Posting personal content during office hours, where’s the line?

The South African Police Service is the perfect example of this experiment to understand the limit at which employees can share content in work uniform and on company property when it’s not company-related.

Where is the line?

No ad to show here.

Social media has grown not only in the sense that it remains an extension of user personalities, or that it could possibly land anyone in hot water with their employer.

Social media platforms today are used to garner influence, share topical information, push agendas, become marketing drivers, and believe or not express user preferences while creating a visual image of who and what any user may think.

This is all good and well but where is the line between, you’re providing content that is informative, entertaining, and educational and you’re being irresponsible with the company’s image while using social media for personal use during the company’s time.

The argument is vast, not only because social media continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace, with norms around social media evolving almost every week, but the social media animal continues to require one important aspect, regulation.

SAPS members are expected to wear their uniform in a specific manner, especially when posting on social media platforms.

The same police unit has confirmed that some officers were damaging the professional image of the organization when posting content wearing uniform on social media.

This led to the SAPS making the vow to take action against officers who broke the dress code rules or posted indecent and distasteful content on social media while in uniform.

The problem

So we understand there to be an issue if any officer is posting content that has nothing to do with their duties while in police uniform.

In responding to this issue, the SAPS wrote: “…Members who are involved in the broadcasting of these videos/pictures while in uniform must remove such videos/pictures from social media platforms with immediate effect.

“In instances where members are recognized, commanders must immediately take disciplinary action against such member(s),” read a circular from the police desk.

“It is once again brought to the attention of all members to refrain from posing and posting any videos/pictures of member(s) in uniform or pieces thereof in a derogatory manner.”

The example

A perfect example of this was when Officer Devan Cox stationed in East London came under fire after he posted an emotionally triggering image of himself while in a bathroom wearing police uniform. While the image trended with many admirers wishing the officer would arrest them with immediate effect, the police did catch wind of this and took the officer to a disciplinary hearing. How that ended only police will know as they only confirmed that the matter had been resolved.

It’s the precedent set that lingers to date. You post, and we tackle you.

That is the missing middle for other organizations and sectors such as the educational sector. Teachers are posting themselves in classrooms, places of work using their personal social media accounts, which could influence their learners if the learners follow those teachers on social media.

The solution

The line between teacher and pupil blares quickly when students see the teacher posting what could arguably be provocative content on their own personal social media accounts while inside the walls of a school – during company working hours.

The topic becomes more challenging when no regulation around ethics exists. This does not only apply to the education sector, it covers other sectors that clearly have employees posting content while fully clothed in uniform or are in office premises during working hours.

The rule should be simple.  Working hours belong to the organization and no personal content will be shot during these hours. The exception could be lunch hours. Does this mean users could post content during their lunch? The answer should be simple No. if you’re within the organization’s premises or are on the organization’s time, all personal social media content is prohibited.

This should allow a healthier more responsible tone for social media use during office hours.

What are your thoughts? Write to us, you’re welcome to address your replies to Marcus

Also read: Apple’s latest features for iPhone and iPad

No ad to show here.



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.

Exit mobile version