Policy

Online Communications & Editorial Content Guidelines

Date of issue: October 23, 2014
Issued/Developed by: Justin Trottier
Board of Directors Approval Date: October 23, 2014

Policy for Representing CAFE through Social Media

Why does Canadian Association for Equality need Online Communications Guidelines?

Today, social media has become an important part of our professional and personal lives. Most CAFE volunteers contribute to online spaces such as blogs, social networking sites, wikis, forums and photo and video sharing sites. CAFE recognizes the value of posting online content (websites, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, photos, chat rooms, forums and wikis) so it is important that CAFE members and volunteers who choose to tell their story online or contribute to online conversations understand what is recommended, expected and required.

You are representing the entire organization when you post any content online or engage in social media on behalf of CAFE. The following guidelines will help you contribute to CAFE in an open and transparent way. 

Updates

Social media is continuously evolving. Therefore, this document will be updated frequently. Please remember to review these policies regularly. Any changes to these policies will be communicated to all volunteers at CAFE

How do we define social media? 

You have participated in social media if you have: 

  • posted a comment on a blog 
  • posted a review or rated a product
  • tweeted anything 
  • participated in an online poll
  • posted a status update on Facebook
  • created a LinkedIn profile
  • shared a link on Delicious, a social bookmarking site
  • posted/linked/commented to an image on Pinterest
  • uploaded a video to YouTube or Vimeo 
  • shared an image on Flickr
  • shared your location on Foursquare or Gowalla
  • Upload a meetup group on Meetup.com

Guidelines for Online Communications and Social Media Use

  • Honesty is important. Do not lie or omit the truth. 
  • Transparency in your conversation and activities is important. Always disclose who you are and whom you work for in both personal and professional use of social media. 
  • Be considerate — when in doubt, don’t post. Consider what you write as you would consider what you might say to a journalist or people you don’t know. Remember that anyone, including your colleagues, may be actively reading what you publish online. If you would not say it in these situations, don’t say it online. In choosing your words and your content, it’s a good practice to imagine that your supervisor and your family are reading everything you post. 
    • It’s all about judgment. Using your blog to slander or embarrass CAFE, our members or our volunteers isn’t smart or professional. If you have suggestions for improvements at CAFE, please state them constructively or better yet, go through the proper channels to air your concerns and share your suggestions. 
    • Avoid slanderous or libelous online activities in both official CAFE Social Media channels and personal social media profiles. 
  • Ensure that instances of harassment and slander which occur on any social media channel (including Facebook groups) are swiftly reported to the CAFE Board
  • Respect copyright laws. Confirm that any information you are posting does not violate copyright laws and that you have permission to post any copyrighted information. Refer to fair use as defined in Canada’s Copyright Act: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-42/index.html
  • Be Generous. The Internet is all about connecting with links. So, if you see something interesting, valuable or relevant, link to it! The more you link to relevant material, the more contacts you will make and the more popular your own blog will become.
  • Respect the privacy of your colleagues and volunteers. Do not disclose confidential information. Stakeholders should not be cited or obviously referenced without their approval. 
  • Use social media appropriately at work and make sure your online activity does not interfere with your professional commitments and your company/organization’s electronic or online communications policy. 
  • Make sure you understand the culture and rules – explicit and implicit – of the communities with whom you seek to engage, and respect privacy preferences.
  • The CAFE National Board reserves the right to remove any post, comment or photo at any time at its discretion. 
  • You are encouraged to include a disclaimer similar to the following on your personal blog, blog posting, or website: “The opinions expressed on this [blog;website] are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Canadian Association for Equality.” The posts on this blog are provided “as is‟ with no warranties and confer no rights.”

Issue and crisis response 

There are certain rules of engagement during crisis response situations that need to be taken 

into consideration. For example, deleting a post or blocking a user can often escalate the issue rather than solve it. It is important to assess the situation and determine the best way to act. If you see a comment, post, or content that you feel is inappropriate, please bring it to the attention of the CAFE Board via info@equalitycanada.com 

Uphold the Fundamental Principles

As a volunteer for CAFE, you have already made a commitment to abide by the Mandate of the organization. Please follow these principles in your online communications. 

