Professionally appropriate use of social media

Guiding Principles

  1. Be ensible: Apply the same principles, expectations and standards for interacting and communicating with people online as in other areas of life and practice. Being followed or being a follower may not imply endorsement of any kind but be sensible. Give thought to who you are following, to who is following you and ‘choose your friends wisely’.
  2. Accountable: Interact in such a way that what you say and do could stand public scrutiny. If you’re uncertain about a communication, then don’t Tweet it and if an exchange is becoming antagonistic then politely withdraw.
  3. Boundaried: Maintain appropriate personal and professional boundaries and do not engage in issues of party politics or answer questions which break the rules of your professional code of ethics, values, principles, expectations and standards. This is important to all your communications, including personal communications, on any form of social media (be it Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc).
  4. Security: Check your personal security settings and be sensible about keeping your own identity safe and that of friends and family. Avoid unauthorized use of images or other identifiers of people.
  5. Fair and inclusive: Share information appropriately and be responsible for what is posted and shared.  Use your professional judgment and consider the effect of your comments on professional reputation including that of your employer or other people or communities. Be thoughtful about what you share including where it’s sourced from and the implications of sharing or retweeting. Hold back if you’re not sure.
  6. Respectful: At all times adhere to the principles of confidentiality and the privacy and feelings of others. Never reveal privileged or confidential details about work or individuals. Data protection legislation and guidance applies to all your social media interactions.