Social Media Guidance

Many members, including reps, will use social networks regularly and there are several good examples of using it as a method to share ideas and keep up-to-date with friends, share knowledge of industrial relations or discuss professional questions.

However, all members should be aware that there are risks, not least the opportunity for fraudsters to use any personal information to steal identities or gain access to confidential information.

The Society of Radiographers has produced a document which gives detailed guidance on the use of social media download link at the end of this page.

One area that has been highlighted recently is the number of cases concerning the publication of libellous material included in individual accounts.

Some of these cases have arisen as a result of unscrupulous interrogation of published material by journalists who then put this into print.

In some areas of employment, employers are banning the use of social networking sites and bringing disciplinary proceedings against individuals as a result of the misuse of employer time at work and for any damage to the integrity of employees or the business that may arise from comments made online.

Reps should advise members of the risks involved in participating in online social networking and not be openly critical of colleagues, employers, managers and members of other professions.

By doing so, the writer could not only be at risk of legal action, but may also compromise the integrity of the SoR.

Reps should also take particular care themselves not to deliberately or inadvertently bring the SoR into disrepute through confidential details being mentioned on the Internet.

Where networks are used to share ideas or to ask advice, it is important that personal details of members or third parties are not published.

The Society of Radiographers' legal partner, Howard Kennedy, has also produced legal information around using social media.

Tips include: 

  • Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that what you do in your personal life will not impact on your work life. What you do in your personal life can in some circumstances legitimately justify disciplinary action or dismissal by your employer
  • Doensure your privacy settings are set so that only your friends and family can see your social media postings/photos (not the entire world)
  • Don’t, however, be fooled by privacy settings – assume that anything you post can be seen by anyone in the world, anywhere – even if your privacy settings are set to only share with friends and family that does not prevent them sharing your post (copying, pasting, emailing, tweeting it etc.)
  • Do consider using a pseudonym for public use of social media like Twitter and blogs or comments on any public pages
  • Don't use social media to rant or vent about your work day, your boss, your colleagues or patients
  • Do ensure you identify any public use of social media as expressing your own views (i.e. a disclaimer that your opinions are not your employer’s etc.), particularly if trying to get a Twitter following.

Click here to read all the do’s and don’ts.