MLSSA recognises the value of social media websites as networking and promotional tools. However, MLSSA will not tolerate inappropriate activity on social media websites by its members or visiting non-members. It also provides a response mechanism for occasions when the policy is breached.
When Does this Policy Apply?
This Policy applies to social media use by the Committee and Members at all times. It also applies to non-members who choose to participate in conversations or comment threads on MLSSA controlled pages.
Social Media Websites
Social media websites to which this Policy applies (without limitation) include the following sites where MLSSA has an established presence:
Additional social media websites to which this Policy applies also include (without limitation):
Social Media Use
The Committee’s members encouraged to use social media for MLSSA purposes (where it would assist them in carrying out their duties) provided such use does not conflict with any primary responsibilities.
However, it is important for the committee to realise that the lines between personal and professional use are often blurred on social media websites. The committee must use social media websites in a way which:
- is consistent with how they wish themselves to be perceived by other committee members and MLSSA;
- is consistent with any other relevant MLSSA policies;
- will not damage MLSSA’s brand or other interests;
- does not reveal any of MLSSA’s confidential information.
In addition, the committee must not make any statements on a social media website which appear to be on behalf of MLSSA without MLSSA’s express permission to do so.
The Committee & Members
It is important for the committee and members to understand that there is a permanent record of any content they post on social media websites (regardless of whether it is later deleted) and that the law currently treats these postings the same as if they were published in a newspaper or spoken on television.
For these reasons, the committee and members must use social media websites in a way which does not:
- offend anyone, or involve obscene or threatening conduct;
- attack other contributors;
- flood MLSSA’s feeds, making it difficult for other users to contribute;
- infringe any intellectual property rights;
- breach any law; and
- defame any person.
Some examples of uses of social media websites which would breach the above requirements include:
- making or endorsing derogatory, offensive or aggressive comments towards another person or organisation;
- accessing or posting sexually explicit content; and/or
- spreading gossip about a MLSSA member.
MLSSA’s social media activity (with the exception of the Marine Life Society of South Australia Members group on Facebook) currently allows commenting and participation from the general public (non-members). In many instances, MLSSA has the option to block or limit contributions from non-members who breach the conditions set out for Committee or Member conduct.
In the case of a breach by a non-member, a Notice of Warning is to be sent to the offending party via the relevant social media platform, notifying them of the breach, and requesting that the offending party cease and desist else risk the Committee blocking that person or entity’s further participation.
MLSSA’s Social Media Websites
MLSSA’s social media websites will be monitored, updated and managed by a nominated committee member or members.
All interactions with MLSSA’s social media websites, including complaints and negative feedback, will be addressed as soon as possible by the nominated committee member(s). Spam and offensive or abusive comments will trigger a Notice of Warning response, and may also be deleted at the Committee’s discretion.
The Committee will be advised of any abuse of social media websites, inappropriate content, and complaints made to or about MLSSA.
What the Committee and Members Can Expect From MLSSA
- monitor use of social media to ensure it complies with this Policy;
- issue Notices of Warning where necessary
- Following the issuing of a Notice of Warning, the Committee may at their discretion remove content, block or delete any users (members or non-members) who continue to breach the terms of this Policy; and
- in respect of the Committee, counsel and discipline (which may include terminating the appointment of) any member who breaches this Policy.
MLSSA’s expectations of the Committee and Members
MLSSA expects the committee and members to:
- familiarise themselves with this Policy; and
- think carefully about any content which they post or access through social media websites, including:
- be responsive and follow up queries quickly. The committee and members should monitor any personal mentions. If something is said in error, the committee and members should not remove the post, but simply go back and update it with the correct information;
- not assume a fake identity. The committee and members should be transparent about who they are and who they represent;
- assume that any social media usage is visible to the public;
- for the Committee in particular, remember that social media websites are not the best venues in which to air occasional work frustrations, as comments can in some instances be available to co-workers and the general public;
- ensure full disclosure. If the committee or members receive a product or service to review for free, they must disclose it in the corresponding post or review;
- ensure proper credit is given to sources when posting links or information gathered from another source; and
- respect others’ points of view; and
- ensure that they will not breach this Policy.
If you have any questions about this Policy, please contact the Committee by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to:
Marine Life Society of South Australia Inc. c/o Conservation Council of SA 111 Franklin St Adelaide 5000