SLQ Staff Social Media Policy

Download the SLQ Staff Social Media Policy  (PDF 83.4 KB)

Authority


CEO & State Librarian

Policy Statement


State Library of Queensland (SLQ) embraces social media as a key communication channel and engagement mechanism that facilitates interaction within and between people, groups, communities, and organisations.
Using social media allows SLQ to meet clients in the online spaces they use and many social media platforms allow SLQ to engage clients in genuine two-way conversation (eg Facebook, Twitter).
Social media also allows SLQ to connect with clients who may be hard to reach in other ways. As well as using corporate social media accounts as a State Library staff member for work purposes, SLQ staff may also use social media in a private and professional capacity.

Where a staff member using social media in a private capacity is recognisable as a public or SLQ staff member, or is actively promoting SLQ from a personal social media account, particular considerations apply.
The aim of this document is to provide guidance to SLQ staff in such situations. Use of corporate social media accounts is addressed in the SLQ Social Media Policy.

This policy also considers the use of SLQ computers and devices, and work time, to engage in personal social media use, unconnected to SLQ.

The Queensland Government supports the use of social media as part of an integrated approach to Government activity.

Purpose


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to SLQ staff using social media for personal purposes when they:

  • are identifiable as public servants or SLQ staff
  • are actively promoting SLQ from personal social media accounts
  • use SLQ devices and / or work time to engage in personal social media use.

Through implementation of this policy, SLQ can expect to improve:

  • governance on the use of social media by staff;
  • understanding of how social media may complement existing engagement activities;
  • risk management by the application of risk mitigation strategies.

Scope

This policy covers, but is not limited to, social media and is intended to cover additional social media as they develop in the future. Some social media platforms are hosted internally, including wikis and blogs. Other social
media platforms are hosted externally, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Flickr, History pin, Vimeo and YouTube.
The policy applies to all staff and volunteers. This policy forms part of the Queensland Government's commitment to openness and transparency.

Definitions

Social Networking
The use of dedicated websites and applications to interact with other users, or to find people with similar interests to one's own. A social network represents relationships and flows between people,
groups, organisations, computers or other information/ knowledge processing entities.

Social Media
Social media is an umbrella term covering websites, technology, applications or tools that enable active and participatory publishing and interaction between individuals over the internet. Social media
can be characterised by:

  • relationships
  • user participation
  • user-generated content
  • collaboration
  • multi-directional conversations
  • highly accessible and scalable publishing
  • 24/7/365 operation and availability.

Web 2.0
The second stage of development of the Internet, characterised especially by the change from static web pages to dynamic or usergenerated content and the growth of social media.
A Web 2.0 site may allow users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to web sites where people are limited to the passive viewing of content. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, folksonomies, video sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, and mashups.


Appropriate Use

SLQ acknowledges that staff, acting as private citizens, also use social media for professional and personal purposes. In some cases, the lines between corporate, professional and personal use can become blurred.
SLQ supports professional use of social media by its staff, guided by the Queensland Public Service Code of Conduct. In general, staff are encouraged to identify themselves as an SLQ staff member on social media used for either personal or professional to promote transparency. Being identifiable as a SLQ staff member brings with it an obligation to be guided by the Queensland Public Service Code of Conduct. This is an example of a Twitter profile description that can be used as appropriate on social media platforms:

“Co-ordinator, Discovery Services at State Library of Queensland. Tweeting all things library and serendipitous encounters with other stuff of interest to me. Tweets are my own”.

Where staff are identifiable as public servants or SLQ staff

Authorising employee’s limited personal and professional use of social media from a government owned device has been acknowledged as a benefit by the Queensland Government.
Staff must take responsibility for ensuring that references to State Library are factually correct, accurate and do not breach confidentiality requirements or the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service, 2011. At all times, staff will show respect for individuals and communities with whom interaction occurs.

Social media is not to be used in order to avoid adherence to the Code of Conduct for Queensland Public Service, SLQ’s web content approval processes or other State Library communications policies or processes in relation to comments made regarding SLQ, the Queensland Government, a business or an individual. Where staff are identifiable as public servants or SLQ staff they must be guided by the Code of Conduct at all times.

In using social media for personal use, staff are required to:

  • take reasonable steps to ensure that any comment made will be understood as representing personal views and not those of government;
  • maintain the confidentiality of information accessible due to your job role that is not publicly available;
  • be aware that personal comments about a public issue may compromise your capacity to perform the duties of your role in an independent, unbiased manner; and
  • think carefully about the public visibility of what you, like, share, comment on, follow, or join.

