Social Media Roundup - Terms of Use Statements and Managing a Critical Social Media Community


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Online and social media communities can be very vocal, and at times a little critical. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's important to maintain order on your organization's Facebook wall and in comment sections. This Social Media Roundup will analyze terms of use statements and how they can be used to keep the peace in your organization's online community.

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Social Media Roundup - Terms of Use Statements and Managing a Critical Social Media Community

  1. 1. Social Media Roundup Terms of Use Statements andManaging a Critical Social Media Community
  2. 2. Social Media Roundup AgendaOnline and social media communities can be very vocal, and at times,a little critical. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s important tomaintain order on your organization’s Facebook wall and in commentsections. This Social Media Roundup will analyze terms of usestatements and how they can be used to keep the peace in yourorganization’s online community. Introduction Terms of use statements Army’s terms of use statement DoD terms of use statement Don’t censor your audience Stand by your terms of use statement
  3. 3. Social Media RoundupIntroduction Social media is about engagement and conversation. And just like in face-to-face interactions, not everyone online is going to agree with everything you or your organization has to say. Social media communities should be family-friendly environments, so it’s important to have a terms of use statement posted on your organization’s social media platforms. Terms of use statements allow your organization to keep the conversation productive and engaging without limiting a person’s right to express their opinion.
  4. 4. Social Media RoundupTerms of use statements Each social media presence must have a terms of use statement that informs visitors of what is authorized when interacting on the platform. This terms of use statement should include a general disclaimer, privacy and security disclaimers, a copyright and trademark disclaimer, moderated presence disclaimer and a Freedom of Information Act notice. It is good to have a posting policy, but just because a posting policy is in place does not mean everyone will follow it. Make sure to review Facebook walls and comment sections frequently and remove content that violates the posting policy.
  5. 5. Social Media RoundupArmy terms of use statement The Army’s social media terms of use statement can be found on most of its social media platforms. The following items are included in the statement. • No graphic, obscene, explicit or racial comments or submissions nor do we allow comments that are abusive, hateful or intended to defame anyone or any organization. • No solicitations or advertisements. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. Similarly, we do not allow attempts to defame or defraud any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. • Details about an ongoing investigation or legal or administrative proceeding that could prejudice the processes or could interfere with an individuals rights will be deleted from this page. • Apparent spamming or trolling will be removed and may cause the author(s) to be blocked from the page without notice. • No copyrighted or trademarked images or graphics. Imagery posted on the Facebook wall should be owned by the user. • No comments, photos or videos that suggest or encourage illegal activity. • No documents of any kind should be posted on this page. • You participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments, your username and any information provided. • All information posted to social media sites will be unclassified. No FOUO (for official use only), or classified information should ever be posted.
  6. 6. Social Media RoundupDoD terms of use statement The DoD also maintains a social media user agreement. This agreement can be found here: The DoD user agreement governs the use of official Department of Defense social media sites and pages to include social networking pages, blogs and file sharing sites, along with all policies applicable to DoD information.
  7. 7. Social Media RoundupDon’t censor your audience Online communities function best when they are not over-monitored. While it’s important to develop and enforce a terms of use statement, social media managers need to let people express their opinions online as long as they do not violate any of the posting rules. Even those opinions that differ from the opinions of the organization or those of the leadership should be allowed to stay on the social media platform. It is good practice to allow for well-structured arguments and statements that are potentially critical of your organization. This allows your organization the opportunity to respond and potentially correct information. Providing a venue for discussion can help your organization evaluate how its communication priorities are being received and assist in determining what the organization can do to better serve the online community.
  8. 8. Social Media RoundupEnforce your terms of use statement  While it’s important to facilitate discussion on your social media platforms and defend an individual’s right to express an opposing opinion, it is equally as important to make sure the conversation remains civil and professional.  Be sure to enforce your terms of use statement and delete obscene comments, personal attacks or inappropriate posts. Also be sure to delete spam, advertisements and other unrelated posts or photos.  It’s better for individuals to voice their opinions about your organization on your social media platforms rather than somewhere else, but it is up to the social media mangers to make sure the Facebook Wall and social media comment sections are safe, family-friendly and without OPSEC violations.
  9. 9. Social Media Roundup Contact informationHave questions? Please feel free toreach out to us at the Online andSocial Media review and download past editions of theSocial Media Roundup, visit our Slideshare siteat: Social Media Roundups are authorized to bedistributed to a broader audience.5/15/2012OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF PUBLIC AFFAIRSPENTAGON