RRT Social Media Guidelines
The Rainbow Round Table (RRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) sees social media communications as an essential element of strategic communication.
The following are guidelines to help volunteers and members of the RRT. They are also meant to serve as a reference for members of ALA and the public.
At the core of the RRT’s desire for dialogue is a strong belief in free speech, diversity of thought, and mutual respect. These guidelines do not, in any wayseek to infringe upon or limit those expressions. All information is subject to change, as social media is an ever-changing landscape.
Professional conduct, including discretion on behalf of RRT’s members and volunteers, is required. We are committed to being honest, sensitive, and receptive through our social media engagement
- We strive to be gender neutral and inclusive and use language that reflects this in our social media posts.
- We will however use gendered language as needed in addressing specific diversity issues. We welcome members of the ALA and the public to voice theirthoughts and opinions. However, communications that are offensive to the online community, including blatant expressions of bigotry, racism, abuse, vulgarity, profanity, or violence are not acceptable and will be removed.
- We acknowledge and look forward to serious criticism and open debate, but reserve the right to remove personal attacks against users or authors. We reserve the right to remove statements that are perceived as threatening, harassing, bullying, defaming, or obscene.
- For their protection, please respect the privacy of community members. Do not share personally identifiable information through the RRT’s communication platforms.
- Our social media accounts and blogs are not an appropriate place to advertise a business or promote commercial products. These types of postings will be considered spam and removed. Exceptions to the above include LGBTQ-related library products and publishers. Other exceptions will be reviewed as they surface.
- Keep in mind that the opinions of participants of the RRT social networks, blog, and other forums do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the RRT.
We do not like, link to, post, repost, tweet, retweet, or otherwise share:
- Political positions
- Religious content
- Derogatory information
- Content that promotes discrimination Information that may compromise safety
- Content that promotes illegal activities
- The petitioning or solicitation of organizations, groups, or individuals
Monitoring & Responding
The RRT’s accounts are monitored by members of the News Committee. Please know that these are volunteer positions and it may occasionally take some time to triage a response.
- We do not automatically delete a comment if there is an opportunity to be involved in a productive dialogue. Depending on the nature and severity of a comment, it may make sense to simply provide correct information.
- Inappropriate messages will be addressed as quickly as possible and potentially removed, with assistance from the Web Committee, if necessary. Examples include but are not limited to offensive statements, inaccurate information, vulgar language, or unconstructive criticism.
- The RRT reserves the right to shift the settings of their accounts to a review and approve model at any time ifdeemed necessary in response to expressed queerphobic comments/posts, trolling, harassment, bullying, etc.
Linking, Liking, Retweeting, and Following
The RRT recognizes that, in many cases, following an organization may convey endorsement of the entire entity, while retweeting or reposting content from another entity may only imply endorsement of the content that is being reposted. Our follow policy on Twitter is based on relevance and usefulness to the membership, and we will only follow, retweet, or like posts or accounts if we believe it will be helpful or interesting for our followers. Examples include: Lambda Archives, LGBTQ Kids’ Books, LGBT Bookstore, LAGNA, LGBT Books, SMA Archives, LGBTQ ALMS, Queery Librarians, and Rainbow List.
That said, it is best to err on the side of caution.
- If a designated administrator is unsure whether or not something is appropriate to post on social media, they should confer with the News Committee Chair and/or the Executive Board before making the post live.
- If a designated administrator takes an action that is in conflict with this policy, they will be contacted to resolve the situation and may be asked to withdraw, correct, or revise postings.
- If a designated administrator is found to be responsible for a communication deemed to be in conflict with this policy, they may be removed from their role.
The RRT’s online communications are its own and in no way speak for the American Library Association.
RRT committee appointees and volunteers must also comply with relevant ALA policies and guidelines, including those that relate to ALA elections and campaigning, as stated in the Guidelines for Campaigning by Candidates for ALA Office. These guidelines state “appointed committee chairs, or members of committees may endorse candidates, and may use ALA electronic discussion lists to express their support for individual candidate or candidates for ALA offices, as long as they do not use their official titles or create an impression that they are speaking on behalf of an ALA committee or unit of ALA. Candidates can list endorsers by name, but not by ALA title or office. ALA Executive Board members shall not endorse any candidate in any ALA election.”
In order to protect the 501c3 status of ALA, there are topics that association members are not permitted to publish via any official ALA or RRT communication tool, including social media (e.g. the RRT’s Facebook page or Twitter account). When posting on any association resource, individuals cannot call for a boycott of a product or company. In addition, individuals posting via an official association communication tool may not endorse or oppose any federal, state, or local candidate running for political office.
- Revised June 2018 [pdf: 85kb]