OLJ 11 – Module 5 – Social media policy and online behaviour

xplanevisualthinking (2009). Did you know 4.0. . Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8

This video from 2009 shows some of the technology trends and ensuing behaviours relating to the use of online tools and media. It shows that people are seeking their media and news from sources that differ from the traditional news-media organisations. People are choosing the read online rather than in the traditional print news media. TV also has felt the effects of this change as more people choose their TV shows, movies, and alternative sources online. Therefore advertising has declined in the traditional media also, while online media has seen advertising skyrocket. Back in 2009 mobile phone use was growing and this trend has continued with more and more people owning and using their mobile phones for things they once did using their PC.

“The computer in your cell phone is a million times cheaper and a thousand times more powerful and about a hundred thousand times smaller [than the one computer at MIT in 1965]…” (xplanevisualthinking, 2009)

This change in media consumption has created some behaviours that need addressing and organisations approach this by creating policies to guide and protect their employees in this environment. This list is by no means comprehensive but here are some behaviours that organisational policy seeks to keep in check and in line with the organisations functions and responsibilities:

Behaviour Policy to address
Security concerns Firewalls; designated administrators; password change schedules
Illegal downloads Firewalls; acceptable use of internet at work statements; staff code of conduct; social media policy;
Access to media Firewalls; approval process for software applications; acceptable use of internet at work statements; social media policy;
Rise in texting Staff code of conduct; social media policy; approval process for software applications;
Incorrect use of Social Networking Social media policy; social media procedures; staff code of conduct; acceptable use of internet at work statements; designated administrators; password change schedules; approval process for software applications;

The use of online media has become so much a part of our everyday lives that organisations are struggling to keep up. Organisations can look to the industry standards to get some guidance. For libraries the Australian Library & Information Association offers advice about how to be safe online as well how to be Cybersmart. The National Library of Australia has published their Social Media Policy online and differentiates the use of social media within the organisation: official use; professional use; private use; and inappropriate use. The Australian Communications and Media Authority is the official organisation that represents Australia’s communications, and offers guidance about spam, digital literacy, online abuse, personal rights and safeguards, and a lot more.

In this article from Government News in 2010 a Municipal Association of Victoria representative stated, “that a social media policy was required to help councillors and council staff develop best practice and engage with communities that were already using a diverse range of social media outlets to communicate.” In trying to get government organisations on board, the Department of Justice Victoria released this video in 2011.

A range of guidelines, policies and documents relating to social media for government is now available on the eGovernment Resource Centre website.


Australian Communications and Media Authority (n.d.). ACMA Home page. Retrieved from http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/HOMEPAGE/PC=HOME

Australian Library and Information Association (n.d.) ALIA guide to online content regulation. Retrieved from http://membership.alia.org.au/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=ALIA/ccms.r?pageid=10577

Department of Justice Victoria (2011). Social Media Policy. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iQLkt5CG8I

eGovernment Resource Centre (2013). Social media policies and standards. Retrieved from http://www.egov.vic.gov.au/policies-and-standards/web-services-policies-and-standards/social-media-policies-and-standards.html

National Library of Australia (n.d.). Social media policy. Retrieved from http://www.nla.gov.au/policy-and-planning/social-media

O’Brien, R. (2010). MAV developing social media policy. Government News. Retrieved from http://www.governmentnews.com.au////article/MAV-developing-social-media-policy/IKQUGUSSQL.html

xplanevisualthinking (2009). Did you know 4.0. . Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8