Social Media Policy

IOA Social Media Policy

It is the policy of the Illinois Officials Association that all interaction on association operated social media be conducted with respect, decorum and civility. It is the goal of the Association to use social media to promote our activities and as a method of providing educational opportunities and social interaction for our members. Therefore, anything posted to the Associations Facebook page or the Forums on the web site must be free of vulgarity, personal attacks, inappropriate behavior, and sexual innuendo. The Association expects the same level of decorum, ethics and behavior on social media as we expect of you on the field.

Any post deemed inappropriate by the Board will be removed from the page and the offending poster warned. A second inappropriate post will result in that member being removed from that page.
Social Media Tips
– Be respectful at all times. You are more likely to achieve your goals or sway opinion if you are constructive and respectful while discussing a bad experience or disagreeing with a ruling, concept or person.

– Remember that in many cases the public or Coaches may have access to our pages.

– Do not mention specific teams, coaches, schools or players. Limit your discussion to specific plays or situations.

– In a discussion direct your responses to the point being discussed and not the person making that point. No personal attacks or criticism.

– Participate! Social media are unique in that you can participate in any manner that you are comfortable. Some people may just read and learn, and others will actively participate. We highly encourage your participation. Your participation makes you valuable!

– There are no dumb questions. All of us were new at one time.

– Be conversational, ask questions, thank people, comment and like other people’s posts.

– Accept corrections with grace. If you make an error, correct it quickly and visibly.

– Be accurate. Make sure you have all of the facts before you post or respond. It’s better to verify information from a resource than to have to post a correction later.

– If you want to respond to something you are unsure of it is acceptable to say you are doing some research and you will respond later. Whenever possible, Cite and link to your resources.

– When posing questions to the group regarding game scenarios, please be sure to mention what rule set was being used. By default we assume NFHS, however the summer finds us working multiple rule sets.

– Spend time thinking/listening before you start responding. Ask yourself in your mind if there is any way your post could be taken to be disrespectful or bad in any way even when it is not meant that way.

– Always be calm and thoughtful when posting. If you feel angry or very passionate about a subject don’t post until you calm down.

– Remember that anything put out on social media will always be there even if you delete the posts. Posts and comments can be found, copied and forwarded at any time. Archival systems save information even if you delete a post. If you wouldn’t say it in public, don’t say it online.

– Be yourself; be honest about your identity. Don’t hide behind the anonymity of the computer screen.

– Maintain confidentiality and always use sound ethical judgment.