ICAS issues Social Media Policy providing members with clear guidelines on use of social media
ICAS has published a Social Media Policy for ICAS members, student members, members of Council, Public Interest Members, lay members of Boards and Committees and any other parties connected with ICAS. For brevity these user groups are described as “Social Media Users”.
ICAS appreciates that social media can benefit “Social Media Users” by enabling them to engage with each other on topical issues and establish and enhance their professional networks. There are, however, some basic principles which should be kept in mind when using social media.
Given the increasing use of social media, ICAS believes it is necessary to set out what is expected of “Social Media Users” when using such media. The policy therefore provides individuals with a clear set of guidelines that they need to be cognisant of in terms of their behaviour. In many respects the policy merely applies existing rules and regulations, including ethical requirements, and applies them in the social media space.
The policy highlights that first and foremost, the fundamental principles of the ICAS Code of Ethics (Revised and Restructured, 2020) (integrity; objectivity; professional competence and due care; confidentiality; and professional behaviour) apply to all Social Media Users. It then sets out a series of matters that need to be considered, and where applicable, adhered to. These include (not exhaustive) that:
- Social Media Users may refer to their CA status but must clearly brand their posts as personal and not representative of the views of ICAS.
- Social Media Users should be mindful of the impact their activities might make to perceptions of ICAS as an organisation or the accountancy profession in general.
- Social Media Users should be transparent about their identity and any association they may have with ICAS.
- Social media posts that name individuals must be respectful and must not contain actual or potentially abusive, offensive, discriminatory, defamatory or disparaging remarks. All social media activity should be professional and courteous.
- Social Media Users must not upload, post, forward or post a link to any obscene, discriminatory, harassing, derogatory or disparaging content.
- Social Media Users should be mindful that the fundamental ethics principles apply in both professional and personal capacities. On that basis, the terms of this policy apply equally when social media is used in a strictly personal capacity.
Social media users are reminded that any failure to act in accordance with the terms of this policy could lead to a disciplinary investigation under ICAS’ Rules and Regulations. ICAS members are therefore advised to familiarise themselves with this new policy.