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Crafting a Social Media Policy That Lets You Sleep at Night.

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Presentation on theme: "Crafting a Social Media Policy That Lets You Sleep at Night."— Presentation transcript:

1 Crafting a Social Media Policy That Lets You Sleep at Night


3 Broadcast v. Social OLD: Few to ManyNEW: Many to Many

4 Broadcast v. Social OLD: One-way communication Professionals gathered and published the news for consumers New: Multi-directional communications Content-consumers are also content-providers

5 Types of Social Media Blog Micro-blog Web 2.0 Social Network

6 Blog “web log” Regular entries Reverse-chronological order Example:

7 Micro-blog Brief updates Sentence, an image, video clip Example: Only 140 characters

8 Web 2.0 Web 1.0 – read what’s posted by others Web 2.0 – read and contribute Example: Amazon’s move from “buy what’s on our site” to “users’ reviews”

9 The Social Network

10 Social Network Web 2.0 site filled entirely with content by its members Example:

11 Fascinating Facts If Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth largest in the world It took Facebook only 9 months to reach 100 million users About 20% of all photos taken this year will end up on Facebook

12 Wiki A Web site developed collaboratively by a community of users, allowing any user to add and edit content. Example:


14 Pope Benedict XVI 44th World Communications Day message (2010) The world of digital communication, with its almost limitless expressive capacity, makes us appreciate all the more Saint Paul’s exclamation: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel” (1 Cor 9:16).

15 More from 44 th World Communications Day The new forms of media “can offer priests and all pastoral workers a wealth of information and content that was difficult to access before, and facilitate forms of collaboration and greater communion in ways that were unthinkable in the past.”

16 Pope Benedict 43 rd World Communications Day Message (2009) 44 th World Communications Day Message (2010)


18 Categories of Guidelines Standards of Conduct Authority Over Social Media Personal Social Media Enforcement of the Policy

19 Standards of Conduct Behave in the same manner as elsewhere Respect Charity Truth Accountability

20 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) Example from USCCB’s Facebook site: “All posts and comments should be marked by Christian charity and respect for the truth. They should be on topic and presume the good will of other posters. Discussion should take place primarily from a faith perspective. No ads please.”

21 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) Affirmative goals for use of social media “True friendship” Meaningful community Not a substitute for face-to-face gatherings 43 rd World Communications Day Message

22 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) Communicating with Children Parents’ permission Copy parents Archive communications Avoid “being alone” online Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

23 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Took effect April 21, 2000 15 U.S.C. sec. 6501 et seq. Addresses the online collection of personal information from children under 13

24 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Applies to: Commercial web site or online service directed to children under 13 that collects personal information, or General audience website where the administrators have actual knowledge that personal information of children is being collected

25 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act “Personal information” is Full name Home address Email address Telephone number, or Any other information that would enable a person to identify or contact the child

26 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Privacy notice Verifiable consent from parents Better consent if disclosure to third parties Exceptions

27 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) Prohibit harassment and discrimination The Diocese will not tolerate employees, clerics or volunteers posting obscene, harassing, offensive, derogatory, defamatory or otherwise potentially scandalous comments, links and/or images which reflect discredit or cause embarrassment to the Diocese or its affiliates. Adapted from Social Media Policy of the Diocese of Dallas

28 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) Defamation Any intentional, objectively false communication that harms a person's reputation Libel = written defamation Slander = oral defamation

29 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) Defamation Prevention: Immediately investigate and take action on any allegedly defamatory statement made by a diocesan agent Response: Consider when and how to respond if someone else defames a diocesan agent

30 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) Copyright Title 17 of the United States Code Grants protection to authors of original works fixed in any tangible medium of expression

31 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) Copyright owner has the exclusive right To reproduce work To prepare derivative works To distribute copies of the work by sale To display the work publicly

32 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) Copyright arises automatically when work is created, i.e., fixed in tangible medium. Notice to public © Year Author All rights reserved. Can’t copyright ideas

33 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) Copyright example “There once was a man from Down Patrick...” © 2013 Eric V. Hall. All rights reserved. I have exclusive rights to.... Publication General v. Limited Public domain

34 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) National Labor Relations Act Section 7 – Right to engage in “concerted activities” Employees have the right to discuss wages and working conditions... even on social media sites! HOWEVER....

35 Standards of Conduct (cont’d) National Labor Relations Act Generally does not apply to religious organizations carrying out a religious purpose. NLRB v. Catholic Bishop of Chicago, 440 U.S. 490 (1979) (Religion Clauses prohibit jurisdiction over Catholic schools) NLRB has asserted jurisdiction over religious organizations without a religious character, e.g., hospitals.

