CAIS Social Media Policy (Draft)
This policy governs the publication of and commentary on social media by employees of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS). For the purposes of this policy, social media means any facility for online publication and commentary, including without limitation blogs, wiki's, social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. This policy is in addition to and complements any existing or future policies regarding the use of technology, computers, e-mail and the internet.
CAIS employees are free to publish or comment via social media in accordance with this policy. CAIS employees are subject to this policy to the extent they identify themselves as a CAIS employee (other than as an incidental mention of place of employment in a personal blog on topics unrelated to CAIS).
Before engaging in work related social media, employees must obtain the permission of the Executive Director.
Publication and commentary on social media carries similar obligations to any other kind of publication or commentary.
All uses of social media must follow the same ethical standards that CAIS employees must otherwise follow.
Setting up Social Media
Your profile on social media sites must be consistent with your profile on the CAIS website or other CAIS publications. Profile information may be obtained from the Executive Director.
Don't Tell Secrets
It's perfectly acceptable to talk about your work and have a dialog with the community, but it's not okay to publish confidential information. Confidential information includes things such as unpublished details about our business, details of current projects, financial information, research, and trade secrets. We must respect the wishes of our members regarding the confidentiality of current projects. We must also be mindful of the competitiveness of our industry.
Protect your own privacy
Privacy settings on social media platforms should be set to allow anyone to see profile information similar to what would be on the CAIS website. Other privacy settings that might allow others to post information or see information that is personal should be set to limit access. Be mindful of posting information that you would not want the public to see.
Do not blog anonymously, using pseudonyms or false screen names. We believe in transparency and honesty. Use your real name, be clear who you are, and identify that you work for CAIS. Nothing gains you notice in social media more than honesty - or dishonesty. Do not say anything that is dishonest, untrue, or misleading. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, point it out. But also be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy. What you publish will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully and also be cautious about disclosing personal details.
Respect copyright laws
It is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use or fair dealing of copyrighted material owned by others, including CAIS copyrights and brands. You should never quote more than short excerpts of someone else's work, and always attribute such work to the original author/source. It is good general practice to link to others' work rather than reproduce it.
Respect your audience, CAIS, and your coworkers
The public in general, and CAIS's employees and members, reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. Don't say anything contradictory or in conflict with the CAIS website. Don't be afraid to be yourself, but do so respectfully. This includes not only the obvious (no ethnic slurs, offensive comments, defamatory comments, personal insults, obscenity, etc.) but also proper consideration of privacy and of topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory - such as politics and religion. Use your best judgment and be sure to make it clear that the views and opinions expressed are yours alone and do not represent the official views of CAIS.
Protect CAIS members, business partners and suppliers
Member schools or partners should not be cited or obviously referenced without their approval. Never identify a member or partner without permission and never discuss confidential details of a member engagement.
If you see misrepresentations made about CAIS in the media, you may point that out. Always do so with respect and with the facts. If you speak about others, make sure what you say is factual and that it does not disparage that party. Avoid arguments. Brawls may earn traffic, but nobody wins in the end. Don't try to settle scores or goad competitors or others into inflammatory debates. Make sure what you are saying is factually correct.
Be the first to respond to your own mistakes
If you make an error, be up front about your mistake and correct it quickly. If you choose to modify an earlier post, make it clear that you have done so. If someone accuses you of posting something improper (such as their copyrighted material or a defamatory comment about them), deal with it quickly - better to remove it immediately to lessen the possibility of a legal action.
Many social media users include a prominent disclaimer saying who they work for, but that they're not speaking officially. This is good practice and is encouraged, but don't count on it to avoid trouble - it may not have much legal effect.
Wherever practical, you must use a disclaimer saying that while you work for CAIS, anything you publish is your personal opinion, and not necessarily the opinions of CAIS.
Don't forget your day job.
Make sure that blogging does not interfere with your job or commitments to members.
Policy violations will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination for cause.