Clients who wish to provide feedback on the way that the Gestalt Institute of Toronto provides information on our services to people with disabilities can email our office administrator at email@example.com. If you find anything on the website difficult to use, please let us know. All constructive feedback regarding the accessibility or usability of this website is welcome and will be carefully considered. Clients will receive a response within two weeks. Complaints will be addressed according to our organization’s regular complaint management procedures.
Gestalt Institute of Toronto Social Media Policy
This policy governs the publication of and commentary on social media by employees and affiliates of Gestalt Institute of Toronto. For the purposes of this policy, social media means any facility for online publication and commentary, including without limitation blogs, wiki’s, social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. This policy is in addition to and complements any existing or future policies regarding the use of technology, computers, e-mail and the internet.
Gestalt Institute of Toronto employees and affiliates are free to publish or comment via social media in accordance with this policy. Gestalt Institute of Toronto employees and affiliates are subject to this policy to the extent they identify themselves as a Gestalt Institute of Toronto employee or affiliate (other than as an incidental mention of place of employment in a personal blog on topics unrelated to Gestalt Institute of Toronto).
Before engaging in work related social media, employees and affiliates must obtain the permission of the Executive Director.
Notwithstanding the previous section, this policy applies to all uses of social media, including personal, by Gestalt Institute of Toronto employees and affiliates who are Faculty, as their position with Gestalt Institute of Toronto would be well known within the community.
Publication and commentary on social media carries similar obligations to any other kind of publication or commentary.
All uses of social media must follow the same ethical standards that Gestalt Institute of Toronto employees and affiliates must otherwise follow.
Setting up Social Media
Assistance in setting up social media accounts and their settings can be obtained from Gestalt Institute of Toronto’s Office Manager.
Social media identities, logon ID’s and user names may not use Gestalt Institute of Toronto’s name without prior approval from the Executive Director.
Your profile on social media sites must be consistent with your profile on the Gestalt Institute of Toronto website or other Gestalt Institute of Toronto publications. Profile information may be obtained from the Office Manager.
Official Gestalt Institute of Toronto photographs must be used for your profile photograph. Gestalt Institute of Toronto photographs can be obtained from the Office Manager.
Confidential and proprietary information
It’s perfectly acceptable to talk about your work and have a dialog with the community, but it’s not okay to publish confidential information. Use common sense. Confidential information includes things such as unpublished details about our software, details of current projects, financial information, research, and trade secrets. We must also be mindful of the competitiveness of our industry. Remember to respect and maintain the confidentiality entrusted to you. Do not divulge or discuss proprietary information, internal documents, personal details about other people or other confidential material.
Protect your own privacy
Privacy settings on personal social media platforms should be set to allow anyone to see profile information similar to what would be on the Gestalt Institute of Toronto website. Other privacy settings that might allow others to post information or see information that is personal should be set to limit access. Be mindful of posting information that you would not want the public to see. Remember everything online is discoverable. Your participation in social media on behalf of Gestalt Institute of Toronto is not a right but a privilege that needs to be taken seriously and with respect. What you write, post or contribute is ultimately your responsibility. Failure to abide by these guidelines and Gestalt Institute of Toronto’s Code of Conduct, Code of Ethics, or other personnel and corporate policies could put your participation at risk. It is the responsibility of the user/owner of whatever social media is being used to make sure they have a thorough understanding of how to set and maintain privacy settings to avoid potentially harmful information from being posted on their site.
Do not blog anonymously, using pseudonyms or false screen names. We believe in transparency and honesty. Use your real name, be clear who you are, and identify that you work for Gestalt Institute of Toronto. Nothing gains you notice in social media more than honesty – or dishonesty. Do not say anything that is dishonest, untrue, or misleading. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, point it out. But also be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy. What you publish will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully and also be cautious about disclosing personal details. It’s a conversation. Talk to your readers like you would talk to real people. Consider content that’s open-ended and invites response. Encourage comments.
Respect copyright laws
It is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use or fair dealing of copyrighted material owned by others, including Gestalt Institute of Toronto own copyrights and brands. You should never quote more than short excerpts of someone else’s work, and always attribute such work to the original author/source. It is good general practice to link to others’ work rather than reproduce it. Evaluate your contribution’s accuracy and truthfulness before posting. Be accurate, truthful, and without factual error. Provide hyperlinks to all sources that can support your argument. Identify any copyrighted or borrowed material with citations and links.
Respect your audience, Gestalt Institute of Toronto, and your coworkers The public in general, and Gestalt Institute of Toronto’s employees and affiliates, reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. Don’t say anything contradictory or in conflict with the Gestalt Institute of Toronto website. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, but do so respectfully. This includes not only the obvious (no ethnic slurs, offensive comments, defamatory comments, personal insults, obscenity, etc.) but also proper consideration of privacy and of topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory – such as politics and religion. Use your best judgment and be sure to make it clear that the views and opinions expressed are yours alone and do not represent the official views of Gestalt Institute of Toronto.
The Office Manager will be the point of contact for anyone who sees questionable or offensive content. The Office Manager will follow up on all complaints relating to social media.
Protect Gestalt Institute of Toronto customers, business partners and suppliers
Customers, partners or suppliers should not be cited or obviously referenced without their approval. Never identify a customer, partner or supplier by name without permission and never discuss confidential details of a customer engagement. It is acceptable to discuss general details about kinds of projects and to use non-identifying pseudonyms for a customer (e.g., Customer 123) so long as the information provided does not violate any non-disclosure agreements that may be in place with the customer or make it easy for someone to identify the customer. Your blog is not the place to “conduct business” with a customer.
If you see misrepresentations made about Gestalt Institute of Toronto in the media, you may point that out. Always do so with respect and with the facts. If you speak about others, make sure what you say is factual and that it does not disparage that party. Avoid arguments. Make sure what you are saying is factually correct.
Be the first to respond to your own mistakes
If you make an error, be up front about your mistake and correct it quickly. If you choose to modify an earlier post, make it clear that you have done so. If someone accuses you of posting something improper (such as their copyrighted material or a defamatory comment about them), deal with it quickly; To remove it immediately lessens the possibility of a legal action.
Think About Consequences
For example, consider what might happen if a Gestalt Institute of Toronto employee is in a meeting with a customer or prospect, and someone on the customer’s side pulls out a print-out of your blog and says “This person at Gestalt Institute of Toronto says that product sucks.”
Saying “Product X needs to have an easier learning curve for the first-time user” is fine; saying “Product X sucks” is risky, unsubtle and amateurish.
Once again, it’s all about judgment: using your blog to trash or embarrass Gestalt Institute of Toronto, our customers, or your co-workers, is dangerous and ill- advised.
Many social media users include a prominent disclaimer saying who they work for, but that they’re not speaking officially. This is good practice and is encouraged, but don’t count on it to avoid trouble – it may not have much legal effect.
Wherever practical, you must use a disclaimer saying that while you work for Gestalt Institute of Toronto, anything you publish is your personal opinion, and not necessarily the opinions of Gestalt Institute of Toronto.
Write in the first person, however, whenever your connection to Gestalt Institute of Toronto is apparent, make it clear you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of us. We require you include the following statement in your blog or website:
- The views expressed here are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer.
- The postings on this site are my own and do not represent the Gestalt Institute of Toronto positions, strategies or opinions.
The Office Manager can assist you with applicable disclaimer language and with determining where and how to use that.
Don’t forget your day job.
Make sure that blogging does not interfere with your job or commitments to customers.
Social Media Tips
The following tips are not mandatory, but will contribute to successful use of social media.
Passed by Board of Directors November 29, 2010