| 
  • If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Introducing Dokkio, a new service from the creators of PBworks. Find and manage the files you've stored in Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, Slack, and more. Try it for free today.

View
 

Unofficial Aus Govt Social Media Handbook - Administration processes

Page history last edited by Jen Calipari 8 years, 5 months ago

Important notice and disclaimer
This Social Media Handbook is not officially endorsed by the Australian Government. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government or any other individuals or organisations.

 

Sections: Home - Overview - Blogs - ICT requirements - Content and brand administration - Administration process - Legal considerationsMonitoring Summary of Government guidelines - Open data - Media sharing sites - Tips - Exit strategies - Future work

 


 

 

User registration 

User registration for reading and commenting 

Users can access the content on blogs without having to register their personal details or log in.

 

Users wishing to comment in response to a blog post will be required to log in (or sign up) using a username and password they set up.  They do not need to provide their name and email address. Users will be given the option to enter their email address if they wish to be notified when their comment is posted (as there is a delay due to moderation process). 

 

Password protected usernames prevent users leaving comments under the name of another user and corrupting the blog, as there would be no way for moderators to recognise this.

 

The drawbacks of not making it compulsory for users to register email addresses/other identifying details:

 

  • increased vulnerability to ‘trolls’ (users who post irrelevant, inflammatory or off topic comments to provoke others and disrupt the blog) who take advantage of the anonymity, as there is no way to then block their comments.

 

  • Increased vulnerability for blog discussions to be dominated by particular interest groups, with no way of blocking their comments.

 

  • Unable to confirm that people claiming to represent the interests of a particular group are actually from that group.

 

Moderators should intercept any inflammatory or otherwise disruptive comments to combat the risks posed by the first two points given above. Notification of what comments will not be accepted by the department for posting on the blog will be outlined in the terms and conditions (hyperlink to User terms and conditions ). Serial trolls can be identifiable by their user names and their comments will not be posted.

 

Users who do wish to post a comment on behalf of an organisation or group (that is named in the comment) will be required to provide an email address so that confirmation of authenticity can be obtained by moderators before the comment is posted.  

 

Any comment posted claiming to be representative of the views of a named organisation or group that is not accompanied by an email address for confirmation will not be posted. Note this should also be outlined in the terms and conditions.

 

 

User registration process example 

New user

1)     The user clicks on a ‘comment’ link for the post they wish to respond to.

The user is presented with the registration screen requesting they register to make comments. At the base of this screen is an unchecked checkbox stating…

I  have
read, understand and accept the yourHealth Blog  terms and conditions, Privacy Statement and Copyright Statement.
The form cannot submit until the checkbox is ticked.

 

2)     User is able to enter their comment through an appropriate form.

 

Registered user

1)     The user clicks on a ‘comment’ link for the post they wish to respond to.

2)     The user is able to enter their comment through an appropriate form.

 

User terms and conditions/ Rules of participation for external participants 

The intent of the terms & conditions for participation is to create a positive environment where people are able to publicly contribute their views to the consultation blog, in the spirit of improving government policy without fear of abuse or harassment or exposure to offensive or otherwise inappropriate content, and protecting the operators of the consultation forum from legal liability.

 

Further, prior to participating in any blog, users must read and agree to the site conditions, protocols for participation, privacy statement and copyright statement.

 

A check box stating the user’s acknowledgement of the terms and conditions should be included on the comment form and must be checked in order for users to submit a comment.

 

The terms and conditions are to include notification that:

  • All comments will be moderated before publication; publication of comments will not be immediate.
  • During moderation, comments are kept in a secure database accessed only by departmental staff.
  • Comments that are inflammatory, irrelevant, discriminatory, defamatory, party political or commercially motivated, or otherwise inappropriate (to be listed in full, taken from the Governance and Moderation Guidelines below) will not be published. The Department reserves the right to edit comments to remove sentences or parts of sentences that are inappropriate.
  • Where a user provides an email address and comment that breaches the terms & conditions, the user will be contacted once and asked to resubmit minus the breaching component.
  • Links within comments will be moderated for relevance based on the overall moderation guidelines. Where a link does not meet these guidelines at the time of publication but the comment remains within the guidelines, the link will be removed from the comment before publication.
  • Comments containing audio or video will not be accepted.
  • Comments that claim to represent the views of an organisation or group that do not include an email address for confirmation will not be accepted.
  • The blog will close after the end of the consultation period and all posts and comments will be archived.
  • Any comment posted claiming to be representative of the views of a named organisation or group that is not accompanied by an email address for confirmation will not be posted.
  • Copyright in any information provided in comments will be licensed to the Department so that the Department may use it for any purpose
  • We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on blog authors, moderators, other users or any individual), Teleseryepersistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated. 
  • We will reject or remove any content that may put us (or you) in legal jeopardy, for example, this includes potentially defamatory comments, or material posted in potential breach of copyright. 

