17 Replies Latest reply on Mar 8, 2012 7:57 AM by rbickel

    Social Guidelines (Internal Only)


      So, I am looking for a set of sample guidelines for an internal community policy.  The goal is to:


      keep confidential information internal

      guide acceptable behavior



      Also, do you add copy a disclaimer for each post, have a site-wide policy or have a terms and conditions agreement upon signup?


      Something along the lines of:

      You're invited to use blogs to share your perspectives, knowledge, success stories, inspirations and ideas. Please use discretion when blogging and commenting, and don't distribute blog postings to people outside of the company....  



      ......if you wouldn't say it in the office, don't say it here.



      Thanks - Mike

        • Re: Social Guidelines (Internal Only)

          Hey Mike - below is what we use in addition to our official Terms of Use Agreement

          Xxxxx Guidelines

          The goal of Xxxxx is to empower our employees to build and grow successful communities, groups and collaborative solutions.   Basic guidelines have been established to assure Xxxxx is enjoyable for - and respectful of - all our users. Please interact with other users accordingly and conduct yourself as you would in any professional, business setting.  The Xxxxx site is intended for Business/Professional use and your use of Xxxxx is subject to these Xxxxx Guidelines and the Terms of Use.

          We hope you enjoy visiting Xxxxx, return often, and become an active member and frequent contributor.



          Keep it clean, keep it professional. Every post should make a positive contribution and should be suitable for all users. Xxxxx content is open to all points of view on intended business-related topics; mature, polite debate is encouraged.  We will however remove any post or reply that includes derogatory, abusive, offensive, obscene, violent or inappropriate content of any kind. Always interact with other users respectfully, as you would in any professional setting.

          Be honest, be yourself. Xxxxx is intended to be used for the helpful exchange of information between members. False, inaccurate, or otherwise misleading information is generally not helpful.  Please be sincere in your community or group participation by only contributing valid, useful content.

          Respect the privacy of others. It's up to you, and only you, to decide whether or not to share personal information about yourself or your business.  Please do not post or send a reply that includes another user's postal or email addresses, phone numbers, or other contact information.

          Help look after your community or group. Communities and groups are established for the benefit and enjoyment of members like you. If you notice content that does not align with the Xxxxx guidelines or Terms of Use Agreement, please report it to our site moderators by selecting Report Abuse.

          1 person found this helpful
            • Re: Social Guidelines (Internal Only)

              Very helpful. Thank you.

                • Re: Social Guidelines (Internal Only)

                  We adapted ours from the IBM Social Guidelines (with their permission of course):


                  In the course of using advanced collaboration systems, by definition people will frequently encounter each other electronically. Like any other online system in use at our companies, the standard Code of Conduct applies. However, here are some additional guidelines for your electronic behavior.



                  • You are personally responsible for your postings, so ensure they are accurate and appropriate.
                  • Speak as yourself; don't act differently just because you are online.
                  • Manage your time appropriately. Do not let your job suffer because you spent too much time in social networking environments.



                  • There is no place for inappropriate comments; don't make any.
                  • Consider that the people you encounter may be from different companies and countries and have different policies, approaches and customs than yourself. Just because things may be different does not mean they are wrong.
                  • Don't ignite online arguments; they are counterproductive.



                  • Do participate when you have something useful to offer. Don't keep good stuff secret.
                  • Support others when you observe them doing something good.
                  • Don't be anonymous; always use your own identity.



                  • Do follow your respective corporate conduct policies, standards and procedures.
                  • Don't abuse other's copyrights by using their material without appropriate permission and attribution.
                  • Don't release company confidential information, or any information that would be considered personal, private or security related.
                  • Don't store, post, acquire or in any way use illegal or inappropriate files or information.
                • Re: Social Guidelines (Internal Only)

                  Jen, these are great! Thank you for sharing with us! I especially appreciate the clear purpose statement, direct guidelines, friendly tone, and encouragement to contribution.



                • Re: Social Guidelines (Internal Only)

                  We did create a specific Terms of Use for our Jive instance. However, most of it was boilerplate text taken from our existing policies around acceptable business behavior, and a corporate blogging policy. Especially around blogging, we pulled in the text concerning inflammatory writing (libel, copyright, disclosure of financial info, etc.) explicitly into the Terms, rather than linking out to the other policy doc.


