articles — if they can even be found — will discover that often they are sensationalized and/or grossly misinterpreted.
When we share this kind of easily debunked story, it makes us look desperate and gullible — or dishonest, or illogical — making those who do take the time to investigate less likely to trust what vegans have to say about anything and this undermines our overall credibility. As the ones who are doing the outreach on behalf of animals, this credibility is…