 

When developing terms and conditions for external participants it must be communicated to users that they are required to:

  • Protect their personal privacy and that of others by not including personal information about themselves or others in posts to the blog (such as names, email addresses, private addresses or phone numbers)
  • Only post material to the blog that is relevant to the issues being discussed
  • Represent their own views and not impersonate or falsely represent any other person

 

Users are not permitted to:

  • Post comments that abuse, harass or threaten others
  • Make defamatory or libellous comments
  • Use insulting, provocative or hateful language
  • Use obscene or offensive language
  • Post material that infringes the intellectual property rights of others
  • Post material or links to material, in any format, that is not relevant to the blog post
  • Post video, images or audio to the blog
  • Post multiple versions of the same material to the blog
  • Promote commercial interests in comments
  • Promote personal professional interests
  • Include personally identifiable information in comments, such as their email address, name, physical address or telephone numbers
  • Post overtly party political comment (e.g. reference to candidates, fundraisers, support for political parties, etc).

 

Blog terms and conditions example

 

The following text could appear on the blog section of the Dept website:

 

Users wishing to comment in the xxDept blog must agree to the following terms and conditions before being able to post comments.

           

By contributing to the blog, you:

  • give permission for your comments to be posted on the site (see Privacy Statement) and affirm that your comments represent your own work and do not infringe on the copyright of any other individual or organisation

 

  • acknowledge that your comments will be subject to moderation by the Department’s moderators before publication and therefore the publication of comments will not be immediate

 

  • acknowledge that your comments may be edited for typographical, grammatical or spelling errors

 

  • acknowledge and give permission for your comments to be used, without personal identification, by the Department and/or the Government for any purpose

 

  • acknowledge that comments that contain images, audio or video will not be published, irrespective of content.

 

  • acknowledge all material on this site is subject to copyright. For more information, view the Copyright Statement

 

All material on this site is subject to copyright. For more information, view the Copyright Statement.

 

The blog will close after the consultation period and all blog posts and comments will be archived at that time according to the records management policies and guidelines of the Department and retained as required by the National Archives of Australia.

 

If a username is deemed to be offensive, inflammatory, controversial or otherwise inappropriate, the username and the comments will not be posted.

 

During moderation, comments are kept in a secure database accessed only by Dept staff.  Moderation will only be carried out during business hours, and comments posted outside these times will experience longer delays in posting for this reason. 

Any comments that do not comply with these terms and conditions will not be published.

 

When contributing your views to this blog, please ensure that you:

 

  • do protect your personal privacy and that of others by not including personal information of either yourself or of others in your posts to the forum, (such as names, email addresses, private addresses or phone numbers);
  • do post material to the forum that is relevant to the issues currently being consulted on;
  • do represent your own views and do not impersonate or falsely represent any other person;
  • do not abuse, harass or threaten others;
  • do not make defamatory or libellous comments;
  • do not use insulting, provocative or hateful language;
  • do not use obscene or offensive language;
  • do not post material to the forum that infringes the intellectual property rights of others;
  • do not post multiple versions of the same view to the forum;
  • do not promote commercial interests in your posts to the forum;
  • do not include video, images or audio in your contribution;
  • do not post overtly party political comment (eg. reference to candidates, fundraisers, support for political parties);
  • do not include material or links to material that is irrelevant to the blog post
  • do not post comments that overtly promote personal professional interests; and 
  • do not incite, encourage or make reference to conduct that may constitute a criminal or civil offence or otherwise violate Australian law

 

Moderation process 

In consultation with AGIMO, the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) and the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) have developed a moderation policy to ensure that the rules referred to above are observed.

