The AEC Social Media Policy applies to all temporary employees, and is particularly relevant to people working as polling officials.
This policy establishes guidance, procedures and protocol for temporary employees considering accessing or using social media in all its forms.
Temporary employees representing the AEC during election time are expected to uphold the Values and Code of Conduct of the wider Australian Public Service.
Employees should bear in mind that even if they do not identify themselves online as an AEC employee they could nonetheless be recognised as such, even when material is posted anonymously, or using an alias or pseudonym.
Social media is about publishing and sharing information, photos, audio, video and interacting with others online. The tools are usually free and require little or no specific training or technical knowledge to use.
Forms of social media may include:
The principles for using social media are really no different to more traditional forms of communication, such as face-to-face, telephone and email.
While at work, employees are not to:
As with other channels of communication only authorised AEC staff, who have undertaken relevant training, will be permitted to communicate on behalf of the AEC through social media.
Many of us are using social media in a personal capacity. While the AEC does not wish to interfere with your private business, now that you are working for the AEC there are some additional things to bear in mind when using social media during the election period and also afterwards. We ask that you give careful consideration before accessing any social media.
If you are using social media in a private capacity, it is not appropriate for you to use your knowledge of AEC business to comment on any issue as this could risk the political neutrality of the AEC. Please be particularly mindful that business knowledge is something you have acquired as an employee, not as a private citizen.
You should not rely on a site's security settings for a guarantee of privacy, as material posted in a relatively secure setting can still be copied and reproduced elsewhere. Further, comments posted on one site can also be used on others under the terms and conditions of many social media sites.
As a rule of thumb, irrespective of the forum, anyone who posts material online should make an assumption that at some point their identity and the nature of their employment will be revealed.
Temporary employees might wish to reflect on the following questions:
Inappropriate use of social media can result in termination of employment.
If you require assistance in interpreting any part of this policy, please contact AEC EmployTrainPay team on 02 6160 2678.