EDF Social Media Policy
This policy serves as a guide for EDF staff (persons working for EDF under contract) and EDF representatives (holders of positions in the Executive Committee, Board of Directors and/or members of EDF Committees) on the use of Social media networks.
Social media includes all websites, mobile applications or other internet-based technology that allows users to interact with each other. Social media sites allow users to share their opinion or other information in a public or semi-public manner. Social media websites include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Twitter Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, TikTok, Linkedin.
Social media has become an important feature of our private and public lives. Many people use social media to express opinions, share experiences or seek and dispense advice. It is a useful way to make our voice heard and some disability advocates credit social media websites with allowing them to share the lived experience of persons with disabilities.
Social media also has the potential to encourage and give more visibility to negative trends, such as:
- Hate speech: Minorities, disadvantaged groups (including persons with disabilities) and human rights defenders regularly receive hateful or condescending messages through social media. This includes, but is not limited to, personal attacks, denying their struggles and belittling their work. Hate speech especially includes speech that “attacks a person or a group on the basis of protected attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity”
- Breaches of privacy: Social media networks are not 100% secure. This means that all information added in social media accounts, even if private, can potentially be retrieved and broadcasted to a global audience. It is also worth to note that the breach of privacy can be simpler: any contact can screenshot conversations (take a copy of a conversation that lasts even if the particular conversation is deleted) or download images/pictures from private social media accounts and make it public through the posting of said images..
- Access to unwanted information: Users should be mindful that, when using mobile applications of social media, they may access more information than users intend. Social media networks are also a preferred channel for scams, such as fraudulent calls for donation or attempts to otherwise extort money.
Issues with hate speech on social media have been particularly visible and damaging during the last years as hate groups find in social media networks a fertile ground to congregate and indoctrinate others.
Social media is a useful tool for EDF and all campaigning organisations. It allows to effectively communicate with a global audience and to bring visibility to the disability movement. It can empower us in our work towards positive attituded to disability.
Social media is an essential tool to share and promote our work and campaign together with our members. It is also a useful tool to support other anti-discrimination movements and raise awareness on intersecting issues. It has become an important medium to realise article 8 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Awareness Raising.
There are three official EDF Twitter accounts (@MyEDF, @edfcrpd, and @EDFaccess), one Facebook page (@EuropeanDisabilityForumEDF), one YouTube page (MyEDF), one Instagram page (european_disability_forum) and one Linkedin page (European Disability Forum) authorised to post on behalf of EDF. These accounts are managed by the Communications team in EDF secretariat. The team also follows and amplifies the social media activity of our members and representatives.
EDF staff and representatives should be aware of the following guidance:
- A disclaimer should be added to clarify that all views expressed through the social media account are that of the author only and in no way reflect the views of EDF. Example: Views are my own. Please take into consideration that even with this disclaimer, the views expressed will still affect EDF.
- All communications should be in accordance with the applicable laws regulating speech in social media and the relevant social media website terms of service.
- All communications should be as accessible as possible for persons with disabilities as possible. Guidance can be found in Annex 1.
- Language and communication related to persons with disabilities should be guided by language of the CRPD or the disability rights movement in the respective country.
- Abstain of communications which may be disrespectful or disparaging to EDF and its members.
- Avoid communications which may be disrespectful or disparaging of the work of EDF partners. (other anti-discrimination organisations, organisations active on the field of disability rights outside Europe, etc.).
- Adhere to our values as stated in our strategic framework, including respect for inherent dignity and non-discrimination.
- Promote a social media environment that actively encourages equality.
- Avoid disparaging remarks against minorities and disadvantaged groups (e.g. anti-feminist, racist, homophobic and transphobic, anti-immigrants, etc.)
- Avoid unjustified generalisations which can negatively impact on our work on disability rights.
- You may not post, publish, or release any information about EDF considered confidential or not public. EDF’s open information policy can act as a guide on this. This includes, but is not limited to, draft EDF documents, internal communication, contact details, or classified EU documents.
- Be aware of the permanence of content once it has been posted: even if it is deleted, it may already have been saved by a third party, or there may be a mechanism to force its retrieval.
- Certain content that you post, even if explicitly outside of the work environment and/or of the context of your responsibilities, can nevertheless potentially have a negative impact.
- All EDF representatives are encouraged to report breaches of social media policy to the Communications Officer and/or Director of EDF. Breaches should be signalled to EDF’s Communications Officer.
- These reports will be reviewed by the communications officer and/or Director, and a decision will be taken as on whether the issue reported has a negative impact.
- In case the reports concern the communications officer and/or Director, the breach should be flagged directly to the President of EDF.
Consequences of breach of this policy
- In the case that the breach has a negative impact, a conversation will take place with the alleged offending party. This should result in either offending/inappropriate posts being removed or references to EDF being removed.
- If the offending party declines to remove it, the EDF President will review the breach, and send an official letter of notification of removal.
- If the above measures are not successful, the breach will be discussed under an official item in the EDF executive agenda and action will be decided upon by the executive.
Annex 1 - Accessibility in Social Media Platforms
Most social media platforms are not perfectly accessible for persons with disabilities. There are limited actions that users can take when posting to social media platforms to ensure their content is more accessible.
- Provide alternative text/image description if you include photos
- Add subtitles and sign language interpretation to your videos
- Provide transcripts to your videos
- Use short hashtags and assure that you capitalise the first letter of every word (also know as CamelCase)