Social media Code of Ethics

I’m proud to jointly release a new Code of Ethics for professional social media and community managers in Australia.

The standard was developed in collaboration with the Australian Community Managers industry group, digital media researchers Dr Fiona Martin and Dr Jonathan Hutchison (University of Sydney), Alison Michalk and myself.

The Code of Ethics can be found at acmcodeofethics.com.au

In the race for likes, clicks and cut through in the attention economy, social media and community managers are often asked by employers to stoop to baiting tactics that can include insults, hate speech and worse.

Content is published under the excuse that it is  “on brand” and will boost engagement, even if that content is destructive to users and the wider online community.

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The Code is intended as a supporting document for professional community and social media managers to use in calibrating employer requests and expectations against ethical digital behaviours.

Managing communities successfully and ethically are not mutually exclusive goals.

It encourages businesses to remember their public responsibilities when pursuing user engagement by providing options to create safe, welcoming, non-discriminatory and productive social environments online.

The Code features 10 standards and practices, including: dealing fairly and honestly; avoiding unnecessary emphasis on personal characteristics; disengaging gender or racial baiting; reporting harassment; remaining up to do date with current laws; and more.

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