The Hidden Threat: Unmasking Political Advocates Within Your Organisation

by Aimee Cartwright

In a world where vetting is common practice, would you risk recruiting a political candidate without first confirming their social media content is risk-free for yourself, your campaign team, and the public at large?

SP Index Political Advocate Checks are the key to unmasking political advocates within your organisation.

Today, we’re going to explain why you should be aware of advocate activity, how to spot the signs of advocacy, and how to strengthen the safety of your political group ahead of the next UK general election.

Understanding the Risks of Political Advocacy

Too often, political advocates are sharing content online that negatively affects the image of their organisation, or even opposes its beliefs entirely. Understanding the risks of political advocacy is imperative to the safety and success of your campaign.

To recruit a political advocate without screening their online activities is to risk:

  • Damaging your reputation

For some members of the public, the only introduction they will have to your political campaign is the social media profiles of your group members.

If these profiles contain adverse content, such as harassment, misinformation or manipulation, the potential damage to your reputation could be challenging to recover from.

  • Putting other members in danger

When you welcome political advocates into your organisation, there is always a risk of infiltration, which could lead to other members being manipulated.

While it is entirely possible that these individuals are passionate about your cause, you can only be certain of this after checking the content they are sharing online.

What’s more, even political advocates who are not attempting entryism should be investigated, as they may be engaging in social behaviours that threaten the safety of your organisation e.g., xenophobia, endorsement of drugs, or illegal activity.

  • Attracting negative media attention

In today’s digital landscape, there is no hiding from the media. If one of your campaign team members is behaving inappropriately online, it won’t be long before the public is exposed to the gory details.

When recruiting a political advocate, there is a higher risk of such behaviour, due to the higher-than-average use of social media, as well as the controversial nature of politics. Ultimately, this means the threat of negative media attention looms over the political field more than most industries, increasing the need for Social Media Checks.

Identifying Political Advocacy Behaviours

It’s wise to learn the signs of political advocacy to unmask political advocates early on. Even if their behaviours are not dangerous, we recommend checking that their online presence does not conflict with your campaign team’s approach.

Some key signs to look out for are:

  • Highly political social media profiles

Though it is possible to have a politically driven social media account without being an advocate, it is often a tell-tale sign of political advocacy.

When you come across political profiles, look for evidence that the content passes beyond freedom of speech into advocacy i.e., attempting to influence public opinion regarding upcoming elections.

  • Public debates

Again, public debates and political advocacy do not necessarily go hand in hand; some candidates will engage in passionate political debates without trying to sway voting patterns.

That being said, online debates are a hotspot for advocate behaviours, as they provide the perfect platform for candidates to push their beliefs and potentially derail campaigns.

This type of content is analysed in our Political Advocate Checks to confirm the candidate’s ideologies do not pose a threat to the political party they would like to join.

  • Group division

A sign of a successful campaign team is a strong sense of unity, so when this is lacking, it’s time to investigate.

If the same members are frequently ignoring your team’s strategy or publicly disagreeing with the team, they may be a political advocate.

Keep in mind that political advocates are not always infiltrators. They may well be loyal members of your party, but if they are engaging in advocate activity online, it would be incredibly unwise to turn a blind eye to the content they are sharing.

How SP Index Can Help

Our Political Advocate Checks and Social Media Checks will strengthen your campaign team right from the beginning, allowing you to be aware of any signs of political advocacy – no matter how small.

We possess a powerful behavioural analysis and reporting tool, DECORUM, which expertly evaluates publicly available online content. Moreover, as proud proponents of human-led research, our Social Intelligence Team takes a highly active role in each and every Political Advocate Check.

Finally, understanding the potential impacts of bias, we do everything in our power to keep our GDPR-compliant Social Media Checks objective – from recruiting a diverse Social Intelligence Team to scheduling consistent training for all. With SP Index, objectivity is guaranteed.


Is safety a top priority for you? We can protect your campaign team and your group’s reputation by vetting candidates before they join your organisation. To get involved, contact us on:

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