Social Media Policy

Version of 20th April 2014


1. Any communication creates the risk of causing harm to Internet Australia's image, in particular through content and style that are inconsistent with the organisation's values, views and intended behaviours.

2. Social media provides an opportunity to project Internet Australia and its values to such audiences as members, potential members, the Internet and broader ICT industry, and the interested public. But it also carries risks. The purpose of this Policy is to provide guidance in relation to exploiting the opportunities while managing the risks.

Scope of This Policy

3. This Policy applies to social media activity by or on behalf of Internet Australia, in particular where the posting is from an Internet Australia identity or is otherwise explicitly in an Internet Australia capacity.

4. This Policy also applies to social media activity performed in a personal capacity, if the person's Internet Australia association is so prominent in the conversation that observers would naturally interpret the activity as being performed in that capacity. This can be avoided through the inclusion of a qualifier, such as ‘speaking personally, ...’.

5. The scope of this Policy encompasses use of all social media tools, i.e. online media that allow user participation and interaction, including:

  • social networking sites, e.g. Facebook, Google+
  • video and photo sharing web sites, e.g. Flickr, YouTube, Instagram
  • micro-blogging and activity stream sites, e.g. Twitter, Yammer
  • blogs and blogging platforms, e.g. WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr
  • forums and discussion boards, e.g. Yahoo! Groups, Google Groups
  • online encyclopaedias, e.g. Wikipedia
  • other web publishing sites, e.g. wikis

6. This Policy takes the form of 'Do' and 'Don't' checklists. It is to be read in conjunction with the Media Relations Policy.

Things to do

  • Be brief and interesting
  • Speak in a style consistent with the venue
  • Express views carefully
  • If intentionally making mildly inflammatory statements in order to stimulate debate, ensure that the posting contains a signal to that effect (e.g. ‘to stimulate debate, ...’, ‘just suppose ...’)
  • Interact with others calmly and politely
  • Where appropriate and practicable, point to relevant resources, e.g. Internet Australia policy statements, submissions or media releases
  • Remember that postings are very probably not limited in their distribution, are not ephemera, and are probably archived, and are indexed by search-engines and hence subject to re-discovery over an extended period

Things to avoid

  • Statements materially inconsistent with Internet Australia policy positions
  • Statements that declare a policy position that has not been determined through appropriate processes
  • Statements that go beyond the poster's own competencies
  • Disclosure of information that is confidential
  • Premature disclosure of information intended for managed release
  • Defamatory, discriminatory, racist, abusive or demeaning comments
  • Posting of content that is subject to copyright, trademark or other intellectual property constraints
  • Comments that are, or could be reasonably interpreted as being, of a partisan or party-political nature
  • Participation where a significant conflict of interest exists
  • Disclosure of information in breach of censorship laws