Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rules of professional conduct for social networking sites

Here's something useful for students and faculty alike.  The Legal Blog Watch has taken a list of conduct rules given to Wall Street Journal staffers concerning appropriate behavior on Facebook, Twitter and similar "sites" (are you with me so far?) and adapted it for lawyers, while adding a few of their own "rules of the (social networking) road" for good measure.

Here you go:

  • Consult your editor before "connecting" to or "friending" any reporting contacts who may need to be treated as confidential sources. Openly "friending" sources is akin to publicly publishing your Rolodex.
  • Don't disparage the work of colleagues or competitors or aggressively promote your coverage.
  • Don't engage in any impolite dialogue with those who may challenge your work -- no matter how rude or provocative they may seem.

  • Avoid giving highly-tailored, specific advice to any individual on Dow Jones sites. ... Giving generalized advice is the best approach.
  • All postings on Dow Jones sites that may be controversial or that deal with sensitive subjects need to be cleared with your editor before posting.
  • Business and pleasure should not be mixed on services like Twitter. Common sense should prevail, but if you are in doubt about the appropriateness of a Tweet or posting, discuss it with your editor before sending.

And here are the ones added by LBW

  • Don't post anything that's confidential.
  • Avoid the appearance of establishing a client-attorney relationship.
  • Don't get into an argument with anyone.
  • Be polite and avoid sensitive subjects.

You can read the full advice column here.

I am the scholarship dude.


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