As technology evolves, so does social media. As we all know, social media has become a large part of our lives since it became popular. Since most companies in the world now are part of social media, as well as many employees in these companies, businesses have had to implement social media policies to establish ground rules.
It might seem a little unnecessary for companies to establish social media policies to dictate how their employees should run their networking platforms. However, like the Los Angeles Times states in their social media policy, “Assume that your professional life and your personal life will merge online regardless of your care in separating them.” Now a days, personal profiles are very intertwined with your professional workplace. In these personal profiles you can state whom you work for and what is your exact position. This is why businesses want their employees to uphold a reputation that will represent the person as a self, and as a member of their organization.
The L.A. Times social media policy is targeted mainly to reporters. One of their points in particular caught my attention: “Editorial employees may not use their positions at the paper to promote personal agendas or causes. Nor should they allow their outside activities to undermine the impartiality of Times coverage, in fact or appearance.” Although this may seem like common sense to most, it is actually not. If a reporter uses the Times as a medium to promote personal causes, he or she would be compromising the views from the newspaper, and make the organization loose money as well. Anyone can promote anything on a newspaper, as long as it is in form of paid advertising, and clearly stated that it is so. Otherwise, a columnist may be allowed by his or her editor to promote a cause in an opinion section. Nonetheless, always clearly stating that the newspaper does not comply with the opinions stated.
I think the Los Angeles Times does a pretty good job in clearly laying out a social media policy. It is clear and concise, and they highlight that it might change in the future according to how social media platforms evolve. That is the most important point since technology is ever changing and social media policies will have to as well. This policy is a branch of their Ethics Guidelines.