                  Additionally, we did add some specific wording around Profile Photos being "business appropriate and suitable for purposes of physical identification."  We also mention this piece in all of our training modules. It actually gets a big laugh when we talk about this part, then mention "this means that a photo of your dog, on spring break, is not appropriate."

                    • Re: Social Guidelines (Internal Only)

                      Hey Kevin - I like the profile picture clarification -- "business appropriate and suitable for purposes of physical identification."  We have a number of dog, children, super heros, etc...... profile pictures which certainly do not help us identify one another.  I may need to add this one to our Guidelines.  Thx!

                        • Re: Social Guidelines (Internal Only)

                          I'd be careful with too many rules (that are personal prefferences) because communities are supposed to be organic and fun!!

                          • Re: Social Guidelines (Internal Only)

                            Hi Jen,


                            we have a similar rule for profile photos but it can be hard to enforce. It is - in our company - a line management issue and not a community management one.


                            In respect to the original question, we don't have an extra set of policies for our Jive installation. Just created a brief list of good behaviour

                            • create a personal profile
                            • use courteous language
                            • don't be shy ask a question or share your knowledge
                            • searching is easier than browsing
                            • check if content exists before you create a new group
                        • Re: Social Guidelines (Internal Only)

                          Hey Mike! Here are a few more examples. They serve for both internal and external:




                          • Re: Social Guidelines (Internal Only)



                            Here's a link to a database of Social Media Governance policies from a wide range of industries. There are currently 164 policies listed, which can be filtered into a half dozen different aggregations. While I tend to agree with Corey that communities should be organic and fun, they are - after all - intended to improve an enterprise's ability to do what they do effectively. Hope this proves useful.



                              • Re: Social Guidelines (Internal Only)

                                Here is what I created for our internal sales community:

                                1. To ensure that your message reach the right people at timely manner, identify your subject matter clearly in the subject line. Subjects like ‘a question’ and ‘prospecting idea’ are not very helpful
                                2. Recognize help/answers your receive. If someone has provided you with information that is helpful mark the response as “Helpful” if they have answered your question mark it as ‘Answered’. Not only does it recognize the time a respondent put into answering your question, but it also alerts others that your question was fully answered.
                                3. Before asking a question use the search function of the InTouch community to see if someone has already asked that question and it’s been answered or a discussion on your topic is already ongoing.
                                4. Keep questions short and to the point. This makes it easier for people to reply quickly with an answer.
                                5. Ask only one question per topic. This makes it easier to understand and follow the replies.
                                6. If you find a solution to a problem raised in a topic then post it as a reply so that others can benefit.
                                7. If you didn't get an answer then take another look at your question and see if you could improve it.
                                8. Don't reply to a topic to say you have had a similar problem. This is called a 'Me Too' post and wastes people's time as they are looking for an answer.
                                9. Answer other people's questions. This makes sure users will continue to utilize the community so you can expect answers to your own questions in the future. It increases your community reputation and makes you feel good.
                                10. When you participate in a discussion always add something useful and interesting to it. Avoid unnecessary posts such as "too,and I "," Thanks, "and so on.
                                11. Use emoticons and other symbols to indicate tone. When posting on the community,  there is an absence of indicators that help one to decipher tone and your intention.. In the absence of valuable voice tone, body language, facial expressions and other social cues, emoticons and symbols (smiley face, or "*smile*") can help make tone and intention clear to other community participants.
                                  • Re: Social Guidelines (Internal Only)

                                    We've recently added a Code of Conduct that takes the Governance Guidelines a step further. The driver for this was a couple of "questionable" postings in our internal community. We pulled the documents in question either because it violated  IT security policy, or for being in generally poor taste. Sometimes humor can be misinterpreted.

                                    We received a negative response and a "big brother/censorship" charge which motivated us to put in writing why something might get yanked, or quarantined, until it was reviewed.