36 Authority Over Social Media Sites Maintain Control over Sites Two or more adults as administrators Official location for username and password Punish rule-breakers

37 Authority Over Social Media Sites Speaking on Behalf of the Church Distinguish between “official voice” and casual voice Bishop / Diocese Pastor / Parish Guard use of logos Protect it or lose it!

38 Personal Sites Distinguish between personal and Church sites Personal sites should nonetheless reflect Catholic values. Live with integrity... even online. Disclaimer – “The views expressed on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my parish.”

39 Personal Sites Policy must include provision about visiting personal sites during working hours Addictive

40 What is appropriate to post on a personal site? Better question, what and where not to post… 1) Don’t post using your work computer 2) Don’t post during working hours 3) Don’t post anything confidential 4) Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your pastor (or mother) to read 5) PRIVACY SETTINGS!!! USE THEM! BUT... Nothing is safe from opposing counsel!

41 “Friending” To friend or not to friend Children (anyone under 18) Subordinates Superiors Co-workers / peers

42 Enforce the Policy Put everyone on notice Create mechanisms for reporting bad behavior Enforce the policy Warnings Block access

43 So what’s “discovery” anyway? Good Social Media Policies = Upfront guidance and rear-end protection Data is forever Facebook permanent record Arrow tab to right of Home Account settings Download a copy of your Facebook data

44 Mandatory Reporting If you learn via social media that a child may be subjected to child abuse, what are your responsibilities for reporting?

45 Mandatory Reporting The Colorado Child Protection Act of 1987 - Colo. Rev. Stat. § 19-3-301(1) “…any person specified in subsection (2) of this section who has reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect or who has observed the child being subjected to circumstances or conditions which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect shall immediately report or cause a report to be made of such a fact to the county department or local law enforcement agency.”

46 What is Child Abuse? Summary of Conduct Constituting Child Abuse/Neglect: (1)Physical injury or death which either: (a) Is not reasonably explained; or (b) Arises from circumstances suggesting the condition may not be the product of an accident. (2)Sexual abuse. (3)Parental, guardial, or custodial failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision that a prudent parent would take and which results in the child needing services. (4)Emotional abuse. (5)Parental, guardial, or custodial mistreatment or abuse. (6)Parental, guardial, or custodial failure to take lawful means to stop another from mistreating or abusing a child. (7)Improper parental, guardial, or custodial care. (8)Injurious environment.

47 Who are Mandatory Reporters  Physician or surgeon, including a physician in training;  Child health associate;  Medical examiner or coroner;  Dentist;  Osteopath;  Optometrist;  Chiropractor;  Chiropodist or podiatrist;  Registered nurse or licensed practical nurse;  Hospital personnel engaged in the admission, care, or treatment of patients;  Christian Science practitioner;  Public or private school official or employee;  Social worker or worker in any family care home or child care center;  Mental health professional;  Dental hygienist;  Psychologist;  Physical therapist;  Veterinarian;  Peace officer;  Pharmacist;  Commercial film and photograph print processor;  Firefighter;  Victim’s advocate;  Licensed professional counselor;  Licensed marriage and family therapists;  Unlicensed psychotherapists;  Clergy member;  Registered dietitian;  Worker in the state department of human services;  Juvenile parole and probation officers;  Child and family investigators;  State bureau of animal protection and animal control officers and agents.

48 Mandatory Reporting Summarized Every mandated reporter who reasonably suspects that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect or who has witnessed circumstances which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect must immediately report the same to the county department of human services or the local police or sheriff. The initial report shall be followed promptly by a written report prepared by persons required to report.

49 Social Media for Hiring Is it a good idea to check someone’s Facebook page before hiring them? - Screening before interview - Screen after interview - Background checks may not catch the things social media can

50 Others Can Do It for You Social Media Background checks: May save more money in the long run Hiring someone whom you later find has extensive questionable material available online may cost you more Online Social Networking Investigation Hughes Investigation Agency Spokeo

51 Social Media and Firing Should you terminate someone based on social media posts? Credibility Liability If you have a picture of a teacher smoking a bong as their profile picture – you surely have an obligation to question this and take action.

52 Social Media and Firing General Rule: Employer cannot terminate employee for off- duty legal activities Originally protected smokers Exceptions 1. Restrictions related to bona fide occupational requirements 2. Unique religious organization job requirements 3. Necessary to avoid a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest

53 Acknowledgements USCCB Social Media Guidelines Social Media Policies from... Archdiocese of Cincinnati Diocese of Dallas Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington D.C. Mark A. Meyer, IP attorney

54 Contact Information Eric V. Hall Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP 719-386-3030

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