Responsible Use of Social Media
Social Media Should Be Used Responsibly
Think about how often you use online tools throughout your day. The use of social media has many positive benefits however, we must be aware that using social media for work and in our personal lives can also cause negative impact.
However, you must also consider the risks of misusing social media:
- Information posted is immediate. It cannot be taken back.
- Your post is forever. It is very difficult to erase or retract your social media posts; even if you change your mind and delete it moments later it only takes seconds for others to easily forward, copy or reuse your material.
- Personal issues and/or confidential information should never be posted.
- Careless social media use can damage the Union’s reputation and its ability to represent the Membership effectively. Careless posts can damage the reliability of Executives, Officers and Staff and cause Members to lose confidence in them. This mistrust can undermine solidarity and reduce the Local’s relationships with Employers.
- Local 222’s position vis-à-vis management may be compromised if Members post matters that arise during bargaining and other negotiations.
- If Members use social media to criticize or harass each other, these posts can become the basis for disciplinary action resulting in charges and a trial.
Some of the issues that can lead to negative consequences include:
- Defaming an Employer or Local 222 Member, Officer, Employee or others
- Engaging in online harassment and/or cyber-bullying
- Posting racist, sexist or other discriminatory remarks or images
- Violating Local 222 Bylaws, Constitution and Code of Conduct
Ultimately, Local 222 must consider whether or not the use of social media has affected the:
- Reputation and relationship with signatory employers and/or Membership
- Ability to perform – is it unreasonable to expect that a Member can continue to work productively and harmoniously as a Local 222 member?
What should I do if I have been harassed online?
- If you are dealing with harassment or cyber-bullying, get help right away. It is unlikely that this bullying will stop without intervention.
- Keep records of the email, message, tweet, etc. Keep in mind that if you respond it will become part of the record too.
- Contact your Job Steward and notify your Supervisor, when appropriate. Call the Local 222 Office for further assistance.
- If the matter is not resolved, you may be able to file a grievance, make a WCB claim if you have suffered an injury or initiate a human rights complaint when the harassment is related to one of the human rights grounds.
Word to the wise…
- Avoid having bosses, foreman, managers or supervisors as Facebook friends or Twitter followers
- Be careful not to post photos from the workplace without the consent of your employer and those pictured
- Don’t access or distribute pornographic or sexually explicit text, images, videos or webpages
- Remember that regardless of whether you are at work or not while communicating online, it is the impact of the communication itself that determines discipline
- Take measures to protect the security of your information and restrict who can access your accounts/posts. But always remember that social media posts are never really private and can be accessed by others.
- Take the time to consider what you post and whether it might lower the reputation of your employer, co-worker or Local 222.
- You cannot hide behind pseudonyms or obscurity
- Social media posts, like diamonds, are forever. They can sometimes come back to haunt you long after you have forgotten you ever posted them. The internet is written in stone.
In the end, each of us is responsible for the words we print – on paper, in email, or on social media or other websites: CHOOSE THOSE WORDS CAREFULLY!!!