The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians recently published their board approved NAEMT Operational Policy: Social media guidelines and policies.
This Operational Policy is a good example of how effective policies should be constructed. The document breaks down into two specific parts, Social Media Usage Guidelines and Organizational Policy.
The Social Media Usage Guidelines provides the opportunity to educate the members of NAEMT on how to use social media in a responsible and professional manner as well as some basic netiquette rules to follow. While the guidelines are not necessarily new concepts to the readers of this blog, they may be entirely new to those who are just beginning their careers in EMS and therefore are indispensable to those just getting oriented with the EMS blogosphere and beyond.
The Organizational Policy is placed after the guidelines, and includes a number of standard legal disclaimers and the lineage of responsibility for user created content. However, there is one line that I admit is both quite creative and something that we should probably see enforced more often:
7. Personal attacks and characterizations that question a person’s motives or qualifications is not permissible on any official NAEMT site and will be immediately removed, if posted. There is a substantial difference between disagreeing with how someone did their research or treated a patient and accusing the person of fraud or incompetence. Negative statements that impugn someone’s professional qualifications can cause substantial economic and emotional damage and will be removed.
– NAEMT Operational Policy: Social media guidelines and policies
Attack the idea. Not the person.
This type of anti-troll policy is something that ALL agencies should include into their own policies. Kudos to NAEMT for making it both a policy and (other than perhaps the use of the word impugn) putting it in plain english.
The policy was put forward by NAEMT‘s Social Networking Committee chaired by Jules Scadden and including Everyday EMS Tips blogger Greg Friese (a member of the EMS Blogs Network). It was approved by the NAEMT Board last week.
As an NAEMT member, I look forward to seeing the committee refresh NAEMT‘s presence on the social networks and increase their relevance for the industry.