Digital Hero

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Updated August 2023 to correct a more accurate and sustainable usage of the Digital Hero concept. 

If you have or are about to set up a digital account for a Media to Disciple Making Movements (M2DMM) we’ll teach you the following concepts:

  • What is a Digital Hero
  • How to prevent your accounts from being shut down and keep them secure

This guide is derived from a collection of experiences over the years of mistakes, headaches, shutdowns, and wisdom gained. We especially appreciate guidance from our friends at Kavanah Media and Finding God Online.

What is a Digital Hero

A Digital Hero is someone who volunteers their identity for setting up a digital account usually in order to protect missionaries and field workers in places of persecution.

The information they offer up is usually their full name, phone number, address, and personal identification documents.

The Digital Hero adds an additional layer of security to protect local teams.

They are someone not living in-country who is able to protect the ministry from localized cybersecurity threats.

The Digital Hero term was first coined by Launch M2DMM in 2017.

Even though the fundament is the same over the years, the way it practically works evolves constantly.

They are needed for more than just those living in high risk locations.

A Digital Hero is a person who represents a business, charity or organization.

They can set up an account (for instance, a Meta Business Account) in the name of the legal entity.

They usually have to provide entity documents proving their legal status, such as a certificate of incorporation.

Sharing access to a digital hero account is not recommended unless very technical steps are taken.

It is not recommended to not use someone else’s social media account.

How to prevent your accounts from being shut down and keep them secure

Each platform has its own rules.

Meta (i.e. Facebook and Instagram) probably has the most strict rules.

If you follow the plan below to run a M2DMM strategy on a Meta product, it will most likely set you up for future sustainability on any platform.

Here is our latest recommendation to set up Meta products with long term likelihood of not getting your accounts shut down. 

Stay Up To Date

  • Keep up with Facebook’s fast-changing Community Standards and Terms of Service.
  • If your page is keeping within Facebook’s guidelines, then you stand very little risk of being banned or the page being deleted.
  • Even if you are doing religious ads, there are ways to do it that don’t go against Facebook’s policies and will allow your ads to be approved.

Don’t Use Fake Accounts

  • Using a fake account is a breach of the terms of service for Facebook and many other digital services.
  • These services have automated ways of detecting unusual activity and have the right to shut down fake accounts.
  • If your account is fake, you will be permanently locked out with no grace, no repeals, and no exceptions.
  • If the name of the Meta Business Account you are using doesn’t match with the name of the payment method for your ad account, they may also flag the account and ask for proof of identity.

Don’t Use Personal Accounts

  • While this is faster and easier, we don’t recommend this approach.

  • Using a Meta Business Account allows you to have multiple people on the account.

  • It’s not as secure because you can’t offer multiple levels of access to people.

  • Facebook wants pages running ads to use business accounts.

Don’t Use Someone Else’s Social Media Account

  • This is a violation of the terms of service for the social media platform.
  • Many people have gotten their accounts shut down and lost their ability to advertise by using someone else’s social media account.

What Type of Legal Entity Does a Digital Hero Need

  • A type of business or organization that makes sense to why they would be running ads for your type of page.
  • Been properly registered with official local authorities
  • Access to an official approved business document
  • An official business phone number verified with approved business document
  • An official business mailing address verified with approved business document
  • A website
    • Includes official business phone number and mailing address (This needs to match)
    • This info on this website includes information that explains why this type of entity would make sense advertising with outreach page such as “Our business consults groups on websites and social media campaigns and ads.”
  • A website domain name based email
  • The legal entity owner is informed and approves the use or creation of a Meta Business Manager Account in its legal entity’s name to house the M2DMM team’s outreach Facebook and/or Instagram accounts.
  • The legal entity is willing to provide two representatives to function as the Meta Business Manager Admin and liaison with the M2DMM team as needed. Only one is necessary for setup but a second is important in case one is not available for various reasons.
  • If this legal entity already has a Meta Business Manager Account, it has an unused Ad account that the outreach Facebook page and Instagram can use for its advertisements 

What Values Should a Digital Hero Have

Not anyone has what it takes to volunteer for this role. Below is a list of personality traits required for 

  • A value for obeying the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)
  • A value for service and sacrifice so that others may know the truth (Romans 12:1-2)
  • A value for consistency, excellence, and responsive communication (Colossians 3:23)
  • A value for balancing security concerns with the “worth-it-ness” of our mission as believers (Matthew 5:10-12)
  • A value for flexibility and helpfulness as things can often change and bend as they progress (Ephesians 4:2)

What Are The Responsibilities of a Digital Hero

  • Help set up your digital accounts. They don’t have to know how to do this, but be willing to be instructed.
  • Willingness to link their name and personal Facebook account to this business account and the ministry outreach page (Facebook employees see this connection, but the public does not)
  • Be available if issues come up and you need verification. It is recommended that this account not be logged into and shared across several locations. You will be flagged by Facebook.
  • Commit to this role for a specified number of years (create clarity about the initial length of commitment)

How to Find a Digital Hero

Finding the right partner for every role within your M2DMM initiative is important.

