The explosion in mobile communication, cloud computing and social media activity is revolutionising the way the ACMA engages with its stakeholders and the Australian public.
The ACMA is committed to professional, supportive and informative communication with its many stakeholders and the Australian public who use social media. These guidelines set out recommended practice for social media communication by the ACMA.
Social media defined
Social media is a set of internet-based tools used for sharing and discussing information. It refers to user-generated information, opinion and other content shared and discussed over open digital networks.
Social media may include, but is not limited to:
- social networking sites—Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+
- photo sharing, infographics and video websites—Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube
- blogs, including corporate, government and industry blogs
- micro-blogging—Twitter (multiple accounts)
- forums, discussion boards and groups—Google groups, Whirlpool, Reddit, Digg
- vod and podcasting
- email and instant messaging.
Social media also includes all other emerging electronic/digital communication applications.
The ACMA will ensure these guidelines are publicly available and are easily accessible by all stakeholders and the Australian public.
The ACMA will make use of social media in the following ways:
By contributing original content to its own social media platforms, discussion forums or other time-specific initiatives.
By contributing content to social media platforms operated by external organisations.
By sharing or re-tweeting content from online platforms operated by external organisations, including news outlets, influentials, other government or non-for-profit organisations.
Principles of engagement
The ACMA adopts the following principles when engaging with its stakeholders and the Australian public through social media.
These principles also encourage the community to enter into an open conversation with the ACMA.
Professional—we will communicate with the utmost integrity, working to provide individuals with the appropriate information using a professional and humble tone.
Relevant—we will provide the latest, relevant information about the ACMA and communications news from around the country and the globe.
Authoritative—if a statement posted by a social media user about the ACMA is incorrect, we will endeavour to direct them to the correct information.
Responsive—we will aim to respond to all online queries within 48 hours. Social media is a real-time platform, so questions should be addressed in a timely manner.
Moderated—all ACMA social media accounts will be monitored during work hours, and outside of work hours when necessary. Comments posted by the public that do not comply with the ACMA social media guidelines will not be published or will be removed.
Moderation and comments
The ACMA welcomes constructive, respectful engagment and promotes open, "family friendly" forums. We moderate all our social media and feedback sites and request users please observe the following posting guidelines:
- Defamatory, offensive or unlawful posts on ACMA social media channels will not be published or will be removed.
- Forms of solicitation or advertising will not be published or will be removed.
- Posts that contain a link to, or copy of, content that is subject to an online content complaint will be removed or not published in the interest of protecting others from inadvertently accessing material that may be prohibited.
- Comments should be on topic and relevant to the ACMA.
Comments published on the ACMA’s websites or our associated social media sites are the views of the commenter. Publication of the comments should not be taken as endorsement or agreement by the ACMA. Retweets (via Twitter) should also not be seen as endorsements or agreement by the ACMA.
The ACMA makes no warranties or representations regarding the accuracy, reliability, validity and/or completeness of third-party information.
Implementation, monitoring and review
The ACMA’s Social Media Producer and Engagement Manager are responsible for the implementation, monitoring and review of all social media channels and activities.
Each social media channel is monitored during working hours and outside working hours when necessary.
A social media plan is implemented for each social media platform where the ACMA is present.
Social media platforms are reviewed and modified continuously to keep them in line with the overall objectives and needs of the ACMA and the public.
Public information and confidentiality
The ACMA will only provide information that is publicly available. This includes information on its website or in its annual report, or information that senior management has authorised for release.
All information provided will be factually correct.
The ACMA will not publish confidential information on social media sites where it is active.
Copyright and fair use of information will be adhered to.
The government has agreed for works covered by Crown copyright to be automatically licensed under the appropriate open attribution licence. The actual licence is an agency decision.
When using social media, it is acceptable to link to another person’s work. In general, a short excerpt—typically no more than a paragraph—can be quoted. The author and publisher should be acknowledged.
If another person’s intellectual property is not in the public arena and the ACMA plans to post it, the author’s permission will be obtained beforehand.
Only copyright-free images will be used in compliance with the rights holder’s requirements.
Guidelines for APS employees
The Australian Public Service Commission has updated its guidance on public comment, including individual comment on current affairs through blogs, social networking sites and other online media that allow user participation and interaction.
The requirements for APS employees include:
- behaving with respect and courtesy, and without harassment
- dealing appropriately with information, recognising that some information needs to remain confidential
- delivering services fairly, effectively, impartially and courteously to the Australian public
- being sensitive to the diversity of the Australian public
- taking reasonable steps to avoid conflicts of interest
- making proper use of Commonwealth resources
- upholding the APS Values and the integrity and good reputation of the APS
- not acting in a way that would call into question the APS employee’s ability to be apolitical, impartial and professional in the performance of their duties.