Social Media, Free Speech and Parliamentary Service

Social Media, Free Speech and Parliamentary Service

The Senate Administration has, in the last few years, adopted a Statement of Values and Ethics, a Code of Conduct for Staff of the Senate Administration and, very recently, a set of Social Media Guidelines for Staff of the Senate Administration. This article looks at certain provisions of these documents and related issues involving parliamentary service.

Modern technology has been getting employees into trouble for years, decades even. Social media can be seen as simply the latest challenge evolving technology has introduced to the workplace. In their early stages of adoption, photocopiers, fax machines and email all provided avenues for inappropriate expressions and behaviour, or were used for non work-related matters. Internal guidelines and processes had to be put in place to address issues that arose.