 

How blog moderation works 

Although software is employed to filter out directly obscene and offensive language, it is necessary to use a moderator to review comments pre-publication and, where necessary, reject contributions that do not comply with the protocols for participation.

 

Moderation is conducted in a process whereby after a user submits a comment, the comment is moderated and then posted as a discussion comment.

 

Rejected or removed comments, other than spam, may be retained internally even if not approved for publication. Rejected or removed comments containing material that may be unlawful may be retained if required as evidence.

 

Role of the moderator 

Online communication can be used by agencies to consult with and canvass the views of the community are likely to attract comments that are offensive, inappropriate or irrelevant and many will require some form of moderation.

 

Agencies that seek comments online should have an acceptable use policy that is displayed on the website and makes clear that:

  • contributions must be relevant, non-threatening, respectful of the views of other contributors and avoid insulting, obscene and defamatory comment; and
  • contributions that do not comply with these and other rules of participation will be removed from the site.

 

Agencies should have guidelines in place to cover the role of the online moderator, and these may vary in detail in individual exercises, depending on the aim of the consultation and the topics and issues under discussion. They should, however, cover the following principles to ensure consistency with the APS Values and the APS Code of Conduct:

  • the moderation process must be objective and impartial and avoid any perception that posts are being censored for political reasons;
  • the moderation process must be sensitive to the diversity of the Australian public and avoid any perception that it is being applied in a discriminatory manner; and
  • when necessary, the moderator must inform posters about why a post has been rejected and give them an opportunity to resubmit an edited version.

 

 

Table 1: The moderation process

 

 

Moderation times 

 

Most government blogs will be open 24/7. Unless you want to pay people to moderate 24/7 you should have a note on the blog or when the comment is submitted that explains moderation will only be carried out during business hours, and comments posted outside these times will therefore experience longer delays in publication. 

 

The expected benefit of operating this way is that having the blog open 24/7 allows for greater access and will help to promote activity on the blog. Ease of access is a priority to generate as much comment as possible. 

 

Potential risks of operating this way are:

 

  • the blog may be overloaded with comments for moderation overnight/on weekends.  While this is considered to be a low risk and therefore acceptable, the level of comment will determine whether the opening period for comments needs to be managed.

 

Options for managing 24/7 moderation or alternatives?

-          Give staff a smart phone to do regular checks on comments

-          Do post-moderation

-          Contract it out

 

Rules for bloghosts and moderating 

Rule 1: the host and moderators should encourage contributions that are relevant.

The host and moderators should encourage discussion that is relevant to the subject matter of the discussion at hand. In particular this should ensure, where possible, that discussion relates to government responsibilities as they relate to existing government initiatives, decisions or matters that the government may wish to consider in developing policy or potential initiatives.

Specifically, moderators will look to ensure that material posted to the website:

  • is relevant to the issue being consulted on;
  • does not contain or reference spam, i.e.  multiple post versions of the same view or unsolicited or undesirable messages that are repetitive or off topic;
  • does not promote commercial interests;
  • does not promote personal professional interests (self-promoting synopsis of own work/work involved in);
  • does not link to material, in any format, that is not relevant to the topic being consulted on; and
  • does not contain or refer to specific advertising, including any material that is directed to informing potential customers about products or services or material referencing government advertising campaigns.

           

Rule 2:  the host and moderators should encourage contributions that enable a fair and appropriate discussion.

The host and moderators should encourage discussion and debate which is fair and meaningful.  Contributors should be encouraged to appropriately differentiate between fact and opinion.

Specifically, moderators should ensure that comments are:

  • relevant to the discussion;
  • presented in an explanatory, fair, objective and accessible manner;
  • presented so that recipients can reasonably and easily differentiate between facts and comment/opinion and analysis; and
  • when from the host, are accurate, verifiable and be able to be substantiated, if any assertion is presented as fact.

 

Rule 3:  the host and moderators should avoid overtly party political statements.

The host and moderators should encourage debate that is free of commentary that is overtly party political.  While it is appropriate that comments about, and comparisons between government, opposition and other party policies are not excluded on that basis,  they should never relate solely to party political issues or categorised as “how to vote” material. Commentary that seeks to influence or garner public support for specific political parties, funding, election candidates or for particular ministers or MPs should be discouraged.

