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Can unfair partnerships be harming your peer support group on the internet?

1. Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest happen when the best interests of a person or group could be affected by relationships with other people, groups, or businesses.  Left unchecked, conflicts of interest between companies and online patient communities create opportunities for exploitation and harm to patients.

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2.  “The Matthew Effect”

The Matthew Effect is social phenomenon often linked to the idea that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. In essence, this refers to a common concept that those who already have status are often placed in situations where they gain more, and those that do not have status typically struggle to achieve more.

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3.  Erosion of Trust

When vulnerable communities lose trust, we stop engaging on the tech platforms where we reside.  We delete our accounts.  We stop trusting that it is safe to share things with one another on social media. We become silent. As we become silent, the value of ‘listening’ to our engagement is lost for everyone involved.  That’s what we call a lose/lose situation.

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“Partnership.”  We keep saying this word.  We don’t think it means what the tech industry thinks it means.

The Light Collective is working with peer support groups to fundamentally change the relationship between vulnerable communities and tech platforms where they reside.  As a first step in this process, we are developing resources to help groups that formed online to understand how to negotiate fair partnerships.

A framework for fair partnerships.

1.  Know The Value of Your Work

2.  Know Your Vulnerabilities

3.  Identify Shared Goals

4. Negotiate In Good Faith

5.  Track Progress

When online communities have fair partnerships and enforceable rights, then everybody wins.

7 Requirements For Collective Rights