SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY STATEMENT
The Australian Light Horse Association Ltd (Hereinafter referred to as the ALHA), fully acknowledges and recognises the emergence and influence of Social Media in the modern world and the rights of individuals to actively participate in the undertaking of such activities.
The ALHA acknowledge the right and freedom of the Board, directors and members to engage in social media, but needs to protect the organisation at the same time.
This policy refers to the use of social media which includes multi-media, private and business oriented social networking websites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and all other internet postings including blogs and wikis. The absence or lack of explicit reference to specific social media does not limit the extent of this policy.
The principles of this should be applied to all kinds of online communication including e.g., personal websites and blogs, discussion boards, email groups, and instant messaging.
The policy sets out the expectations for the conduct of all individuals who are directly affiliated with the ALHA. The referred affiliates include the following: –
- Board Members
- Association Members
Definition of social networking: –
Social networking is defined as an online service, platform, or site that focuses on building and reflecting social networks or social relations among people, who share interests and/or activities. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, activities, events and interests within their individual networks.
- Establish clear guiding principles as to how our affiliates should conduct themselves when engaging in social media, whether the engagement be official or unofficial in nature.
- Cultivate an environment wherein the usage of Social Media contributes to the welfare and productivity of our organisation
- Prepare our affiliates on the hazards and responsibilities of partaking in social media activities.
- Protect our business and its affiliates from any legal threats that may arise as a result of social media usage.
When accessing and using social media, our affiliates must ensure they conduct themselves in a way that reflects positively on the ALHA. When using social media outside of the work environment affiliates should be aware that when posting they are not authorised to represent the ALHA nor express a view on behalf of the ALHA.
Chat rooms, blogs and newsgroups are public forums where it is inappropriate to reveal confidential business information, personal data relating to other individuals, member details, complaints or any other material covered by association policies and procedures.
The expression of opinion on social networks may inadvertently reveal information which is not suitable for public consumption and individuals should be mindful of this and ensure they do not engage in inappropriate behaviour.
Inappropriate behaviour includes (but not limited to): –
- Comments that may damage the reputation of the ALHA, regardless of whether the ALHA is named directly or identifiable in another manner.
- Photographs or other digital media of any member or affiliate behaving inappropriately, which may be linked to the ALHA.
- Posting comments or photographs of the ALHA board or members without their express permission.
- Posting threatening comments, bullying or harassing the Board or members.
- Derogatory, disparaging, defamatory, discriminatory, or offensive comments regarding the ALHA board, members, or others including suppliers, sub-contractors, or stakeholders.
- Disclosure of confidential information relating to the ALHA Board or members.
- Disclosure of information that is financial, operational, and/or legal in nature.
- Posting any content that may violate any law or which may infringe privacy rights of any person.
- Post content that violates the intellectual property rights of any party.
- Post false or defamatory statements about any individual, community, company, organisation, or any other entity.
A few Frequently Asked Questions
- Why do we need a social media policy?
The popularity of social media sites has changed the way we communicate forever. Such media attracts millions of users per day and provides the opportunity to express our thoughts and feelings, in real time, to a very wide audience. This means our comments will have a greater impact than ever before. Unfortunately, this may not always be a positive. It is now easier to inadvertently cause offence or hurt others feelings as well as damage an organisation’s reputation. A Social Media Policy is therefore needed as we have a duty to protect our members, contractors, stakeholders, brand, and reputation.
- Does this mean we are not allowed to make comments on social networking sites?
We recognise that you may wish to use social media in your personal life and this policy does not intend to discourage nor unduly restrict or limit your personal expression or online activities. This policy does however seek to establish a culture of openness, trust, and integrity in social media activities that we engage in. The normal safeguards that protect us if we are offended or our reputation is damaged must therefore be extended to social media networks.
Best advice: –
“Choose your words carefully if you are going online” “If it is posted on social media it is there forever”
- Does this policy extend to private forums?
The definition of social media extends to private forums as well as discussion groups, personal websites, instant messaging, blogs, podcasting, and even online multi-player gaming platforms.
I have the right to speak my mind on a social media site as these comments are private and I am protected by legislation?
Once you post your comments on a social media site they are in the public domain, regardless of whether or not your profile is restricted to ‘friends’ only. The right to freedom of expression must always be exercised with responsibility and as such does not allow you to make comments that damage a person’s or organisation’s reputation or be deemed harassing by nature.
“A person who did not create the defamatory material, but only shares it (for example, by re-tweeting a tweet) can be found guilty of defamation.” Source: – Slater Gordon 17th March 2014
“Australia’s first social media defamation case proceeded to full trial, with a former student ordered to pay more than $100,000 in damages over a series of defamatory posts about a former teacher. Source: – Slater Gordon 17th March 2014
Our position: –
The ALHA will vigorously defend its reputation and integrity at all times. It reserves all rights and legal avenues available: to: –
- Have content removed from a posting where possible.
- Publicly disclaim and condemn inappropriate material that reflects disparagingly on the Association.
- Use all legal remedies available to have offending party/s brought to account, prosecuted, and held liable for damages.
We sincerely hope that ALHA members, Contractors, Volunteers, Elected Board, and all people who enjoy the fellowship of the ALHA will understand and comply with the guiding principles outlined in this document.
Our aim is to keep all our members safe from prosecution.
Our complete Policy may be viewed upon request.