To avoid defamation and/or disciplinary action, a government employee who has identified him/herself (or who is identifiable) as such on a social media account:

  • is not to post negative information about SLQ, the government of the day, a business or an individual online, whether the information is verified or not.
  • is to avoid posting, tweeting, emailing, forwarding, sharing, or commenting on social media conversations or content which may be rumour, unverified or confidential relating to SLQ, the Queensland Government, a business or an individual.

Where staff are actively promoting SLQ from a personal social media account

Actively promoting SLQ from personal social media accounts is encouraged. Staff will be readily identified as such and so should assume the guidelines articulated in section Where staff are identifiable as public servants or SLQ staff apply.

Staff use of SLQ devices and / or work time for social media purposes

SLQ authorises employees to undertake limited personal use of social media via government owned ICT facilities and devices. Personal use of social media is defined as individual or private use and not attributable as official or professional use.
As per IS38 – Use of ICT facilities and devices and Authorised and unauthorised use of ICT facilities and devices guidelines, all limited personal use of social media at work will:

  • generally occur during the employee’s non-work time (e.g. lunch time or after hours);
  • be at all times infrequent, brief and for non-commercial purposes;
  • not interfere with departmental operations;
  • not cause offence or harm to others, including other users of social media web sites;
  • incur minimal additional expense to the Queensland Government.

Limited personal use of social media via government-owned ICT facilities and devices must not violate any legislative, ethical or policy obligations, including but not limited to:

  • work performance and personal conduct principles within the Public Service Act 2008
  • the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service 2011
  • ethical principles for public officials under the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994
  • the commitments within the Queensland Public Service Charter
  • the Cabinet endorsed Public Service Commission’s Use of internet and electronic mail
    policy and principles statement

Employees engaged in personal use of social media are not to make public comments about Queensland Government matters.

Departmental email addresses are not to be used to register a personal social media account or personal contributions to social media.

Staff should utilise the employee checklist (Appendix A) prior to posting any content on social media. If responses fall within the “do not post” column, then the staff member should not post the comment or material.

To avoid defamation and/or disciplinary action, a government employee who has identified him/herself as such on a social media account:

  • is not to post negative information about SLQ, the government of the day, a business or an individual online, whether the information is verified or not.
  • is to avoid posting, tweeting, emailing, forwarding, sharing, or commenting on social media conversations or content which may be rumour, unverified or confidential relating to SLQ, the Queensland Government, a business or an individual.

Staff use of official social media accounts

Staff use of official SLQ social media accounts is covered in the SLQ Social Media Policy.

Community contributed content

Many social media services, including blogs and specific external services such as Facebook and Flickr, allow staff to add comments about content published on those platforms.
Commentary, opinion and reaction to online content published by the State Library are welcome and consistent with the State Library’s commitment to encouraging community engagement with its services, collections, and programs, however, staff are required to adhere to the conditions listed in the SLQ Comments Policy.


Risk Management and Mitigation


Content contributed by anyone may infringe upon the rights of others in areas such as defamation, intellectual property and fraud. Due to the seriousness of these risks and the association with official government business, the use of social media from an SLQ supplied device or social media account must be subject to a risk assessment.

SLQ monitors mentions of State Library and other relevant terms linked to our services and takes appropriate action as required.

RiskDescription/example Mitigation Management
Staff productivity Staff may spend work time on social media

Managed by implementing the key requirements of IS38:

  • develop and implement clear policies on use of government-owned ICT facilities and devices
  • clearly inform employees of responsibilities under policies and consequences of breaches
    For further information refer to the IS38 implementation guideline.
Malware and spyware Social media may pose a greater risk for malware and spyware. Implementation of information security controls to mitigate the risk
Bandwidth Some social media requires higher levels of bandwidth (e.g. YouTube).

Managed by:

  • assessing the likely level of use and costs and budgeting accordingly
  • using bandwidth management technologies to prioritise business traffic.
Reputation / legal liability Public comments made by employees could be construed as official
Queensland Government statements.
Managed by implementing the key requirements of IS38 and application of Section 1.3 of the Queensland Government
Code of Conduct.
Loss of control of published information Information published on social media is bound by the terms of service or technical limitations of that social media. It may not be possible to remove content
that has been published.
Managed by implementing the key requirements of IS38
Publication of personal or
confidential information
An employee may publish personal information about another or disclose confidential government information on social media.

Managed by implementing:

  • the key requirements of IS38
  • mandatory principle 3 of Information Standard 18: Information security
  • education for staff on their privacy obligations.

References

The Policy is supported by:

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