Everyone involved in your social media work should have a solid understanding of the NPOs social media policies and procedures. Clarifying these issues can help you avoid potential problems later.
According to South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) which came into effect in July 2021, you cannot post photographs or personal information about individuals without their consent (e.g. pictures used to illustrate an issue). Who will ensure that the necessary written consent is received from relevant beneficiaries? Where will it be stored for safe-keeping should there be a dispute?
In recent years there have been many instances where staff have been suspended or fired for inappropriate comments posted on their personal social media pages. Does your organisation have a policy about staff social media use? Your staff members are likely using social media in their personal capacity. When does what an employee says in their own “personal” space cross that line to becoming an organisational concern? What would happen one of your staffers posted something completely contrary to your organisation’s core values? Will you take action or would you stand on principle to protect your staff’s right to free speech? Even if you choose not to create a policy, it is worth discussing this with staff.
Ruen Govinder is the founder and director of Hashtag Nonprofit. She has over 20 years of experience in consulting and managing online communications and technology for the development sector. She produced a series of e-books on communications strategies for nonprofits, and has worked with clients across Africa and in the United States. http://www.interiority.co.za