                                • Re: Social Guidelines (Internal Only)

                                  Here is UBM's (legal approved) TOC:


                                  XXX Usage Policy


                                  The XXX internal corporate social media software system  known as XXX is intended to be used by employees of all the XXX companies for  the purposes of encouraging communication and collaboration across XXX. Whilst XXX offers huge potential benefits, it can also open the door to some significant risks if the appropriate procedures are not followed. This policy on the use of XXX is designed to help you understand the rules and guidelines which XXX expects to be observed by all users of XXX and to help you use these resources wisely.


                                  All existing XXX group company policies apply to the use of XXX.  In particular, employees should familiarize themselves with their company’s anti-harassment  and anti-bullying policies, diversity and equal opportunities policies, disciplinary rules and policies, confidentiality and information technology policies, data protection and data privacy policies and  share dealing policies which may be found in company employee handbooks and/or posted on intranets or in XXX.  It is each individual's responsibility to ensure that they comply with those policies and with their individual contracts of employment, if applicable.

                                  XXX is designed to be used as an open medium for internal exchange and collaboration and therefore use of XXX by unauthorized persons is prohibited.  Do not attempt to share the contents of XXX beyond its intended internal audience.

                                  This Policy is applicable to all those granted access to XXX.  By accessing, browsing or using XXX, you acknowledge that you have read, understand and agree to be bound by this XXX Usage Policy at all times.

                                  You can also refer to our plain English wiki usage guidelines as outlined once you complete your login. If there is any discrepancy between the usage guidelines and this XXX Usage Policy, this XXX Usage Policy will prevail.

                                  XXX may at any time without notice revise and update this Policy and the revised terms will take effect when they are posted on XXX.  By continuing to use XXX after changes are posted, you accept and agree to be bound by any such revisions, and you are responsible for reviewing this Policy regularly to determine the current terms to which you are bound. To be notified automatically when this policy is updated, click on the "Receive email notificatons" link in the right column of this policy's page in XXX.


                                  XXX is provided strictly for XXX employees and contains company-confidential information.  In exceptional cases, access for certain non-employees may be allowed, but  must be approved in advance by the Wiki Community Manager in accordance with XX policy on wiki access for non-employees. Non-employees are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) specifically for XXX and must agree to be bound by the terms of this Policy. For additional assistance with the non-employee process, please email xxx@company.com.

                                  • - When a user account is created, the user will be assigned a unique random password. Immediately upon first log in to XXX, the user must change their password.
                                  • - The password system is one of the key methods for protecting confidential information on XXX.  In order for the password system to be effective, it is essential that you keep your personal password confidential.  In particular, you should not share your password with any other employees or anyone. You should also make sure you change your password periodically. Passwords should be at least eight characters in length and contain both letters and numbers that do not represent obvious combinations that could be easily guessed, including but not limited to words that could be found in the dictionary, names, letter patterns or words spelt backwards.
                                  • - You should protect your password. Do not write it down or leave it in an obvious, insecure location such as on your PC or work area.
                                  • - You must not use the username or password of another XXX Wiki user.
                                  • - Be cautious if using non-company equipment to access XXX, as it may not provide the same level of security, therefore putting your user account and data at risk. If you are using a shared computer, be sure to log off after you have finished using XXX.  
                                  • - Please follow XXX group company policies to secure your PC, laptop and mobile devices and make a report immediately if equipment is lost or stolen.

                                  XXX should not be considered equally as secure as XXX network drives, which are  protected by additional layers of security. Accordingly, each individual user must take this  into account and exercise caution when deciding what information to post on XXX, and  each individual user is responsible for protecting XXX group company confidential information and  information which is commercially sensitive.

                                  Confidentiality of Information

                                  Great care should be used when posting content on XXX. Generally, anyone who has an XXX user account can see all content on XXX, except in places that have  been set up for restricted access. You should not automatically assume that others are aware of the confidential nature of the information that you have access to, so make sure you understand who has permission to view the content in the place where you intend to post content.

                                  If you are posting information which could damage the competitive position of XXX or its group companies if it were made public, it is your responsibility to consider whether XXX is the safest way to share the information and make sure you understand who will have access  to that particular information.

