With load shedding making a reappearance in the past few months, Eskom has decided to share its “rules of engagement” for its social media followers.
The power utility shared and pinned these rules to its Twitter timeline in order to encourage better engagement from its followers.
Being Eskom’s social media manager can’t be an easy job. Every time load shedding is announced, the replies often express ire, anger, and disappointment.
At the same time, South Africans are justifiably upset at the disruptions rolling blackouts cause.
However, the company says that it will not tolerate profanities, hate speech, or personal attacks.
Eskom’s new social media rules of engagement
Followers are requested to take note of the attached "Rules for Engagement" pic.twitter.com/DGkTeprlCF
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) September 19, 2020
So what are the rules?
Eskom says that it welcomes all comments that are constructive. It specifies that comments should contribute to discussions and ideas in a respectful and meaningful manner.
While this could be open to interpretation, the company outlines specific behaviour it will not allow.
This includes racism, profanities, negative comments that encourage unlawful behaviour, hate speech, comments inciting violence, and personal attacks on anybody, including Eskom employees.
If users repeatedly break these rules, Eskom will block them from their social media feeds. The company will also remove comments that break the rules.
South Africans react to Eskom social media rules
As anyone who knows Twitter would have expected, the rules of engagement have drawn more ire from South African users.
Some responses included providing rules for Eskom to follow, such as producing electricity.
Others criticised the company and called the guidelines censorship. And others made a concerted effort to continue breaking the rule against profanities.
While Eskom has not announced load shedding for several days, there have been multiple instances of “load reduction”.
Twitter users also called out the power utility for these outages, accusing the company of targeting townships and poorer communities.
If you want to keep up with load shedding, check out our feature of online tools to monitor load shedding.
We also have a roundup of load shedding schedules for municipalities and cities in South Africa.
Feature image: Screenshot/Eskom