Social Media Guidelines

Goals

SFPIRG maintains a presence on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with the goals of:

  • Educating our members and communities about social and environmental justice issues;
  • Sharing information about current events, both locally and globally, that are related to social and environmental justice;
  • Advertising and promoting SFPIRG events, resources, and programming; and
  • Advertising and promoting other community events, resources, and programming that are related to social and environmental justice, and that may be of interest or use to our members and communities.

This policy is a living document, and will evolve with time. Areas for further development include SFPIRG’s voice on social media, website engagement strategy, responding to harmful content that has community engagement and conversation, and more.

Roles

SFPIRG’s Director of Communications will hold the primary administrative role for all social media accounts. Additional staff may be given administrative privileges at the Director of Communications’ discretion. No volunteers will be given administrative privileges for any social media account. Only the Director of Communications will have the authority to manage social media administrative privileges.

Any staff member with social media administrative privileges may post, edit, or comment on any of SFPIRG’s social media postings, provided they are consistent with SFPIRG’s social media goals, as well as with all other related bylaws, policies, and procedures. A strong example of a related policy is SFPIRG’s Community Space Guidelines.

If a staff member believes one of SFPIRG’s own posts on social media should be deleted, they should consult with the Director of Communications before deleting the post. If a post must be deleted immediately for any reason, the staff member deleting the post will notify the Director of Communications with information about what was posted, and when and why it was deleted.

At any time, SFPIRG staff and volunteers may consult with the Director of Communications about any activity on SFPIRG’s social media platforms. Consensus decision-making will generally be used to agree upon approaches, responses, and tactics; however, in the event consensus cannot be reached, the Director of Communications will be responsible for making the final decision. Appeals may be made to the SFPIRG Board of Directors at directors@sfpirg.ca.

Activity and Monitoring

In order to support work/life balance and to maintain a consistent presence on social media, activity on SFPIRG’s social media platforms shall take place or be scheduled to take place during regular SFPIRG office hours. This includes uploading new posts, editing posts, commenting on posts, and engaging on other pages/individuals’ posts.

All administrators of SFPIRG’s social media platforms are responsible for monitoring content and engagement while using SFPIRG’s social media, including immediately responding to harmful content as below. Any concerns about content or engagement shall be directed to the Director of Communications to address.

Responding to Harmful Content

As an organization, SFPIRG values inclusive and accessible space, as well as accountability, integrity, wholeness and healing. We believe that all of this requires continual learning and growth and so we encourage curiosity and compassion, and we strive to be self-reflective and supportive of the learning process in others.

In order to support education, dialogue and learning, we ask those who engage with SFPIRG’s social media to please keep the conversation respectful and constructive, to remember to give other people (and ourselves) room to learn and make mistakes, and to remain open to the possibility that someone else might have a valid point. We do not tolerate discriminatory or harassing language, abuse, threats or spam (referred to hereafter as harmful content). SFPIRG has a general policy to allow criticism and we prefer not to be put in the position of moderating what is said; however, when a user’s content breaks the rules, it will be removed to prioritize a welcoming environment where all users can participate. The following statement will be made visible and/or easily accessible on all SFPIRG social media platforms:

“In order to support education, dialogue and learning, we ask those who engage with SFPIRG’s social media to please keep the conversation respectful and constructive, to remember to give other people (and ourselves) room to learn and make mistakes, and to remain open to the possibility that someone else might have a valid point. We do not tolerate discriminatory or harassing language, abuse, threats or spam. SFPIRG has a general policy to allow criticism and we prefer not to be put in the position of moderating what is said; however, when a user’s content breaks the rules, it will be removed to prioritize a welcoming environment where all users can participate. To view SFPIRG’s full social media guidelines, please visit www.sfpirg.ca.”

While occasions will arise where public dialogue with a user may be useful or productive, administrators are asked to be thoughtful about how and when they engage directly with users who post harmful content. SFPIRG’s social media administrators will respond to potential harmful content using the following escalation steps:

  1. If an administrator comes across potential harmful content outside of regular office hours, they should temporarily hide the content if possible and immediately address the content as soon as they return to the office. If they will not be returning to the office in the near future, they should also notify the Director of Communications so that appropriate action can be taken.
  2. If at any time an administrator is unsure of what action to take, they should temporarily hide the potentially harmful content if possible and immediately notify the Director of Communications so that appropriate action can be taken.
  3. Where a comment, message or inquiry may reasonably stem from a genuine interest in engaging with a topic and where further education about the topic may be beneficial to the user, administrators will respond by linking the user to additional online resources.
  4. Where continued public engagement with the intent to educate a user may become more harmful to other members of SFPIRG’s social media community, administrators will ask the user to move the conversation to private messages, or to email. If a user declines, administrators may escalate to the next step.
  5. Where a comment, message or inquiry is deemed to be harmful content, and:
    1. it is the first such content from a user, administrators will respond using the following message:
      • “In order to support education, dialogue and learning, we ask those who engage with SFPIRG’s social media to please keep the conversation respectful and constructive, to remember to give other people (and ourselves) room to learn and make mistakes, and to remain open to the possibility that someone else might have a valid point. We do not tolerate discriminatory or harassing language, abuse, threats or spam. SFPIRG has a general policy to allow criticism and we prefer not to be put in the position of moderating what is said; however, when a user’s content breaks the rules, it will be removed to prioritize a welcoming environment where all users can participate. If you believe your message has been flagged by mistake or would like to understand more about why your post has been flagged, please contact us at info@sfpirg.ca.”
    2. it is the second such content from a user, administrators will hide the content if possible. If it is not possible to hide the content, administrators will delete the content.
    3. it is the third such content from a user, administrators will delete the content.
    4. it is the fourth (or more) such content from a user, administrators will take the appropriate steps to ban the user from engaging directly with SFPIRG’s social media platform.
  6. If a user has been banned, they may make a first appeal to the Director of Communications (communications@sfpirg.ca) by explaining why they would like to continue being able to engage with SFPIRG’s social media and what concrete actions they will take to demonstrate respectful behavior and language.
  7. Upon first appeal, if the Director of Communications does not reverse a user’s ban, a second appeal may be made to the SFPIRG Board of Directors (directors@sfpirg.ca) by providing further explanation of why they would like to engage with SFPIRG’s social media and what concrete actions they will take to demonstrate respectful behavior and language. The Board of Directors’ decision is final.
  8. If a user’s ban has been reversed upon review by the Director of Communications or by the Board of Directors, and subsequent content from the user is deemed to be discriminatory or harassing language, abuse, profanity, threats or spam, administrators will escalate directly to Step 5(d) of these guidelines.

Questions about this policy may be directed to the Director of Communications by email at communications@sfpirg.ca.