Finding the right Digital Hero is particularly important because they will hold the keys to many of your digital assets and you may be working with them from a distance, even potentially across several time zones.

This person needs to be a real person representing a real personal Facebook account connected to a legal entity, able to use that legal entity’s info to set-up a Meta Business Account, Ads Account and an outreach Facebook page.

Here are some steps that will help you find the right person for the role.

1. Make a list of candidates who you have a decently strong relationship with because you are asking quite a bit of them initially, both in trust and energy

Ideas to consider:

  • Ask your organization if they want to be a solution or have a known solution
  • Ask your church if they want to be a solution or a member with an organization/business who would want to be a solution.
  • Ask a friend who has an organization or company that would be willing to sponsor your page. The type of entity should make sense as to why they would have an outreach page under their business account. For example: why would a mowing business have a page running ads in Southeast Asia? But if someone is a consultant or a graphic designer, they could add to their website that they help with social media consulting.
  • Create a Sole Proprietorship (SP)
  • Set up an online Delaware LLC
  • Set up an LLC in your home state or country.
    • Check with your local state regulations and ask CPA or business friend for counsel.
    • One team found setting up a simple nonprofit LLC could give you access to Tech Soup offerings, Google nonprofit and you have control of the whole organization.  Requirement of this is often an annual 990 postcard (5 minute task) if you take in less than $50,000. 

2. Send them a vision casting email with information from this blog post.

3. Set up a phone/video call

  • Use the call as a major vision casting opportunity. This person is going to play a catalytic role in seeing movement happen in your country

4. Confirm they read the blog and invite them to be the Digital Hero

How to Fund the Ads and Other Digital Assets

You need a system for taking funds allocated for the online strategy and getting them to the legal entity that sponsors your digital accounts.

Set up a system of receiving funds from your donors/team account.

Keep the following in mind:

  • What money will be used to pay for ads and other services? Are you raising it? Where are people giving?

  • Meta may support credit, debit card, PayPal or local manual payment methods depending on your location.

  • Reconcile and reimburse the legal entity for all expenses.

You have two options:

1. Reimburse: Have all expenses reimbursed from your administrating church, organization or network to the legal entity before their credit card bill is due. This requires both trust and a great deal of clarity.

2. Make cash advances: Have your administrating church, organization or network give petty cash advances to the legal entity.

Either way, you need a solid system for keeping track of receipts and getting petty cash or reimbursements done on time.

Online access to an account to see expenses is nice.

Have a Contingency Plan

Another important thing to remember as you progress in an M2DMM strategy, is that you will want to have contingency plans.

Inevitably, you will get locked out of your Digital Hero’s account.

One of the best contingencies is to make sure that your Digital Hero is not the only admin on a business account. They could add another colleague from their legal entity to also be an admin on the account and who is willing to work with the outreach page team.

If you only have one admin on a business account and the admin’s Facebook account gets blocked, you no longer have any access to the business account.

As you grow over time, we recommend having at least three REAL administrators on a Meta Business Account.

This could be an additional Digital Hero at some point, or the Facebook accounts of your local partners that are collaborating on the page.

Either way, the more admins you have, the less likely you are to completely lose access to your page.

Risk assessment should be considered with every potential admin of the page.


Identifying a Digital Hero from the beginning will save you lots of time and energy by not going through what others have already experienced with getting locked out of accounts.

There may be other ways of setting up Social Media accounts for Media Ministry that work, but these have been tested and perform well.

Ask God for wisdom.

Listen to God’s guidance for the battle like David did in 2 Samuel 5:17-25.

Meditate on Jesus’ words on persecution from Matthew 10:5-33.

Ask advice from your organization and others serving in your region.

We encourage you to be wise, fearless and pursue unity with others that can volunteer to join in spreading the glory of our Lord.

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