Take-Aways from the Navy’s Social-Media Handbook

The Navy has released its second handbook on social media.  The first was directed to ombudsmen and was released this summer.  The second was released last week and is directed to commanding officers. The handbook offers guidelines and suggestions for safe social-media use. Here are some of the most transferrable points from the new handbook, which employers may want to consider when drafting their own social-media policies:

  • Protect the safety of your family’s personal information;
  • Be familiar with the privacy settings of your account;
  • Keep sensitive information safe.

The social-media handbook also addresses how to respond if your account is hacked and what to do if you find that inappropriate comments have been posted to a Naval social-media account.

One particularly interesting section addresses the issue of friend requests between a commanding officer and those in his chain of command.  Regarding online relationships with subordinates, the handbook states:

If your social media presence exists simply to engage with people on a professional basis then becoming a friend of one of your Sailors or following them is less of an issue. However, if you use social media actively to communicate with your close friends and family then including Sailors who work for you is a more difficult decision. However you approach your connecting with subordinates from your command, it is up to you to lead by example and ensure that the relationship remains on a professional level and that deference to your rank and position is respected online and in the real world.

This is one of the better social-media handbooks I’ve encountered and is an excellent starting point for those employer who are beginning the process of writing a similar policy for their workplace.

See also:

Sample Social-Media Policy for Employers