UGC and vulnerable people

A while ago, we worked with a production company who created a really powerful piece of UGC about students and mental health. Obviously, due to the nature of this topic it was really important that there was a detailed duty of care/escalation plan in place.

Thought it would be useful to share a few thoughts of what you need to consider if you’re going to do something similar. You can read about it here.

Does anyone have any experience of this too?

The thoughts you’ve shared, @Bronnie, are bang on. I wish that all the UGC projects I’ve worked on started with the same rigorous process. Here’s a couple more lessons that I’ve learnt the hard way:

  • Getting people to tick a consent box/form often isn’t enough - for vulnerable groups it can be complicated agreeing how/if they can give informed consent - you may also need to involve multiple family members and clinicians. You definitely need simple, but thorough, information on what the negative ‘fallout’ might be - particularly if linked to Social Media - and available support dealing with it.
  • The vulnerable person may be a third-party and not the contributor - I’ve had a couple of horrid instances where a seemingly innocuous contribution has caused hurt to an audience member, due to the history of the contributor. And even had instances where we’ve needed to offer support to those moderating/editing contributed material. Always consider impact on third-parties and not just the person writing/on screen.

To end on a positive, when it works it can produce authentic and hugely rewarding awareness raising content, well-worth the hassle.

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Really interesting and important points @RobinM, thanks for sharing!