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ASCE Social Media Policies and Best Practices

 

These are the official policies for social media use on behalf of ASCE. ASCE defines social media as any Web site or application that enables individuals to post and share content that others can view and also share. Common examples of social media include blogs; social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Orkut, and Ning; micro-blogging sites like Twitter; media-sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr; and social news/bookmarking sites like Digg and Delicious; among others.

 

Policies for social media site administrators

If you are responsible for an existing or newly approved ASCE-branded social media site, see these additional policies.

In online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred. Just by identifying yourself as having an affiliation with ASCE (e.g., listing ASCE as your employer on your Facebook profile), you are creating perceptions about ASCE and your expertise. These policies define 1) ASCE’s expectations for proper online conduct in relation to social media and 2) staff responsibilities for coordinating ASCE’s social media efforts. We expect all who participate in social media on behalf of ASCE—or whose participation in a social media activity might reasonably be interpreted as representing or reflecting upon ASCE—to understand and follow these policies. If you are an ASCE employee or contractor contributing to any kind of social media both on and off ASCE affiliated Web sites, these policies are for you. 

Remember, everything you post online is discoverable. Be aware that these policies may evolve as social media and the laws that govern it evolve. Also be aware that all other ASCE policies apply to your online work, including but not limited to ASCE’s Rules for Social Media Creation, Moderating, Posting, & Commenting; ASCE’s policies on Diversity, Workplace Harassment, Government Relations Outreach, Media Protocol, Correspondence, Electronic Communications, and Endorsements; and ASCE’s Code of Ethics and governing documents. Contact the ASCE Social Media Team [socialmediahelp@asce.org] for guidance on these policies.

SOCIAL MEDIA POLICIES
Updated 1/27/2011
These policies apply to all ASCE staff and contractors.

1 

Identify your opinion as your own, and not that of ASCE. When providing recommendations, referrals, endorsements, or personal opinions, be sure to add that you do not represent ASCE.  

You may use this disclaimer on your social media profiles: 

DISCLAIMER
The opinions of ASCE social media channel creators, moderators, posters and commenters are their own, and not necessarily that of ASCE or its affiliates. ASCE will not be held liable for any injury resulting from such statements.
 

If you are expressing a technical or professional opinion, you may use this disclaimer: 

DISCLAIMER OF ACCURACY
This communication is for general informational purposes only and is not intended in any fashion to be a substitute for professional consultation. Reliance on the contents of this communication is solely and completely at your own risk; therefore, you are urged to exercise a reasonable degree of caution in your use of any information or advice contained herein. Under no circumstances does ASCE, its affiliates, officers, directors, employees, or volunteers warrant the completeness, accuracy, or relevancy of any information or advice provided herein, or its usefulness for any particular purpose.  ASCE, its affiliates, officers, directors, employees, and volunteers expressly disclaim any and all responsibility for any liability, loss, or damage that you may cause or incur in reliance on any information or advice provided herein.  

2 

Be responsible and professional. You are personally responsible for the content you publish online. Ensure your profile and related content reflects your professionalism. Do not post anything that could compromise the professional image of you, your colleagues, or ASCE.  

Best Practice: Understand and use privacy settings. Keep content you share with your close personal networks separate from content you share with your ASCE contacts. 

3 

Respect confidentiality, privacy, and intellectual property. Post only items that you have the legal right to reproduce, adapt, display, and distribute. Do not infringe the privacy, copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, or other intellectual property or proprietary rights of any other person or entity. Get permission before discussing internal or committee work.  

4 

Give credit where credit is due. Accurately attribute material that is not your own, including quotes and images. Never use copyrighted material without permission. Please refer to ASCE’s Author’s Guide and Canon 5 of the ASCE Code of Ethics for guidance. 

5 

Tell the truth. Because ASCE cares about transparency, never post anonymously, impersonate someone else, mislead, or purposely obscure your identity as part of ASCE. Always disclose if you’ve received something in exchange for a review of a product or service—it’s the law. (FTC Endorsement Guides) 

6 

Do not spam or post commercial advertisements. Know the rules of the site you are posting to, and refrain from posting unsolicited material except where expressly permitted by participants. If you are interested in using social media to promote an ASCE product, service, or event, contact the ASCE Social Media Team to be included on the posting schedule. 

7 

Remain non-partisan.  Because of ASCE’s status as a 501(c)(3) public charity, ASCE is prohibited from engaging in political activity. When posting anything related to your activities as an employee, volunteer leader, or other representative of ASCE, do not make any statements that may be read as endorsing or opposing any political candidate or party or any partisan political position. 

Best Practice: You have the right to your opinion, so long as you are very clear that you do not represent ASCE. Use the disclaimer (see #1) and privacy settings (see #2). 

8 

Correct your mistakes. If you make a mistake, whether it's a factual inaccuracy or a social media faux pas, admit it and correct it quickly.  

Best Practice: Do not assume that simply deleting a post corrects a mistake. Whenever possible, add a correction to the original post using brief, concise language. If needed, contact the ASCE Social Media Team to help you fix a mistake that has gotten out of hand; explain the situation and the team can come together to find a solution. 

9 

Respond to comments in a timely, professional manner. If something you post generates comments, be responsible for monitoring those comments and responding when appropriate.  

Best Practice: Social media participants have an expectation of rapid response – hours, not days. Avoid posting immediately before weekends or holidays without a plan to monitor and respond during your time off.  

10 

Be polite and level-headed, not defensive. Avoid irritable or angry responses, especially when you disagree with someone. Point out errors, but never disparage or defame. Posts published publicly are impossible to remove completely. 

Best Practice: If you are unsure how to respond appropriately, ask the ASCE Social Media Team to assist you with your response.  

11 

Write what you know and keep up with new developments. Post information that is accurate or reputable. If you report about ASCE information, stick to your areas of responsibility. Confirm information with other knowledgeable ASCE staff or volunteers before posting. 

Best Practice: If in doubt, rely on established media trusted by your readers. In some instances, your readers may be willing to point you in the direction of sources they trust. 

12 

Be productive. Ensure that your social media activity does not interfere with your work commitments. Discuss with your supervisor if you are uncertain about the appropriateness of publishing during business hours. ASCE employees are directed to review ASCE’s policy on personal use of ASCE equipment.  


We trust that you will live and breathe these policies. If, for any reason an incident occurs that violates the policy, we expect you to bring the issue to the ASCE Social Media Team's attention immediately so that we can work together toward a resolution. The Social Media Team will work through each issue on a case-by-case basis. Consequences will be commensurate with the violation.