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Please note the IEEE Best Practices Guidelines relative to the use of social media below. This information can also be found at

1.   Social media philosophy

IEEE encourages organizational units and groups of members, volunteers and employees to use social media for communication, collaboration, data sharing, and content development, in a manner that is consistent with IEEE’s mission and objectives.

IEEE supports all content creators and social media group administrators who abide by IEEE’s social media policies when conducting IEEE business online.

2.   Objective and definitions

2.1   These are the best practices for use in social media by IEEE members, volunteers, employees, vendors, consultants and contract workers (these groups of individuals are referred to in the remainder of this document as IEEE community members). All other IEEE policies that are directed to some or all IEEE community members, will apply, as appropriate, to activities that take place on, or in the context of, social media. In particular, refer to IEEE’s Policy on Social Media and to IEEE Principles of Scholarly Publishing.

2.2    For the purposes of these practices, “social media” are defined as any Web sites, portals or other digital-based applications that allow individuals to post and share content publicly, and which allow other individuals to view, respond to and share this content further. These media include public blogging and micro-blogging; music, image, audio and video sharing; review and opinion sharing; gaming and entertainment; location-based, event-based and occupation-based networks; information and news aggregation; presentation sharing; advocacy and fundraising; creation of virtual worlds; and all-purpose wide-appeal networks geared toward general audiences.

2.3    In online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred. When a person identifies himself/herself with IEEE, perceptions may be created as a result – about IEEE and about the person’s expertise. These best practices set forth IEEE’s expectations for proper online conduct in relation to social media and for proper coordination of IEEE social media efforts.

2.4     One of the objectives of these best practices is to protect individuals engaged in social media-related activities and IEEE, as information published online may be discoverable and used in court.

2.5     These practices will evolve as social media and the laws that govern them change.

3     Social media best practices

Best practices for all IEEE members, volunteers, employees, vendors, consultants and contract workers.
1) Identify your opinion as your own. When providing a recommendation, referral, or opinion referencing IEEE, be sure to add that you do not represent IEEE and that your comments do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of IEEE. Use a simple disclaimer like the one below.Disclaimer: This is a personal [blog/Twitter account/Web site/ recommendation]. The opinions expressed here are my own and not those of IEEE.Best practice: Feel free to write about what you care about, so long as you clearly communicate that you do not speak for IEEE. You may also want to add the disclaimer to your profile.
2) Respect confidentiality, privacy, and intellectual property. Respect individual privacy, proprietary information and content, confidentiality, brands, trademarks, copyright and fair use. Ensure that you comply with laws and policies that apply to you including IEEE policies and confidentiality agreements, and site or application policies. Do not discuss non-public, confidential or proprietary IEEE matters without prior permission or authority, including the categories of confidential information described in IEEE Policy 9.24 (Information Disclosure Policy) (PDF, 1.67 MB).Best practice: If in doubt, request permission to share information from the owner of the information. Never share member contact information on social media sites.
3) Be responsible and professional. You are personally responsible for the content you publish online. If you identify yourself as an IEEE member, volunteer, employee, vendor, consultant or contract worker, ensure that your profile and related content reflects your professionalism. Do not post anything that could compromise the professional image of you, your colleagues, or IEEE.Best practice: Understand and use privacy settings. Keep content you share with your close personal networks separate from content you share with your IEEE contacts.
4) Be truthful. Never impersonate someone else, or intentionally obscure your identity or association with IEEE. Always disclose if you have received something in exchange for a review of a product or service –  this is the law in some countries.Best practice: Social media involves relationships, and therefore trust. Violating trust can have an extremely negative impact. Build your own reputation through honesty and integrity.
5) Do not spam or post unsolicited messages. Do not post inappropriate content, advertisements, promotions and/or solicitations for products and services to social media sites, unless it is expressly permitted by users of the social media space where you are posting.Candidates and others involved in elections for IEEE offices must follow IEEE Candidate Conduct and Electioneering Guidelines (PDF, 1.6 MB).Best practice: Ensure the objective of your social media site matches the content you are providing. Links to products or services should be in response to a specific query, except in cases where a site exists in part to promote or market an IEEE event, product or service. In those cases, individuals are choosing to receive that information.
6) Accurately attribute material that is not your own. Always provide a citation traceable to the origin when quoting someone else. If you use images, make sure the images can be shared by you and do not violate someone else’s copyright or trademark rights. When needed, properly attribute images to their sources. Never use copyrighted material without permission.Best practice: In many cases, works with a Creative Commons Attribution license are acceptable to use. If in doubt, ask for permission from the copyright holder.Best practice: If you are quoting a person or a document do not rely on any resources unless they provide verifiable citation which is traceable to the original.  Many on-line quotes, including popular quotes attributed on the Internet to famous people, are not genuine.
 7) Share only reputable content. Post information that is accurate and reputable. Avoid linking to questionable content.Best practice: If in doubt about the reliability of a source, avoid using it, or, if otherwise necessary, indicate that the reliability of the source could not be verified. To the extent possible, rely on established media managed by reputable organizations.
 8) Correct your mistakes. If you make a mistake, whether it is a factual inaccuracy or an inappropriate comment/statement, admit it and correct it quickly. If needed, contact the IEEE Social Media Help Forum to help you fix a mistake that has gotten out of hand; explain the situation and the team can come together to find a solution.Best practice: Whenever possible, add a correction to the original post using brief, concise language. When in the wrong be sincere rather than defensive.
 9) Respond to comments in a timely, professional manner. If an item you post generates comments, you are responsible for monitoring those comments and responding when appropriate.Best practice: Add value to the conversation. Avoid restatements or repetition.
 10) Be polite and level-headed, not defensive. Avoid irritable or angry responses, especially when you disagree with someone. Point out errors, but never disparage or defame. Published posts are usually impossible to remove completely.Best practice: If you find yourself working too hard to defend your position, take a step back and let the community defend for you (they usually will if your position is justified). When you see a conversation that IEEE staff or volunteer leaders should know about, please forward the thread contents and a link by e-mail to the IEEE Social Media Help Forum.
 11) Write what you know, and keep up with new developments. Social media is fast-moving and ever-evolving. If you report about a particular subject matter—especially as it relates to IEEE business—your readers will expect that you have the most up-to-date information. Stick to your areas of expertise. Confirm information that you plan to post.Best practice: Read more than you write. Ask questions. Read whole conversation threads before responding. Cite others and aim to build relationships. Provide unique, individual perspectives on developments at IEEE and in the world. If you concentrate on IEEE business you are directly involved in, you will be able to stay current easily.