While Social CEOs was created to celebrate what’s great about social media, we are also only too aware that it has its dark sides too. Trolling – “the act of leaving an insulting message on the internet in order to annoy someone” – is rife. Social media offers direct channels to contact people in a way that simply wasn’t possible just a few years ago, and as Twitter in particular becomes more polarised, the problem of trolling continues to grow.
We are working with ACEVO this year to do some research into this. Initially we are focussing on female charity CEOs’ experiences – not because it doesn’t happen to others too, but because our initial research suggested that this group has experienced particularly distressing trolling.
Already we have heard troubling stories – like the charity chief whose charity was on the receiving end of a vicious bout of trolling, and became suicidal.
This is a serious issue and can do so much harm. By seeking the experiences of female leaders, we will be able to shine a light on these experiences, understand how participants would like things to change – and, ultimately, start looking at what could be done in the sector to support people who are experiencing these problems.
We think this is really important research – and the more people who contribute, the better equipped we will be to take this forward into something meaningful. So if you are a charity CEO who identifies as female and has any experience of this – please do fill out the survey. And if not, then please share with your networks so we can reach the broadest group possible.
The survey will be open until midnight on Tuesday 17th September.