Africa Solutions Media Hub
Social Media Policy
We highly recommend and advocate for professional, legal and positive use of social media or any other digital platforms to support the mission and vision of our organisation.
However, in the use or application of these internet platforms, the following guidelines shall apply for all work or program associated with ASMH:
1) Digital manipulation Guidelines
a) At all times, ascertain originality and authenticity of all content from social media platforms including videos, photographs audio recordings before use to avoid misinformation or disinformation.
b) At all times, verify the authenticity of the websites or social media links/pages from which information is obtained. Fake websites or social media pages often mimic legitimate ones with very slight variations that cannot be easily detected.
c) Verify source credibility by cross checking with multiple reliable sources
d) Verify authorship of internet acquired information before use
e) Use secure communication channels when dealing with sensitive information.
Encryption and secure messaging platforms can help protect against manipulation and unauthorized access
f) Double check social media information before incorporating in a story
2) Do no Harm Guidelines
a) Exercise caution when sharing content and at all times consider the likely impact of what is being shared. Balance the need to inform with the responsibility to avoid harm.
b) Stories or posts shall not be sensationalized at any given time or for whatever reason.
c) If unsure of possible effect of publishing certain information, seek guidance from ethics and legal experts.
d) Incorporate diverse perspectives when posting any information in order to provides more nuanced and comprehensive view of subject matter.
3) Privacy Guidelines
a) ASMH team shall seek consent to use information if the author or authors of such information or material had no intention of making it public.
b) ASMH team or any other party contracted to work for ASMH shall not impersonate a third person or hack a user’s account to access information.
c) Special care should also be taken when posting on children or those who are otherwise unable to give consent to be interviewed.
d) Special care shall be taken when using any material posted on social media by minors, as they may not understand the public nature of their postings.
4) Data Handling Guidelines
Data plays a crucial role in impact story telling. Data enhanced quality and depth of reporting. However, ASMH and those contracted to work for the organisation shall exercise ethics at all time and take extra caution in while using social media or any other internet based source.
a) Always verify the reliability of data sources to prevent posting of false, misleading or inaccurate data.
b) Always ensure transparency of data sources; ASMH team shall link sources to data shared on social media to help audience understand context.
c) Sensitive personal or private data has potential to cause harm or injure one’s reputation, therefore ASMH shall at all times make necessary considerations including informed consent before publishing such data on social media.
d) ASMH and those contracted by the organisation shall ensure they understand the context behind data before publication on social media. Misinterpretation of data can lead to misunderstanding and therefore, lead to misinformation of the online audience
e) In case of publication of erroneous data, ASMH shall immediately take the responsibility of retracting and providing the correct data or an explanation to it acknowledging the error.
f) When visualizing data on social media, ASMH shall ensure that the visualization has minimal potential to misinterpretation by the audience.
5) Comment Moderation Guidelines
Our audiences shall keep the organizations social media policy and guidelines in mind when submitting comments and direct messages to our social media channels. We moderate all messages and reserve the right to remove those that break our moderation guidelines.
Moderation will not be used to suppress legitimate, reasoned discussion, criticism, or complaints.
5.1) Inappropriate comments or content may include:
a) Malicious or offensive messages that could constitute a personal attack on a person’s character, including other people using our social media channels, and our staff.
b) Inciting hatred on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality or sexuality or any other personal characteristic.
c) Sharing personal details, such as private addresses, phone numbers, email addresses or other online contact details.
d) Repetitive negative messages which aim to provoke a response or do not constructively add to the conversation.
e) Comments that impersonate or falsely claim to represent a person or organization.
f) Swearing, hate-speech or obscenity.
g) Comments that violate the Constitution or any other law of the land.
h) Breach of any of the terms of any of the social media platforms themselves.
5.2) Rules for engaging with comments and public activity
a) ASMH responses to general queries and feedback shall be curt and courteous.
b) ASMH shall try to answer all questions where possible but may not handle every type of inquiry through social media.
c) Where volume of traffic on our social media accounts is high, it may not always be possible to respond.
d) ASMH encourages audiences to use other ways to contact the organization (including
the provided Mobile Number and email address) if your question or comment requires urgent attention.
e) Responses to legal matters shall be in consultation with the organizations legal advisers before going out.
f) ASMH reserves the right to remove comments, at the organizations discretion, deemed inappropriate at any time.
g) If we remove a comment for a reason listed above, we will try to reply to the commenter explaining our reason.
h) We will invite them to make appropriate changes so that the comment can be reconsidered.
i) Repeated breaking of these guidelines could result in the commenter being banned from viewing or commenting on our social media channels.
6) Retweets and Shares
Content we retweet or share on social media does not imply endorsement. We may retweet news, links and personal observations we believe are relevant to the work we do.
Our decision to follow particular accounts does not imply endorsement. We follow accounts in various social media platforms that we believe are relevant to our work.
a) We are committed to updating and monitoring our social media accounts during regular office hours. Office hours are; 08.00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday.
b) However, like many social media accounts, we may monitor and respond at other times of the day.
9) ASMH staff on social media
Some of ASMH staff may post on social media under their own names or pseudonyms. Despite their professional affiliation with the ASMH, their social media posts do not represent the official position of ASMH or our Board, and should be considered the productof each individual as a private citizen.
Africa Solutions Media Hub