                                  XXX should never be used to publish or store certain kinds of information:

                                  • - Anything which might be considered price sensitive information (information which relates to  XXX, is not public knowledge and which may lead to a substantial movement in the price of  the company's shares);
                                  • - Non-public information regarding the financial performance of the business or division (for  example, divisional monthly results, budgets or forecasts);
                                  • - Information regarding potential acquisitions, mergers or disposals or other material financial matters;
                                  • - Anything that would violate the contract rights or any other rights of any person or entity if  published ( - in particular, if you post third party content into the wiki you must confirm that you  have secured the rights to share that content);
                                  • - “Sensitive” information about individuals including information relating to  physical or mental health, race or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, trade union membership  or criminal offences;
                                  • - Information covered by attorney-client privilege or other legal privilege;
                                  • - Information covered by a Non-disclosure Agreement, unless cleared in advance by your legal department and published only to a restricted place;
                                  • - Confidential documentation or information received as a result of a business relationship or a potential acquisition (which could include pricing or other competitive information) and confidential  information belonging to third parties, such as clients or suppliers.

                                  If you have any concerns about whether particular information is confidential or is subject to any  of the restrictions listed above, please contact your legal department BEFORE posting such  information on XXX.

                                  Conduct and Content

                                  • - General standards of business conduct and appropriateness should be employed AT ALL TIMES when using XXX.
                                  • - Individuals and organizational units are responsible for the content they create or manage, and  individuals are personally responsible for their own activity on XXX.
                                  • - Never make any personal attacks, or disparage XXX or any of its group companies or disparage competitors or any third party.
                                  • - You must not use XXX to communicate in any manner any unlawful or inappropriate information or materials, including without limitation anything that is threatening, libellous, defamatory, inflammatory, harmful (including but not limited to viruses, corrupted files, or any other  similar software or programs) or otherwise objectionable.
                                  • - As with all company IT facilities, XXX must never be used in a way which harasses  or is capable of constituting harassment, or which is offensive to others. Harassment is  regarded as gross misconduct, and will lead to disciplinary action, which may result in immediate dismissal. For these reasons, you must not publish or store any of the following on XXX:  
                                    • - any offensive or inappropriate statements or material  pertaining to race, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age or any other  personal characteristic;
                                    • anything which could be regarded as offensive, obscene, indecent, pornographic or profane, in bad taste or immoral;
                                    • - any other abusive, offensive, indecent messages or material.

                                  Ultimately, it is for XXX and its group companies to determine what is appropriate, offensive or  immoral. If you are in any doubt, then do not publish or upload the material.  As a general rule, if any user of XXX (whether intended to view the page or not) might be offended by the contents of the page, or if the fact that XXX contains the material might  harm the reputation of XXX or its group companies if that fact were made public, then it may not be published, uploaded or stored on XXX.

                                  • - If you notice any material on XXX which might be considered offensive, you should report it to the Wiki Community Manager immediately. There is a “Report abuse” link  on all user-created content pages on XXX for this purpose.
                                  • - You must not undertake deliberate activity on XXX that results in any of the  following:    
                                    • - wasting staff effort and interfering with the timely  performance of work commitments
                                    • - wasting IT resources
                                    • - corrupting or destroying other users’ data
                                    • - disrupting the work of other users.
                                  • - You must not upload files to XXX without ensuring that the files are safe and free from Malicious Software (“MalWare”) (i.e. virus-free).

