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Growing benefits from growing social networks

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In the past year our social media networks continued to grow steadily and helped us to:

  • Spot and track emerging issues
  • Build and maintain relationships with people in communities throughout Ontario
  • Share information about what we do and connect with people doing related work.

As of March 31, 2013 we had more than 2,500 Twitter Followers and 1,200 Facebook Fans. We also had more than 12,000 views on our YouTube Channel. Thousands of people visit our website every day for information on human rights.

Last year, we used Twitter and Facebook to share information about our current activities including launches (Minds that matter, Policy on competing human rights), events, Chief Commissioner speeches and public education sessions.

Social media was also an important tool for spreading the message about online surveys (including Canadian experience and rental housing licensing), and for telling our contacts when important HRTO decisions came out.

Our social media channels are not just one-way communication – they are an excellent forum to answer questions about human rights and the human rights system in Ontario, and point people to relevant information on our website or to other websites that could help. We used social media to provide links to resources, and have human rights-related conversations on topics like mental health, housing, and discrimination in employment.

We also used social media to connect with “mainstream” media. An example was our “back and forth” with Emma@thespec when Lynwood Charlton hearing was underway at the Ontario Municipal Board.

Here are some highlights of our 2012-13 social media activities:

  • We live-tweeted the 50th anniversary event from Hart House in October 2012
  • There was quite a bit of activity on Twitter celebrating the Code’s 50th anniversary
  • Extensive Twitter activity when gender identity and gender expression were added to the Code
  • We took part in our first live Tweet chat with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS). In this online consultation, the OPS and OHRC joined Dr. Lorne Foster, Dr. Lesley Jacobs and Dr. Bobby Siu from York University to talk with the community about race-based data collection at traffic stops.

In another highlight, our OHRC social media expert presented a session at the 2012 CASHRA conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The session focused on using social media to identify issues, build relationships and reach out to communities.


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