If I was asked to advise a working party developing a Social Media Policy regarding customers or clients use of an organisation’s social networking sites or computers/network, the following would be the five key points or areas that I would suggest the policy covers. These suggestions suit the context of a public library.
The policy should clearly state what will be acceptable behaviour or use; considering the following:
- Offensive, obscene, racist or profane language and images. Users should comply with all relevant laws relating to racial or religious vilification.
- Aggressive, bullying, harassing or stalking behaviours.
- Off topic or spam posts (Fleet, 2011; Whiteman Public Library, 2009).
- Whether external links can be added (Fleet, 2011).
- Selling goods or services.
- Political activities (Whiteman Public Library, 2009).
- Uploading files that contain viruses or similar.
Compliance with copyright or other intellectual property laws
Do not upload materials that the intellectual property is owned by someone else useless appropriate consent is obtained.
Protect the privacy of others by refraining from revealing their personal information or publishing photos of other persons unless consent is obtained. Advise to use caution in revealing personal identifying information about yourself or that of your children (City of Monterey, 2012).
How the organisation will respond to:-
- Social media, timeframe for responses (Fleet, 2011).
- Comments that will/will not be responded to (Fleet, 2011).
- Consequences for non compliance with the organisation’s social media policy. Would users be blocked from social media, would they forfeit their opportunity to use the computers or networks?
- Issues involving children – access to computers/networks – not available unless parental consent has been provided. The organisation will not be responsible supervision of children or for enforcing parental restrictions regarding the use of social media (City of Monterey, 2012).
A disclaimer to the effect that the organisation does not accept responsibility or liability any for consequences of using networks, computers or social media, such as a virus downloaded. Accuracy of information, content of any links and views expressed are not endorsed by the organisation.
Fleet, D. (2011). Social media policies for your company: External policies. Dave Fleet: Conversations at the intersection of communications, PR and social media, May 9. Retrieved from http://davefleet.com/2009/05/social-media-policies-company-external-policies/
Whiteman Public Library (2009). Social networking policy. Retrieved January 20, 2012, from http://188.8.131.52/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Social-Networking-Policy.pdf