Monday, 5 November 2012

Safe Messaging

Our Safeguarding Officer, Sue Booth, has just produced a little card with advice for how to safeguard yourself when using Social Media. I thought it was very helpful and so I have reproduced a summary here

Questions to Ask Yourself When Using Social Media

Who is the audience?
Nothing is really private in the Social Media world, even if you think it is.
When I'm going for my next job, would I want my potential employer to see this?
Employers often check on social media sites for comments, posts and photos posted by potential employees. This can include material that is quite 'old'. It is very difficult to completely erase material - even if you have deleted or double deleted a message or post, it still exists in digital space.
What impression do I give of myself and my group?
If you are a baptised member of the church, you are also a respresentative of Christ and of His body. What does your message say to others about the faith and the church?
Would anyone find my message offensive or discriminatory?
Some degree of self-restraint and self-monitoring is necessary. You are subject to the law of the land with regard to anything that could be thought to be inciting others to violence, hatred or discrimination. It is also important to remember that messages are potentially read across many cultures and by people who think very differently from ourselves.
Is what I am saying defamatory? Does it bring me, my group or any other person into disrepute?
Facts need to be correct. Opinions should not show you, your group or others in a dishonest or unwarrantedly unflattering light.
Is there a conflict between what I am saying and my public roles and responsibilities?
This might be especially important when tempted to make jokes or to express irony! 
Also - it's very important to think about the use of photographs and only to use photos of children or vulnerable adults with the permission of their parents, guardians or the person him or herself in the case of adults. I don't use identifyable pictures of children on my blog and I only use photos without expressly asking permission if the people in them were part of what could be defined as a public occasion.
Finally - if there is a smidgen of doubt in your mind, sleep on it and consult a friend before you click on 'publish'!  

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