Telstra, Australia’s biggest telecommunications company, has created a set of guidelines for staff when using social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and similar sites. The media calls it “laying down the law” and tries to connect it to a recent controversy about a Telstra staff member creating a Twitter parody account for Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy (for example, see this Sydney Morning Herald article). But in fact the Telstra guidelines are simple common sense rules that could apply to us all.
They are summarised by the “Three R’s”: responsibility, respect and representation. In other words:
- Act in a responsible way, and take responsibility for what you say on-line.
- Treat other people with respect.
- Disclose who you are and who you represent; don’t hide behind anonymous or fake identities.
Good advice, huh? I should add that I dislike Telstra with a passion, and avoid them wherever possible because of their arrogance, high prices and appalling customer service (in my opinion!). But that doesn’t mean they’re always bad, and this is an example of them doing the right thing.