 

Moderators, particularly public servants should not moderate comment on the basis of whether certain matters are “political” if the comment is otherwise relevant to the subject matter of the debate. Any reasonable perception that material is censored for political purposes may create a perception of politicisation of the APS and is to be avoided. Moderators should therefore only moderate material that is specifically:

  • directed at fostering a positive impression of a particular political party or promoting party political interests;
  • promoting party political slogans or images;
  • directed at attacking or scorning the government, opposition or other parties that is not related to specified policy positions; or
  • referring or linking to the websites of politicians or political parties.

 

 

Rule 4: the host and moderator should encourage behaviour that is appropriate.

The host and moderators should encourage a positive environment where people are able to publicly contribute their views safely and respectfully. This involves ensuring that users protect their own identity and that of others. It also involves ensuring that contributions are possible without fear of abuse or harassment or exposure to offensive or inappropriate content.

Specifically moderators should ensure that contributors do not:

  • include personal information about themselves or others in their posts to the forum (such as full names, email addresses, private addresses and phone numbers);
  • disclose information that could be used to identify themselves or others;
  • abuse, harass or threaten others;
  • make defamatory, libellous or discriminatory comments;
  • use insulting, provocative, disrespectful  or hateful language; or
  • use obscene or offensive language.

 

Rule 5: the host and moderator should encourage behaviour that complies with Australian criminal and civil law.

The host and moderators should encourage content that complies with Australian law – both civil and criminal.

Specifically moderators should ensure that:

 

  • content complies with relevant Australian law (e.g. defamation laws, criminal laws, vilification laws, broadcasting services laws, privacy laws and copyright laws);
  • does not infringe the intellectual property rights of others (e.g. trademarks or copyright entitlements); and
  • does not encourage or reference conductNew Nokia Phones that might constitute a criminal offence, give rise to a civil liability or that violates an Australian law.

 

 

Moderators need to read all comments and assess them against the terms & conditions

 

Moderators should be across Departmental issues

 

Submitted comments will enter the general blog database in an inbox specific to the relevant blog post.

 

Users should be provided with details of what to expect from moderation in the blog terms and conditions.

 

Comments should have the option of being either ‘for publication’ or ‘not for web’.

Government moderators should intercept any inflammatory or otherwise disruptive comments

 

Moderation of comments occurs between 9-5

 

An editing function will allow moderators to edit submitted comments without overwriting the original submitted comment. The original and modified versions should be filed together for reference.

 

Where a user provides an email and a comment that does not meet the terms & conditions, the moderator should write to them explaining the breach and offer the opportunity to resubmit the comment minus the breaching component.

The moderation process must be objective and impartial and avoid any perception that posts are being censored for political reasons.

 

Moderation checklist 

If requested, the moderator must inform the user about why a post has been rejected using one of the following statements, and give them an opportunity to resubmit an edited version.  Content that contains the following applies:

1

Overtly political

2

contains obscene, indecent or offensive language

3

is defamatory, abusive, harassing or hateful

4

contravenes discrimination law

5

is off-topic

5

invades privacy or impersonates

7

Is unlawful – Department does not have the necessary rights, licences and consents to post

8

constitutes spam or advertising

9

contains images or video

10

encourages conduct that might constitute a criminal offence or give rise to civil liability, or that otherwise violates an Australian law

 

Moderation roles 

Title

Role

 

Moderator-in-chief/ First Assistant Secretary

  • Final arbiter in all disputed moderation issues

 

Moderator/s

  • Responsible for ensuring all published comments are on topic
  • Only to moderate content that is off topic or contains inappropriate content as outlined above
  • Responsible for controlling and driving the moderator interface
  • Responsible for ensuring all published comments meet governance requirements
  • Responsible for any and all communication with users after agreement from the moderator-in-chief

 

 

 

 

Editing comments for publication on web 

While it is sometimes necessary for comments and feedback to be edited for typographical, grammatical or spelling errors, it is important not to remove sentences or parts of sentences as this is may change the comment’s original context. However, comments should be removed if they promote party political or commercial interests, contain obscene language, hate speech, or any other language that might constitute a criminal or civil offence by law. Alternatively, comments containing such content may not be published at all.

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.