                                  Privacy and Personal Data

                                  • - You are responsible for complying with data privacy and data protection laws.
                                  • - Ensure you do not violate the privacy of others - check first with a colleague before posting personal information that he or she might consider “private”.
                                  • - By your continued use of XXX, you are consenting to the use and sharing of your personal data as set out in this Policy.
                                  • - The day to day workings of XXX necessarily involves the processing of personal data  (i.e. information that relates to or identifies an individual, including photographs).  This will  relate to employees within XXX and its divisions, as well as individuals outside XXX (e.g.  details about individual persons as part of suppliers and business partners).  Accordingly, users of XXX and the internal and external administrators or service providers of XXX will have access to such personal data (Jive Software hosts XXX application for XXX on servers maintained in the United States of America, which means that Jive’s support team has access to personal data on XXX).
                                  • - Please consider XXX provided by XXX as “corporate” space - there should be no expectation of personal privacy in relation to your use of XXX platform or  information you publish on XXX. XXX and XXX company you work for maintains the right to, at any time, review, audit, access, monitor, delete and disclose information  you store or publish on the XXX, and may investigate your activities on XXX and use that information for any purpose to the extent allowed by the country in which you are assigned to work. The reasons for such monitoring activities may include the need  to ensure general compliance with this Policy, to prevent or investigate the use of theXXX for unauthorised purposes, to prevent or detect alleged misconduct and to ensure XXX is operating effectively. Such monitoring activities will only be conducted by authorised personnel and will be subject to appropriate safeguards.  We reserve the right to disclose information about your use of XXX to third parties in response to valid legal process or to protect the health or safety of an individual or the integrity of our systems.
                                  • - XXX is a global platform available to all XXX employees and other authorized  individuals around the world. Information about you as a professional and as an individual is  available globally, and your access to and use of XXX constitutes your consent to the use and transfer of your personal data outside the European Economic Area.
                                  • - If there are any questions or concerns with regard to the content on XXX, please contact the Wiki Community Manager, XXX's Privacy Officer or your company’s Legal Department (where applicable) for advice.

                                  Intellectual Property

                                  The intellectual property of others must be respected at all times.

                                  • - You may not post or redistribute any content that you do not have the right to post or  redistribute.
                                  • - In some cases, intellectual property must only be published and used in a particular jurisdiction (e.g. otherwise it can be subpoenaed by other jurisdictions outside of the country where the business is based). As XXX is a global platform, such intellectual property must never be published on XXX.
                                  • - Any use of XXX or XXX company logos downloaded or copied from XXX shall be subject to the applicable XXX or XXX company trademark usage policies and procedures.
                                  • - You may not post or redistribute any content that infringes a third party's intellectual property  rights, rights of publicity or privacy.  Do not use logos, trademarks or copyrighted material  belonging to third parties on XXX, unless specific permission or legal clearance has been obtained. Always give proper attribution when quoting others.

                                  Copyright guidance:

                                  • - All written material may be subject to copyright, even if there is no copyright statement.
                                  • - The fact that something is on the internet “for free” does not imply that we can  make copies of it, or store it on our systems.
                                  • - We do not have permission to put any third party material on XXX – this must be applied for on a case-by-case basis.
                                  • - If material subject to a third party’s copyright is published, please confirm in the posting that you have secured the rights to publish it.
                                  • - Linking from a XXX entry to a third party source on the Internet avoids the problem of us breaching copyright by copying and pasting onto XXX.
                                  • - Linking also is more transparent and allows users to see clearly the context of what they are  reading.
                                  • - Most sites do allow “deep linking” (meaning linking directly to the article level  rather than the site home page) but not all do, so check the site’s terms and conditions.

                                  For example:

                                  • - DO NOT copy and paste the text of articles from the internet onto XXX unless you have obtained specific permission to do so from the source.            
                                    • DO provide a link to the article, provided it is permitted by the source and is from a safe and appropriate source.
                                  • - DO NOT upload “photocopies” of an article/story.            
                                    • DO link to the online version, provided it is allowed and is from a safe and appropriate source.

                                  Public Records, Discovery and Retention

                                  All information which you store or publish on XXX is subject to the XXX Record Retention Policy (please see the document of this title in the wiki when you complete your login), including litigation holds issued by legal counsel.

                                  Please remember that everything posted on XXX would be considered disclosable documents in legal proceedings. Therefore you should not write anything on XXX that you would not feel comfortable writing in a formal communication that would be the subject of discovery in any litigation.

                                  Please routinely and periodically delete information you have posted from XXX when it is no longer of use.

                                  Backups of the entire XXX database are captured on a daily basis at approximately 12am  PST (GMT-8).  Should a catastrophic failure occur that would require rebuilding the system  from a backup, any changes to the system between the backup and the failure would be lost.

                                  Wiki Administration

                                  The overall administration of XXX is the responsibility of the Wiki Community  Manager. This role is responsible for managing the development of the online community in  XXX, as well as technical administration of the system.  This role is not responsible for content created by others on XXX, but may access and modify content as deemed  necessary for the general administration of the site.

