How to use social media marketing to fight and expose corruption

How to use social media marketing to fight and expose corruption

Social media and combating corruption may sound as a curious combination. But communication technology has advanced, and mobile devices are increasingly becoming dominant platforms for accessing information – social media is today adequately powerful to expose/thwart corruption.

A recent conference hosted by The World Bank Group provided a succinct summary of the importance of social media for exposing corruption. The panel provided a fascinating glimpse of the role of social media and some case studies to back up their claims.

Social media, in realm of the anti-corruption, can offer two distinct services as per the conference experts:

1. Analysis, commentary and advocacy
2. Investigation and crowd-sourcing

The first purpose takes the form of blog posts, legal reviews and presentations that throw light and spread the word in corruption cases. Such exchanges of information on corruption work to improve analysis and make reporting on corruption practices more vibrant. The panel members also noted that law enforcement agencies and governments frequently read The FCPA Blogs to keep themselves updated within the anti-corruption community.

Investigation and crowd-sourcing (the second purpose of social media as mentioned above) –  is represented by websites that enable volunteers or end-users to provide information and feedback.

‘I Paid a Bribe’ is an Indian website that gathers anonymous reports online, about corruption in India

Again, RosPil is a Russian website that provides volunteers with a platform to dissect Russian government contracts and tenders for signs of corruption.

Though social media marketing is highly helpful, it is should be viewed as just one component of the useful tool in an anti-corruption effort. Online communication via social media is most vital when it is linked to a more comprehensive strategy of reporting and reform.

These types of efforts apparently require wider support from those in government and also the private sector. In many countries, governments are less forthcoming when it comes to combating corruption.

Social media cannot however single-handedly champion anti-corruption causes or monitor compliance procedures.

The power of the internet cannot be under-estimated. There are now more than 2 billion people on the internet, but any effort to fight corruption must be communicated on multiple online marketing channels, including social media.

The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and impartial platform dedicated to holding debates around the anti-corruption topics that shape global, regional and industry matters.

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