Social Media – We’re all responsible

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Brett Connell – VAFA CEO

“Don’t send your mail the day you write it.”

How apt is the above saying in today’s environment whereby devices and the hustle and bustle of life consumes us.

You don’t have to go too far or think too hard to realise that we are surrounded by technology and devices, instruments which many would argue make our lives more efficient, or is it that the efficiencies created are simply consumed by a greater appetite for “busyness”?

And in this “busyness”, an amazing desire to “act first and think later (if at all)”, be “the first to know” or, without thinking, the first to distribute material received via a social media platforms, without the thought of consequence.

Don’t get me wrong the use of social media platforms is an important part of our lives and in particular the way in which we conduct business.

We at the VAFA are no different, our social media platforms enable us to communicate more widely to our VAFA community, our clubs, our sponsor partners and other key stakeholders, when used correctly technology is a distinct advantage for many parts of our lives.

There is however another side and symptom of this “busyness”, efficiency and desire to be “the first to know” – we lose sight of how our actions may affect others, no matter how inadvertently innocuous our actions may seem to us.

Ask yourself this – are you aware as a member of the VAFA Community you are bound by the VAFA Social Media Policy, be you a VAFA Board member, VAFA Employee or volunteer, a player, a coach or Club Administrator, an umpire, State team official and athlete or support personnel – well you are.

A few key take outs of the policy are as follows:

Introduction

The VAFA recognises and embraces the use of the internet to improve and increase the flow of information, shaping public thinking about our organization, members and sponsors.

This Policy provides guidelines to assist and open, respectful and knowledgeable interaction with people on the internet. It also seeks to protect the privacy, confidentiality, and interests of VAFA current and potential members.

Guidelines

VAFA Users are personally responsible for the content of their posts online. 

At a minimum, the policy expects VAFA Users to respect differences, appreciate the diversity of opinions and speak or conduct themselves in a professional manner when using social media. They have a responsibility to ensure that:

  • Any information about the VAFA is informed and factually accurate
  • If you notice inappropriate or unlawful content online relating to the VAFA that may otherwise have been published in breach of this policy, you should report this the VAFA

In conducting social media activities, VAFA Users should:

  • Be aware – Always remember that your social media usage is publicly visible.   Consider what you publish and with whom you share information and be alert for potential adverse inferences which may be drawn from content you publish.
  • Be polite – VAFA prohibits conduct on social media which is obscene, threatening, discriminatory, defamatory, insulting to another party or any conduct that would not otherwise be acceptable in the general workplace or sporting field.
  • Respect the law – This includes the laws governing:
    • defamation, discrimination, harassment and copyright, and you should attribute work to the original author or source, where possible; and
    • privacy, meaning you must not disclose other people’s personal information in conducting electronic communications and social media activities.

Breaches and Consequences

Any VAFA User who is found to have sent inappropriate electronic communication, uploaded inappropriate website content or engaged in blogs that harass, offend, intimidate or humiliate may face investigation by the VAFA. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in disciplinary action, which will be determined at the discretion of the VAFA.  In serious cases, such as members publishing false or misleading comments about another person in a public domain may result in suspension from games or official positions.

So by way of a refresher – think about what you post, the ramifications of the content shared or produced by you and your responsibility as a member of the VAFA Community when using social media.

Technology is to be embraced, however it’s more about the choices we make when we use it.

It is a responsibility we all share.

For the full VAFA Social Media Policy – hit the VAFA website and follow the links from the Club Admin tab to Policy and Facts Sheets.

See you at the footy.