                                  General Provisions

                                  You are responsible for material you publish on XXX and for compliance with  applicable local laws. XXX will not be liable for any damages including, without limitation, indirect  or consequential damages, or any damages whatsoever, whether in action of contract,  statute  or tort, arising out of or in connection with the use of XXX . If any part of this Wiki Usage Policy is held to be unenforceable, the unenforceable part shall be given effect to the greatest extent possible and the remainder will remain in full force and effect.  This Wiki Usage Policy will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales, and are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the  Courts of England and Wales. We suggest that you print out a copy of this Wiki Usage Policy for your records.

                                  Behaviour that breaches this Policy should be reported to the Wiki Community Manager immediately.

                                  XXX and its group companies may investigate complaints or violations of this Policy and any breaches will be treated very seriously. Notwithstanding any other terms or policies, XXX and its group companies may take any action it deems appropriate including, without limitation, revoking access to XXX at any time and instigating disciplinary action, which may result in termination of employment or contract.

                                  • Re: Social Guidelines (Internal Only)

                                    We're in the process of finishing up ours as well and I found this example online to be great inspiration: Drafting Social Media Guidelines

                                    One thing I felt strongly about is having a guideline that felt more inclusive-- not full of sterile legal jargon. We adjusted the below sample to have more examples of how we want employees to engage with our brand online via sharing, retweeting, etc. Hope this helps!



                                    SocialFish Social Media Guidelines

                                    These are the official guidelines for social media use on behalf of SocialFish. If you’re a SocialFish employee or contractor creating or contributing to any kind of social media both on and off socialfish.org, these guidelines are for you. We expect all who participate in social media on behalf of SocialFish to understand and follow these guidelines.

                                    • Live the SocialFish philosophy. In online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred. Just by identifying yourself as a SocialFish employee, you are creating perceptions about your expertise.  Be sure that all content associated with you is consistent with your work and SocialFish’s philosophy (that social media is about building relationships – not a numbers game).
                                    • Understand privacy settings on outposts. We don’t expect all of your social media use to be work-related, but we do expect you to keep the items you share with your close personal friends separate from what you share with your work “friends.”
                                    • Be yourself. Never impersonate someone else, or purposely obscure your identity as a SocialFish. Build your own reputation. Care about what you are talking about.  Add value to the conversation.
                                    • State when it’s your personal opinion versus the SocialFish opinion. For your personal blog, twitter account, or lifestream, we have a handy disclaimer that you can use.
                                    • Write what you know. Stick to your area of expertise and provide unique, individual perspectives on what’s going on at SocialFish and in the world.
                                    • Don’t tell secrets. Respect proprietary information and content, and confidentiality.  Don’t discuss client work without permission.
                                    • Don’t spam. Ever. You can link to other SocialFish blog posts or information about services but do it subtly and only in response to a specific query.  We have other ways of sharing our awesomesauce.
                                    • Give credit where credit is due. Always attribute when quoting someone else. Make sure images are shareable through Creative Commons, and attribute them, too. Never use copyrighted material without permission.
                                    • Mistakes happen. Let the team help you fix your mistakes. Most of the time, admitting your mistake and moving on is enough. When it isn’t, the team can come  together to find a solution to any problem.
                                    • Share the love. We believe in sharing and linking to the best content from all over the web. A link is not an endorsement, so don’t be shy about sharing something from a “competitor” if you feel it is worthwhile to our clients and friends.
                                    • Be a good conversationalist. Monitor and reply to comments in a timely manner, when a response is appropriate; but pause and wait if you are having an emotional response to something – or show someone else first before you hit the publish button.
                                    • Be clear, but not defensive. Be polite and professional, especially when you disagree with someone.  If you find yourself working too hard to defend, take a step back, let the community defend for you (because they will).
                                    • Remember everything online is discoverable. If you can’t show it to your mother or a judge, don’t post it. If in doubt, ask.
                                    • Always be learning. This space is fast-moving and ever-evolving. Read more than you write. Ask questions. Link to others and always build relationships. That’s what our work is all about.
                                    1 person found this helpful