Social Advocacy & Politics: If You Collect Stories, But Don’t Share Them, You Aren't Being Social

Alan Rosenblatt Director of Digital Strategy, turner4D

Posted on November 27th 2013

Social Advocacy & Politics: If You Collect Stories, But Don’t Share Them, You Aren't Being Social


A few weeks ago, I saw Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers tweet about a new website from the House Republican caucus asking people to share “#YourStory” about their health insurance cancellations. I immediately tweeted to my progressive followers to visit the site and share stories about how the Affordable Care Act had improved their lives.

I wish I knew how many people did what I asked. I do not, because the House GOP website (as well as its Senate Republican counterpart) does not display the stories submitted. Neither does another website called #ObamaCosts.

Why are the stories hidden? Is it because the GOP doesn’t want people like me to hijack their websites with true stories that contradict their political narrative?

ImageBy contrast, a Facebook page created by Rob Miller, a guy in Los Angeles, called ACA “Obamacare” Signup Successes displays all the stories for all to see. And, apparently, all but a few posts are positive.

Are the Republicans hiding the stories they collect because many of them contradict their political narrative about the Affordable Care Act? Admittedly, I am guessing, but given the overwhelmingly positive and large collection of stories on Miller’s Facebook page, that is why the GOP hides the stories. Not only are there thousands of success stories on the Facebook page, but many of those stories have thousands of “likes.” So it stands to reason that the GOP site is getting mixed results.

Social media creates an expectation of transparency when it comes to these types of campaigns. We expect to see the stories people post because we can. So when a campaign hides the stories they collect, it engenders suspicion. Not sharing all of the stories, even if you use a hashtag to collect them, is not a social media campaign.


Alan Rosenblatt

Director of Digital Strategy, turner4D

Alan Rosenblatt, Ph.D. is a social media and online advocacy strategist, professor & thought leader. He is Director of Digital Strategy at turner 4D (formerly Turner Strategies), the co-founder and host of the Internet Advocacy Roundtable; Ombudsmen and co-founder at Take Action News and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins, American, (Georgetown and Gonzaga Universities), where he teaches courses on internet politics. He was Associate Director for Online Advocacy at the Center for American Progress/CAP Action Fund from 2007-2013, where he created and directed the Center’s social media program. Alan taught the world’s first internet politics course ever at George Mason University in 1995. He founded the Internet Advocacy Roundtable in 2005; blogs at,, and occasionally/previously at,,; serves on’s board of directors and Social Media Today’s Advisory Board; In 2008, he was a fellow at George Washington University’s Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet; and is a co-founder of  Alan has a Ph.D. in Political Science from American University, an M.A. in Political Science from Boston College and a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from Tufts University. Find him on Twitter and across social media at @DrDigiPol.

See Full Profile >