DO NOT SHARE SOCIALMEDIA.ORG CONTENT WITH ANYONE OUTSIDE OF SOCIALMEDIA.ORG. EVER.
SocialMedia.org’s value comes from our ability to share openly and privately. Our rules on confidentiality make this possible.
All members agree and are held to our strict confidentiality requirements. Every member must sign a confidentiality contract before taking part in SocialMedia.org activities. Every company also signs a contract agreeing to the confidentiality rules.
Everything in SocialMedia.org is confidential — from any source, in any format.
You must follow these rules:
- All SocialMedia.org content is confidential, including informal conversations. This includes emails, discussions, calls, documents, audio recordings, files, and everything else you receive from SocialMedia.org. This means no forwarding, quoting, copying, or reposting information — inside or outside of your company. You may not allow anyone to access your member login or messages. Casual and informal conversations are also confidential.
- SocialMedia.org content must not be shared without explicit consent. Assume everything is confidential unless the person who provided the information specifically tells you otherwise.
- The identities of participants in a conversation are confidential.
- Only members who were in a specific conversation may receive details of that conversation. You can’t share information with members (at your company or other companies) who weren’t in that conversation unless you have explicit permission.
- Do not share SocialMedia.org content with co-workers. If they have not signed a confidentiality agreement for this SocialMedia.org community, they may not see our content (even if they are a member of another SocialMedia.org community).
- Outsiders may never, ever see SocialMedia.org content. This includes vendors, partners, agencies, consultants, journalists, the public, or anyone else.
- You must follow SocialMedia.org’s Appropriate Use Rules to share what you learn.
Members who violate the confidentiality rules will be removed from the community, and their company’s membership will be cancelled without refund. You are bound by these rules even if you leave the community.
Appropriate Use Rules
The Appropriate Use Rules are the only way you are allowed to share the knowledge you gain from the community. The rules are:
- Summarize. You can summarize the big ideas, concepts, and what you learn. That means you need to rewrite or restate it in your own words. Don’t use any original quotes from SocialMedia.org communications.
- Anonymize. You may never share identifying information about other members, or say anything that would allow someone to figure out identities. You can use generalities like “a major tech company.” You cannot say, “I was talking to Susan Jones at XYZ Company, and she said ______.” You can credit SocialMedia.org, and the full list of member companies is public.
- Ask permission. If you’re not sure what can be shared, ask permission from the member who gave you the information. If you ever have a question, clear it with SocialMedia.org before sharing. Be cautious — avoid any gray areas.
Enforcement of confidentiality rules
We take confidentiality violations incredibly seriously, and we act immediately.
Violations usually result in the expulsion of the individual involved and the cancellation of the entire corporate membership — without refund. We also pursue action against the recipients of the confidential information to ensure they don’t make use of the data they received.
Incidents are rare, and everything is handled with great discretion. There are no boards, reviews, or public appeals. Members rarely hear about enforcement because we handle these issues quickly and quietly.
Why is confidentiality such a serious issue?
In our private community, you can discuss issues, explore ideas, ask for help, and share concerns openly and honestly, knowing that this is a trusting and confidential environment. You’re never on the record, and you never have to worry about what you say being shared publicly. SocialMedia.org is a safe space with deep trust among all members.
Without the assurance of confidentiality, our members would no longer be comfortable sharing with one another. Our community would be reduced to a generic open forum; without substantial conversations, we would cease to be a valuable group.
Please respect your fellow members by ensuring full discretion. You can trust other members to do the same.
What happens when someone violates the confidentiality rules?
The SocialMedia.org professional staff responds quickly and firmly.
Investigations and expulsions are handled with complete discretion. All of this is handled at the staff level. We will never ask members to judge other members.
- We immediately shut down access for all representatives from the member company.
- We investigate the possible violation thoroughly, including digital records and discussions with the Company Chair, the offending individual, and others who may have been involved.
- The offending representative must give us a high level of confidence that there will be no further incidents, or they will be removed from SocialMedia.org. The member must make substantial effort to undo the damage and inform all recipients of confidential material about the situation.
- We reach an understanding of the confidentiality policies and receive written assurances that their team understands and agrees to the policies.
- If there is any question or lingering concern, the entire member company will be ejected from SocialMedia.org without notice or refund.
- Only when we are fully confident that there is no further problem will we re-establish access.
- We also pursue action against the recipients of the leaked information to assess the damage and prevent further spreading.
Is there any community content that’s public?
By default, assume everything you see and hear is 100% confidential unless specifically told otherwise. You’ll know it’s public because we’ll explicitly tell you. Portions of some meetings, for example, are open for sharing. Our public newsletter, our public website, and similar content is also free to share. Again, we’ll clearly tell you.
Why can’t I share with the rest of my company?
Members wouldn’t meaningfully participate if they felt like your entire department was going to read what they say. And there’s no way to prevent further leaks when you relay something company-wide.
When you participate in our community, you know who you are speaking with, you know they signed a formal agreement about confidentiality, and you can look them in the eye at a meeting and know that they will respect the confidence of your discussions.
Why can’t I share with my agencies and vendors?
This is a brands-only, 100% vendor-free organization. That is one of our most fundamental guarantees. It enables honest conversations about vendors, which is one of the most valuable parts of the experience. Your trusted consultant or the PR agency person also works for a lot of other clients — which would violate our vendor-free rules.
What can I share with my agency/consultant/contractor/tech provider?
Nothing. Don’t even think about it. If you see something through SocialMedia.org, it can’t be shared with anyone outside of the community. Never share anything, in any format, that could be traced back to a company or individual. If that vendor or agency can trace the information back to a member, they’ll talk to them about it — and once that member realizes they’re being ambushed with confidential information, they’ll never share with any of us again.
Can I even tell people I’m a member?
Of course. You can share general information that you are a member of SocialMedia.org (and how much you love it). Just don’t share the substance of the conversations. You can say you’re at a meeting or on a call — but you can’t say what we’re talking about.
What can I attribute to SocialMedia.org?
Not much. You should always follow the appropriate use rules by removing all potentially identifying information about individuals or companies and making ideas your own. Internally, it’s generally OK to attribute the concepts you learned to SocialMedia.org to leverage the power of the group without compromising anyone’s confidentiality.
How do you stop my proprietary information from getting leaked?
When you signed your confidentiality contract, you agreed not to share your company’s confidential information, proprietary data, or intellectual property. Any information you provide will be shared within the community, and (despite our best efforts to prevent it) could be shared outside the community. Other than our efforts to enforce our confidentiality policies, there are no formal or legal protections to prevent further dissemination. Follow your company’s rules.
If I suspect a confidentiality violation, how do I report it?
Please contact your Community Manager or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will immediately and discreetly investigate. Your anonymity will be protected.