OW2 Social Network Policy
Intended Audience and Purpose
This policy is to help guide OW2's board of directors, council members, local chapter coordinators and management office members, as well as offer guidance to the wider OW2 community, in their use of social networks and media when representing OW2 interests and activities.
Your Identity Online
- Be transparent. When participating in any online community, disclose your identity and affiliation with OW2, your employer, your clients, and your professional and/or personal interest. When posting to a blog, always use your name. Never create an alias, and never be anonymous.
- You are responsible for what you post. You are personally responsible for any of your online activity conducted with an OW2 email address, and/or which can be traced back to the OW2's domain, and/or which uses OW2 assets. The OW2 address attached to your name implies that you are acting on OW2's behalf. When using an OW2 address or OW2 assets to engage in any social network or professional social networking activity (for example LinkedIn and Twitter), many actions are public, and OW2 will be held fully responsible for any and all said activities.
- Outside the workplace, your rights to privacy and free speech protect online activity conducted on your personal social networks with your personal email address. However, what you publish on such personal online sites should never be attributed to OW2 and should not appear to be endorsed by or originated from OW2. If you choose to list your work affiliation on a social network, then you should regard all communication on that network as you would in a professional network. Online lives are ultimately linked, whether or not you choose to mention OW2 in your personal online networking activity.
- If you author posts relating to OW2 using a personal account on various social networks (blog, microblog, forum) and you are not recognised as an official OW2 spokesperson (i.e. you are not the President, CEO, Local Chapter, Marketing or Community Support Coordinator) please ensure that you provide a disclaimer. Something simple such as: "I'm an individual member of OW2, but the opinions tweeted / blogged / posted here don't reflect those of the OW2 consortium." This allows you to speak freely, while at the same time protecting the OW2 consortium.
- Follow the terms and conditions of use that have been established by each venue used for your social networking activities.
- Obey the law. Don't post any information or conduct any online activity that may violate applicable laws or regulations.
- Never be false and misleading in your online credentials. OW2 team members MUST maintain complete accuracy in all of their online bios and ensure there is no embellishment.
- Use the words "expert" or "specialized" very sparingly and only when such claims can be substantiated and are approved for usage by the appropriate professional association.
Creating and Managing Content
- Be direct, informative and brief.
- Try to add value. Provide worthwhile information and perspective. OW2's brand is best represented by its people and what you publish may reflect on OW2's brand.
- Credit appropriately. Identify borrowed material with citations and links. When publishing any material online that includes another's direct or paraphrased quotes, thoughts, ideas, photos, or videos, always give credit to the original material or author, where applicable.
- Respect copyright, fair use and financial disclosure laws.
- Fact-check your posts. Always evaluate your contribution's accuracy and truthfulness. Before posting any online material, ensure that the material is accurate, truthful, and without factual error.
- Spell and grammar check everything. Content never disappears entirely once it's been posted.
- Correct errors promptly. If you find that your post contains an error or mistake, correct it. Since transparency is key, admit your mistake, apologize if necessary, correct it and move on.
- While a blog itself is not subject to the limitation on commercial speech, the content of a blog can be. The content must be informative only, and nothing in the content should propose a commercial transaction or be for the purpose of directly gaining a commercial transaction. The threshold question to ask is - does the content articulate commercial speech in any way? If so, it's likely that it will be subject to corresponding rules.
- Respect your audience. Don't use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, or engage in any conduct that would not be acceptable to OW2. You should also show proper consideration for others' privacy (see Confidentiality and Privacy below) and for topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory-such as politics and religion.
- Managers and executives: This standard disclaimer does not by itself exempt OW2 managers and executives from a special responsibility when posting. By virtue of their position, they must consider whether personal thoughts they publish may be misunderstood as expressing OW2 positions. And a manager should assume that his or her team will read what is written. A public blog / microblog is not the place to communicate OW2 policies to OW2 projects / members / management office.
- We strongly support recommendations based on fact and personal experience however, please avoid blatant self-promotion and the advertising of company services as the sole purpose of your post.
- When posting to a blog / microblog / forum, refrain from posting about controversial or potentially inflammatory subjects, including politics, sex, religion or any other non-business related subjects. Keep the tone of your comments respectful and informative, never condescending or "loud". Use sentence case format, not capital letters. Stick to this maxim whenever you are contributing to any blogs or social and professional networks.
- Avoid personal attacks, online fights, and hostile communications. If a blogger or any other online influencer posts a statement with which you disagree, voice your opinion, but do not escalate the conversation to a heated argument. Write reasonably, factually, and with good humour. Understand and credit the other person's point of view and avoid any communications that could result in personal, professional, or credibility attacks.
- Never disclose proprietary or confidential information.
- When appropriate and possible, provide a link to your LinkedIn or OW2 Profile, or to supporting documents.
- If in doubt, don't!
Confidentiality and Privacy
- Don't disclose confidential information. Honour the terms of your agreement with OW2 and agreements OW2 has with its members. Do not disclose or use confidential or proprietary information of OW2 or any project / member in any form of online media. Sharing this type of information, even unintentionally, may result in legal action against you, OW2, and/or the project / member.
- Avoid forums where there is little control over what you know to be confidential information. In the world of social networking, there is often a breach of confidentiality when someone emails an OW2 member or posts a comment congratulating him/her on a specific task or on a specific project. Often these things are being discussed in the social network circles - it's how members are establishing credibility - so be very selective and thoughtful about where you post and how you reply (or not).
- Respect the privacy of your colleagues, OW2 members, and associates and of the opinions of others. Before sharing a comment, post, picture, or video about a OW2 member or project through any type of social network or media, his/her/their consent is not only a courtesy, it may well be a requirement. If in doubt, check first.
- Be vigilant of short urls, do not click on short urls that come from untrusted sources.
- It is important to only connect with people who can be qualified as legitimate entities.
- Ensure that if you allow 'followers' such as on microblogs that you 'vet' these followers for suitability, here's a useful tool for that purpose: http://www.twitblock.org/