Official Canadian Association for Equality Channels

CAFE national Facebook page

CAFE branch Facebook pages

CAFE twitter account

CAFE linkedin page

CAFE google plus page

CAFE YouTube Channel

CAFE Meetup Groups

Rules of thumb for monitoring social media posts

– be consistent in policing

– the line is crossed when someone advocates violence, or engages in racial, sexist or homophobic slurs

 

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Editorial Content Guidelines for Canadian Association for Equality Social Media Representatives

CAFE social media content should reflect our mandate, the way we present ourselves, and our associated policies.  Please review the following:

https://equalitycanada.com/about/mandate/ 

https://equalitycanada.com/about/advisory-fellows/ 

https://equalitycanada.com/about/privacy-policy/ 

 

Content Guidelines

  • Avoid partisan politics on official CAFE Channels*
    • Don’t endorse or support any political candidate 
    • Keep editorial commentary unbiased in tone
    • Avoid calls to action regarding partisan politics
  • Edit your posts – pay attention to grammar and proper punctuation
  • Engage and connect – remember, social media is about starting conversations. Be sure to connect with commenters directly, recommended within 12 to 24 hours.
  • Post frequently, but don’t spam – the number of posts you make will vary depending on the size of your audience. Adjust your posting schedule accordingly and refer to the Social Media Timetable for more information.
  • Pay attention to local events

Event Coverage Social Media Guidelines 

  • A big focus should be on integrating our social media with our blogging, so that blog posts are also being pushed through all social media channels
  • Research relevant hashtags prior to the events 
  • List relevant twitter handles and facebook pages 
  • Ensure that the facebook page photo album name is clear and directly relevant to the event. All photo albums should include event title and date. 
  • Ensure events are listed on all social media channels including Facebook Pages and Meetup
  • Tag, connect and retweet event speakers wherever possible before, during and after events.
  • Ensure swift follow up and communication with event participants. Example: should a participant update their status to include their presence at your event, respond with a comment or retweet. 
  • Write an event review for CAFE blog posting and post the link to CAFE’s official social media channels
  • Curate event’s content, which can be found using designated event’s twitter hashtag with Storify or Epilogger

 

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Updated April 18, 2014 

Policy for Users of CAFE Social Media, Website and Digital Communications

The jurisdiction for this policy includes all CAFE digital communications, including but not limited to our social media, website and google groups.

As the Canadian Association for Equality builds a thriving user community, we will strive to provide a communication infrastructure that is respectful, engaging and informative.  If you wish to participate in the community, we ask that you follow the guidelines below.

In order to foster constructive, respectful debate, we have established the following guidelines. Violation of any of these guidelines can result in you being blocked from communicating through our various platforms.

Please note that by using our digital communication platforms, you agree to abide by our policy and you also understand that the decision to allow your communications to be published is done at the discretion of our moderators and editorial staff.

We maintain the right to delete any and all communications at our discretion.

General Guidelines & Tips:

Be civil, respectful and courteous. Healthy debate is encouraged but we will not permit any personal attacks.

Keep it clean: Use appropriate language and etiquette. Communications which include rude or profane language will be deleted.

Don’t personally attack anyone—whether it’s their grammar, their intelligence, their name, or anything else. You can disagree with their viewpoint but don’t go after the individual.

Don’t generalize. Stay on topic.

Keep it legal: Any communications relating to legal or financial matters will be deleted. Do not share information that is known to be false, fraudulent, deceptive, inaccurate or misleading. If the post infringes or violates the privacy rights or intellectual property rights of others it will be deleted.

Keep personal info private: Please remember that much of our communications are public. For your own safety, please do not post any personal information about yourself or third parties (e.g. addresses, phone numbers, or email addresses).

Keep it spam-free: Any communications assumed to be spam will be deleted. We will delete communications that overtly promote products or services. Communications that come from the same user that are repeated or are similar in nature will also be deleted.

We want everyone who reads our stories to comment. And we especially don’t want anyone to be scared to put their thoughts out there. Our communications platforms should be open places for thoughtful and passionate discussion.

The following will get your comment deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked from communicating:

– Posting threatening, harassing, defamatory, or libelous material

– Posting material that infringes copyright or any other intellectual property interest

– Posting links to porn sites

– Ad hominem attacks

– Sweeping generalizations

– threatening or defamatory statements, or personal attacks directed towards specific groups or individuals;

– service/product endorsements (non-commercial links related to comments are acceptable).

The Canadian Association for Equality reserves the right to remove communications and block users entirely at its discretion, including for violations of these guidelines. The Canadian Association for Equality is not responsible for the content of user communications.