BBC Cites Facebook in New Social Media Policy

Social media can be a double-edged sword: On the one hand, it’s a platform for journalists to share their content and engage with readers. On the other hand, well, one word: Weinergate.

According to blog TheNextWeb, the new BBC social media policy now requires “a second pair of eyes” to review every Facebook post (and Twitter update, for that matter) related to news reporting.

The policy clearly states, “A second check might well avoid you saying or linking to something unwise, which could land you, or the BBC, in trouble.”

The BBC also states some of the obvious, like, “Don’t say anything stupid,” and warns reporters to avoid sounding off on a particular topic or idea. A Washington Post editor recently swore off another social networking platform because it was too tempting to share personal views.

The Canadian Broadcasting Co. has joined most other major media organizations in not only creating social media guidelines, but also continuing to modify them as social media converges with other sources. For example, CBC recently made its Facebook policy more stringent by prohibiting journalists from using posts for attribution, as a way of encouraging reporters to actually report from the field, as opposed to from their desk.

The BBC guidelines are divided into three areas:

1. Your own personal activity, done for your friends and contacts, but not under or in the name of BBC News
2. Activity for core news (breaking news), programs, or genres carried out officially in the name of BBC News
3. Activity of editors, presenters, correspondents, or reporters carried out as part of official BBC News output.

Readers, what do you think of the BBC’s new Facebook policy?

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