Thursday, May 27, 2010

How many rules have I broken?

So, on The Company's intranet page, there's an email from our HR Head Honcho. It's about The Company's Social Media policy and how we should be.

Now, let me get this statement out of the way: When I started working for The Company, I asked our HR peeps "Can I still have a blog, even though I don't mention The Company's name and occasionally may say something that could be considered offensive to certain people?" (I mean, face it -- what CAN be said that's couldn't be considered offensive to SOMEONE?). They replied I could as long as I have the disclaimer portion at the bottom of the page you see *points down there*.

Anyways, I'm reading through the policy and have decided to determine how apt I am to be fired. Note: Some information is being removed to help protect the identity of The Company. I mean, if I worked for a company and the policy said "including beverage flavors", that could extremely narrow down who I could potentially work for. And, no, I don't work for them as I don't see me being able to work for a company who produces a product that you have to put Rum or Jack in to make it taste good :)

Don't let personal use of the Company's computers and other equipment interfere with work. While occasional personal use is permitted, it should be kept to a minimum and should not interfere with your job. -- Hrmm.. We won't go there.

Don't expect privacy if you participate in social media while at work or while using Company equipment. Communications made or stored on The Company's equipment or systems are subject to monitoring and disclosure with or without advance notice. Even if you participate in social media outside of work, you should recognize that these communications are typically not considered private under applicable law. -- Of course I don't expect privacy. But, I am posting this using The Company's network :)

be a good Web citizen. Be constructive. Remember that the Social Web is about connecting people, ideas and information. You may use it in your own personal ways, but be courteous, be respectful of diversity and exercise good common sense and judgment. -- Courteous? With as offensive as I can be sometimes?

Do respect and adhere to applicable laws, including copyright, trademark, right of publicity/privacy and patent laws. -- That I do. I mean, that'd be a bad thing if I didn't.

Do identify yourself as an employee of The Company (or one of its divisions) and make it clear that any opinions you express are your own and not that of The Company, if your comments (i) refer to The Company's businesses or products, (ii) could be seen as an endorsement, promotion or testimonial for any other product or service by The Company or (iii) could otherwise be construed by the reader as a comment made by you on behalf of The Company.

  • This guideline applies even if you are not writing under your name. Your identity is seldom anonymous. It is better to be authentic and transparent and understand that anonymous postings can be linked to your identity.
  • If you have your own page, site or blog, at a minimum you should include the following standard legal disclaimer language: "The views expressed on this [blog; Web site; etc.] are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer." In some cases, as discussed below, it will be necessary to specifically disclose that The Company is your employer in this disclaimer.
  • If you are a manager or executive, realize that a standard disclaimer may not be enough. Be cognizant that your personal thoughts or opinions may be misinterpreted as expressing views of the Company.
  • If you post - on any social media - comments that are related to The Company businesses or products or that could be seen as an endorsement, promotion or testimonial for The Company, fully disclose that you work for The Company (or one of its divisions). Disclosure methods could include a link to your profile or a bio or a more explicit statement in the post such as, "I am an employee of The Company, Inc. The views expressed on this [blog, Web site, etc.] are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer."
Yeah.... We know I don't completely do that. I know some of y'all know who I work for, but a lot of y'all don't know. And I'm violating this rule because I don't want some of my comments to be associated with The Company.

Do write and post responsibly.
  • Show proper consideration for your personal privacy, as well as that of others. -- Ok, I don't share names. I mean, who here knows the name of my coworker who almost got hit by a zebra?
  • Consider that what you write could be published in a national newspaper, reported on television or posted to other social media. -- I'm going to be published? If that ever happens, would I be working for The Company? Wait, maybe I would.... Either way, all my postings get placed on other social media (I post it to Twitter / Facebook... and it gets picked up by Google Buzz for all you freaks...), but I don't count that as big stuff.
  • Be judicious in your engagement on topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory. Never use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, etc. -- Slurs and personal insults? Oh hells no! That don't happen with me. Oh wait, yes they do.
  • Be sure that all content associated with you is consistent with your work and with The Company's values and professional standards. -- Oh PUHLEEZE. That will NOT be happening.
  • If writing about Company-related topics, you can link to official videos produced for The Company Web sites, fan pages & content channels. This means using embedded codes from the respective Web sites, via our Facebook pages or YouTube channels. -- I may occasionally post links, but they may or may not be related to The Company. Who cares where I get my content from? John Doe may be posting the same content as me and nobody cares about him!
  • If you find (or are sent) a very compelling piece of user generated content ("UGC") or fan video related to the business of The Company, do not post or comment on it. Instead, notify someone in the appropriate Digital Marketing division so that they can determine the best course of action to take. -- If I find an awesome link like this, I'm going to tweet it myself.
  • Remember that although you have "removed" a comment or post, once something is published online it is a permanent record that easily can be misinterpreted or taken out of context -- Isn't there a Disney PSA about that? Once you put something on the Internets, you can't take it back?

Don't share The Company internal communications or information, including:
  • Confidential or proprietary information about the Company's performance, finances or future plans. -- How stupid does someone have to be to do that?
  • Company intellectual property and proprietary information, including content (whether it is aired or unaired), logos, still shots, cartoon characters, promotional materials, photos taken in offices, and the numerous computer programs employees use while at work, among other things. This includes promotional details, which should not be shared unless you have cleared the release of this information with PR. -- So, you're saying I can't send a screenshot of an error message of a software package used by hundreds if not thousands of companies? And you're going to get mad because I take a picture of the snow outside my window? What are we going to do when I start taking pictures like this? That was taken from my cube, which is inside our offices!
  • Business correspondence, such as executive memos and management communications, among other things. -- Yeah, I won't post those. But, I WILL post things like my Gold Star award, and other things that kinda don't mention any details.
  • Information regarding legal proceedings or legal matters involving The Company, including any communications to or from legal counsel for The Company, regardless of whether the original discussion included you or was later shared with you. -- So, when I'm fired and sue for the fact I posted this on my blog, they don't want me to make mention of it? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA :)
  • See the SBC and the Confidential Information policy for a more full discussion on this topic. If you have any doubts about whether an item is confidential or proprietary, seek guidance before sharing. -- Yeah, I said I wouldn't do anything to bring The Company's name into this. And I did seek guidance when I first started. I even have the email stored off to the side!

Don't disclose, reference, or discuss customers, partners or suppliers without their prior approval. -- I talk about coworkers -- but real names aren't involved, so I don't care about approval! :)

Don't use social media hosted outside of The Company's protected Intranet environment for business-related communications. Always use authorized internal Intranet systems to communicate with your colleagues regarding The Company-related business matters. -- So, I shouldn't use AIM to talk about people?

I guess I've been a bad bad boy. Oh well. If we're keeping tabs of the rules I've broken, I'm probably being fired tomorrow!

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