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Social Media Policy

Purpose

This policy describes the standards expected of members of the Defence LGBTI Information Service (DEFGLIS) when interacting on DEFGLIS social media pages and when acting on social media on behalf of DEFGLIS.

DEFGLIS recognises that all members can communicate online in many ways, such as through social media, professional networking sites, blogs, online news sites and personal websites. All members need to use good judgment about what material appears online, and in what context.

This policy is intended to provide clarity to DEFGLIS members on how to conduct themselves on social media sites that identify them as DEFGLIS members. It also informs them of their responsibilities when using social media. It encourages members to find a constructive voice on social media, while protecting the interests of the DEFGLIS.

Scope

Social media tools are defined in this policy as all online media which allow user participation and interaction including (but not limited to):

  • social networking sites, e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster
  • video and photo sharing websites, e.g. Flickr, YouTube, Blip, 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. Trove Forum, Yahoo! Groups, Google Groups
  • online encyclopaedias, e.g. Wikipedia
  • any other websites that allow individual users or companies to use simple publishing tools, e.g. wikis.

Definitions

Use of social media by DEFGLIS members can be split into two categories: official use and unofficial use. 

Official use means use by persons authorised as spokespersons and representatives for official purposes who are permitted to post content within the approved scope on external social media channels.

Unofficial use of social media falls into two categories: professional or private

Professional use is when a DEFGLIS member is a subject matter expert in a field that may relate to diverse sexuality, sex and gender in Defence—or that may be wholly separate from it—and uses social media to comment in that capacity.

Private use means use of social media in any other capacity. 

Official Social Media Use

Acceptable official use by DEFGLIS members includes representing DEFGLIS online, monitoring issues relevant to DEFGLIS business or engaging in authorised professional development forums or activities.

DEFGLIS members who utilise social media in an official capacity require approval from the President, Vice President, Secretary or Communications Director. Communication and content standards that apply to official use of social media will be established as part of that agreement.

Unofficial Social Media Use

DEFGLIS members are encouraged to participate in professional constructive conversations relating to their experience of being of diverse sexuality, sex and gender within Defence. Members should ensure they use accurate and relevant information when communicating in a professional capacity. The most effective way to communicate professionally is through encouraging continuous conversation and sharing of perspectives.

DEFGLIS members participating in private social media activity must uphold the DEFGLIS, ADF, relevant Service or APS Values and Code of Conduct, even when material is posted anonymously, or using an ‘alias’ or pseudonym. They should bear in mind that even if they do not identify themselves online a DEFGLIS member or a member of Defence, they could nonetheless be recognised as such as social media websites are public forums. They should keep up to date on changes in privacy and other conditions of use on social media channels they use.

DEFGLIS members should not rely on the security setting of a social media site to guarantee privacy, as material posted in a relatively secure setting can still be copied and reproduced elsewhere. Further, comments posted on one site can also be used on others under the terms and conditions of many social media sites.

Inappropriate Use

Inappropriate use of social media includes, (but not limited to): 

  • Using discriminatory, defamatory, abusive or otherwise objectionable language 
  • Stalking, bullying, trolling or marginalising any individual or group 
  • Referencing or uploading pornographic, gambling or illegal content, including extreme images of graphic content (blood and gore etc) or information regarding activity relating to firearms, bombs, terrorism etc 
  • Referencing or sharing sites that promote hatred or extreme/fundamental beliefs and values 
  • Accessing, sharing or transmitting any material deemed to be illegal under Australian Commonwealth law
  • Using DEFGLIS platforms for personal political purposes or industrial campaigns
  • Excessive debate on public policy, in particular surrounding diversity in Defence (unless in an official capacity) 
  • Uploading information of a confidential nature 
  • Hacking or attempting to infiltrate the systems of DEFGLIS or another organisation 
  • Criticising or denigrating DEFGLIS in an unconstructive manner, or other organisations, and their employees, volunteers or supporters 

The DEFGLIS President and the Communications Director hold the final decision discretion on what constitutes inappropriate use of social media.

Breach of Policy

Social media is fluid, two-way, busy and often self-regulating. Social media can be used to disseminate information but should be considered a form of two-way communication and a vehicle to listen to the ‘wider’ community views. Organisations that heavily control content on their social media pages, blogs and accounts, mostly through the deletion of questionable or disapproving content, significantly reduce the impact, and usefulness, of social media as a channel for information distribution. 

DEFGLIS administrators will not delete posts that are complaints, or negative, except when they breach any of the conditions in the ‘inappropriate use’ section above. Where possible, a member of the DEFGLIS Board of Directors will contact the user whose post has been removed, providing them with an explanation why it has been removed and the necessary actions for it to be reposted. 

DEFGLIS members who continually participate in online communication deemed not to be in the best interest of DEFGLIS may be referred to the DEFGLIS Board of Directors for resolution and management. DEFGLIS members may be blocked from accessing DEFGLIS social media and/or removed from the organisation.

Updated: 13 February 2020

Policy sponsor: Communications Director

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