IPPVA Social Media Policy

Social media is the collective term referring to social and professional networking sites (for example Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram), microblogs (such as Twitter), blogs, wikis, boards, and other similar online forms and the policy extends to all such sites and incorporates any future developments of such media. Breaches of this policy will be investigated and the IPPVA retains the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from the IPPVA. 

The IPPVA reserves the right to utilise for disciplinary purposes any information that could have a negative effect on the IPPVA or its members, which is brought to its attention by members, customers, members of the public, or any other body or individual. 

All members are prohibited from using or publishing information on any social media sites, where such use has the potential to negatively affect the IPPVA or its members. Examples of such behaviour include, but are not limited to: 

  • publishing material that is defamatory, abusive, or offensive in relation to any member, office holder, customer, or client of the IPPVA
  •  publishing any confidential or business-sensitive information about the IPPVA; 
  • publishing material that might reasonably be expected to have the effect of damaging the reputation or professional standing of the IPPVA. 

All members must adhere to the following when engaging in social media: 

  • Be aware of your association with the IPPVA when using online social networks. You must always identify yourself if you mention or comment on the IPPVA. You must write in the first person and state clearly that the views expressed are your own and not those of the IPPVA. Wherever practical, you must use a disclaimer saying that while you are a member of the IPPVA, anything you publish is your personal opinion, and not necessarily the opinions of the IPPVA. 
  • You are personally responsible for what you post or publish on social media sites. Where it is found that any information breaches confidentiality or brings the IPPVA into disrepute, you may face disciplinary action up to and including exclusion. 
  • Be aware of data protection rules – you must not post colleagues’ photographs or details without their individual permission.
  • Material in which the IPPVA has a proprietary interest – such as software, products, documentation or other internal information – must not be transmitted, sold, or otherwise divulged, unless the IPPVA has already released the information into the public domain. 
  • Be respectful at all times, in both the content and tone of what you say. Show respect to your audience, your fellow members, clients, customers, and suppliers. Do not post or publish any comments or content relating to the IPPVA or its members, which would be seen as unacceptable or in conflict with the IPPVA’s website.
  • It is very important that members immediately report any inappropriate activity or behaviour regarding the IPPVA, its members or third parties. All allegations made in good faith will be fully and confidentially investigated. You are required to cooperate with all investigations of alleged policy violations. 

This policy extends to future developments in internet capability and social media usage. In addition to the above rules, there are a number of key guiding principles that members should note when using social media tools:

  • always remember online content is never completely private;
  • regularly review your privacy settings on social media platforms to ensure they provide you with sufficient personal protection and limit access by others;
  • consider all online information with caution as there is no quality control process on the internet and a considerable amount of information may be inaccurate or misleading; 
  • at all times respect copyright and intellectual property rights of information you encounter on the internet. This may require obtaining appropriate permission to make use of information. You must always give proper credit to the source of the information used. 

If you have a legitimate complaint regarding the IPPVA, then you must raise this issue in writing to the Council. Any public airing of such complaints may lead to your expulsion from the IPPVA. 

Any comment made that is detrimental to the IPPVA, that is negative, brings the IPPVA into disrepute, may cause a current member to consider their membership or deter a potential member from joining may result in your expulsion from the IPPVA.