Social Media Guidelines for USW Members

Social media is an effective way to quickly spread our message widely, but it also poses certain risks. Because it is an easy way to communicate, we run the risk of being thoughtless or careless with our postings. Sometimes we get lazy and re-post someone else’s content without researching whether the information is true. And, sometimes, we get so mad or excited about something that we post it before we take a moment to think about it.

Some of the possible repercussions of posting without fully considering what we are doing are: discipline from our employers for unprotected statements and actions; civil, criminal, or other forms of liability; or getting involved in litigation which is not only a waste of our time and resources, but also an unpleasant experience.

Once something is posted to a social media site, it is virtually impossible to control who sees it or retract it. It is likely that your employer will see the posting. The people mentioned or pictured in the post will also likely see it. And if they see it, then they can consider whether they should take any of the actions described above. Let’s not give them anything they can use against us. We can both minimize any risks and continue to use social media to our benefit by always considering both the content and context of our posts. Specifically, consider the following: