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Social media practices

Principles
Web sites are changing the way we are communicating, interacting, and doing business with each other. Social media are no different than other forms of traditional communication: to engage in dialog, provide and exchange information, and build understanding.

However, there are certain risks associated with these new channels that involve identity theft, cyber stalking, online grooming, cyber bullying and malware etc. These requires us all to exercise common sense and judgment as follows:

  • Customize your privacy settings and do not share everything with everyone. Never share your social security number, date of birth or home address, home phone number or banking/credit card details except with us. We never share these or your email address.
  • Always remember that participation online results in your comments being permanently available and open to being republished in other media. Stay within the legal framework and be aware that libel, defamation, copyright and data protection laws apply. This means that you should not disclose information, make commitments or engage in activities on behalf of your organization(s) unless authorized to do so.
  • Also be aware that your participation may attract media interest in you as an individual, so proceed with care whether you are participating in an official or a personal capacity.

When you participate:

  • Be credible
  • Be accurate, fair, thorough and transparent. Try to add value. Provide worthwhile information and perspective. If you make a mistake in a contribution, be the first to come clean and admit it
  • Be consistent
  • Encourage constructive criticism and deliberation. Be cordial, respectful, honest, humble and human at all times.
  • When you gain insight, share it where appropriate.
  • Wherever possible, align online participation with other offline communications.
  • Remember that you are an ambassador for your organization. Wherever possible, disclose your position as a representative of your organization.
  • Do not publish, post, or release information that is considered confidential or not public. Online 'conversations' are never private!
  • Don't cite or reference other people or organizations without their approval. When you do make a reference, where possible link back to the source. Respect copyright, fair use and financial disclosure laws.
  • Be responsive
  • Be integrated
  • Be professional
  • Be aware
  • Be careful