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Foreign Policy Analysis
Department of Human Services Social Media Policy

Department of Human Services Social Media Policy


We’re connected. We can work and socialise from pretty much anywhere. Most of us use social media in our personal time through platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. And at work, we also use it through Skype, news hub, Yammer, speechbubble and Sharepoint. Because of this, we need to understand how to use social media safely, and be responsible public servants. And that’s why we have a Social Media Policy, it’s there to protect you, and the department. It’s everyone’s responsibility to understand the policy, so here are some key points to remember: As private citizens, APS employees enjoy most of the same rights to participate in online discussion as anyone else – without intrusion. But your online behaviour needs to be lawful, and you’re still bound by the APS Values, the Code of Conduct and our policies: even outside of working hours. Social media requires common sense. Treat online comments the same way you would when having a public conversation. Feel free to join the conversation, but when using social media: Make it clear that your views are your own, not the department’s. Don’t discuss confidential work related information. Keep in mind that what you say online doesn’t only reflect on you. Inappropriate remarks could damage the department’s reputation, or a colleague’s – or even your own. Only approved staff in the Community Engagement Division have the authority to make public comment on social media on behalf of the department. Always think twice, social media is public. Be friendly, be respectful. And remember, no matter how restricted you make your privacy settings, your anonymity online is never guaranteed – even if you don’t show your name or identify your employer on social media. In short, protect privacy, respect the policy, apply the APS Values and Code of Conduct, and let someone know if things go wrong. For more information on the Department’s Social Media Policy, go to humanservices.gov.au/socialmedia. If you have any questions, or would like some help with social media, contact the Digital Media team at [email protected]

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