Empowering Dutch NGOs to amplify their voice on Twitter

By Karen White

Twitter allows any individual or NGO to broadcast, engage with and listen to people. It’s the world’s online public town square, a one-to-many communications platform where conversations happen that shape opinions. It is filled with ideas and discussion, and also populated by people and organisations whose voices animate the discourse in civil society.

We were in Amsterdam recently, convening NGOs from across the country for a workshop on the best strategies for campaigning on Twitter and the safety policies that govern our platform. This is the second Twitter training event we’ve held in Amsterdam and both have provided useful guidance and information to the organisations which attended.

These NGOs advance the interests of citizens and we partner with them at every opportunity in the hope that they can amplify their voices and push their message on Twitter.

Attendees at both sessions included representatives from organisations which advocate for equality and human rights, with a particular focus on speech. During the session, we offered training on empowering each organisation to control their experience on Twitter in a safe and constructive way. We also offered guidance on how to find their voice on Twitter, a crucial step in finding a way to communicate in a manner that resonates with your target audience.

We highlighted some great case studies and openly discussed the policies and tools that our teams have designed to empower users to take ownership of their individual experience on the platform.

Some of the case studies, such as #ILookLikeAnEngineer, explored the development of counter-narratives on Twitter and how they can be effective in offering an alternative and positive viewpoint to those who are vulnerable to people seeking to promote a bleak and hopeless view of the world.

At the end of the training session, attendees were given a copy of Twitter’s NGO Handbook, “Campaigning on Twitter”.



Twitter also attended the Countering Violent Extremism Youth Campaign which took place in Amsterdam on 22 May. The youth-led event, aimed at combatting the effects of extremist content online, was organised as part of the Netherland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Following three intense days of brainstorming, the group of young adults launched the #GiveItUp4Ramadan campaign.



We look forward to holding more workshops and standing side-by-side with our civil society partners across the the Netherlands in 2016 and beyond.