Policy on Social Media

Accepted at the AGM, May 2011


ISAAC-Australia Policy for Internet/Social Media Use

Adapted from CASLPA (Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology) Social Media Policy With Permission of CASLPA.

While all ISAAC-Australia’s executive and any other members/volunteers/agents that are representing/acting on ISAAC-Australia’s behalf are encouraged to participate online, we expect everyone to understand and follow some simple but important guidelines.

These guidelines apply (but are not limited to) electronic interaction via: email, the web, discussion boards/chat rooms, blogs, microblogs (Twitter), social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn Foursquare, My space), video and photo sharing sites (YouTube, Flikr, Picasso) comments on news media sites, online encyclopedias (Wikipedia) or any similar channels.

All regular staff/board/volunteer policies, confidentiality agreements, contractual obligations etc. also extend to online activity. This specific policy is intended to provide additional practical guidelines.


When engaging online be mindful of why we are involved in this area:

  • To keep abreast of developments in AAC, via professional learning networks.
  • To contribute to our community by sharing our knowledge with others.
  • To be visible and accessible/engaged with our audiences (members, prospective members, the media, government, other related organizations and the general public)
  • To create a positive image and reputation for ISAAC-Australia.

The executive of ISAAC-Australia will follow the usual rules of ISAAC-Australia in relation to communication of information, confidentiality agreements, contractual obligations etc in any online activity. One executive member of ISAAC-Australia will be ‘webmaster’ for all online presence activities, which are linked. At present, this includes the ISAAC-Australia Twitter Account and Blog but will eventually include Facebook.

ISAAC-Australia will only publicly ‘identify’ ISAAC-Australia members as members if they give permission to ISAAC-Australia to do so by email. To do this, email the Social Media contact of the ISAAC-Australia’s executive Dr. Bronwyn Hemsley bronwyn.hemsley@newcastle.edu.au and your twitter handle will be added to a ‘list’ in the ISAAC-Australia Twitter Profile. Effectively, this identifies you as a member to anyone looking at the ISAAC-Australia profile. The purpose of including members of ISAAC-Australia I a list is that your tweets (or items that you re-tweet) are collated into an ISAAC-Australia daily news which can be ‘tweeted’ out into the AAC networked community in Twitter. This helps to promote ISAAC-Australia and membership of ISAAC.

Guidelines for the Executive and Membership of ISAAC-Australia on Social Media and Online Presence regarding ‘AAC’

  1. Think like a spokesperson. While the executive manages ISAAC-Australia’s “official” online presence and profiles, each of us can and should play a role in representing the organization and ISAAC to the world.
  2. Be transparent. Clearly identify yourself and your role with the organization. There is only one you – whether at work or on your own time. Even when off duty or with personal posts you are still “on” and a representative of ISAAC-Australia simply by association. If offering your personal opinion on a subject be clear these are your personal views and not those of ISAAC-Australia.
  3. Exercise good judgment. Take responsibility and act justly and fairly. Avoid negative judgements of others’ contributions to online discussions. Cause no harm to any person and reflect positively on ISAAC-Australia.  Only write something that you would say to someone face to face and that you would want everyone to know about. Admit your mistakes and correct your errors.
  4. Add value. Share/provide worthwhile information and perspective.  Use clear language and avoid jargon.
  5.  Know the limits.  Some topics or information are strictly confidential.  Do not disclose private or confidential discussions, personal/private member or staff details or sensitive/propriety corporate information such as financial reports, studies, survey results etc. unless they have been made public. Ask permission of a person if you are unsure that they want public exposure by mention in a Tweet for any purpose.
  6. Weigh the risk.  Responding to straightforward problems, issues, misconceptions or constructive criticism is an opportunity to correct and remedy but it is counter-productive to engage in controversial, extremely negative or destructive discussions or respond to malicious attacks. Sometimes no response is the best course of action.  If already involved, politely excuse yourself from the conversation. If you absolutely must respond to something sensitive, wait until your own emotional reaction has subsided and avoid sounding angry or defensive. Take the time to reflect and provide a well thought out response.
  7. Be positive, respectful and civil in your tone and language.  Do not post, or be associated with, libelous, offensive, obscene or risqué content or comments.
  8. Be Responsive: If someone responds to something you’ve said or asks a question, follow-up with a response.
  9. Always give proper credit. It’s OK to quote or re-Tweet others, but never attempt to pass off someone else’s language, ideas, images or other information as your own. All copyright, privacy, and other laws that apply offline apply online as well. Be sure to credit your sources when posting a link or information gathered from another source.
  10. Practice forward thinking. What you publish is widely accessible and will be around for a long time so consider the content carefully before you post. Google never forgets and has a very long memory.