Policies & Guidelines

WPA Policy on General Public Communication and Guidelines for Social Media Use

The following guiding principles for all public and online communication should be upheld to maintain WPA as an ethical and professional organization.

 

General Communication Policies

  • WPA will identify authorship and sources for public communication, including position papers, articles, presentations, or other forms of communication distributed by the organization, as it is reasonable and relevant to the nature of the information being shared. References that are available upon request are sufficient.
  • Authors are responsible for securing copyrights or approval for any materials or pictures used in presentations. WPA is not responsible for the violation of these laws by authors or presenters.
  • WPA will strive to ensure that all materials adhere to guidelines for professional conduct as identified by the APA Ethical Standards.
  • The Executive Director, President, Board, or authorized WPA committee must be aware that any information that may be provided in the public forum can be viewed as a statement by the association despite the intent of the author.
  • When making any statements of opinion the author or provider of such information must clearly indicate the proper authority involved (e.g., personal opinion, Board policy, WPA position, etc.) and disclaim WPA authority in all cases that the Board or executive committee has not specifically endorsed.
  • If a personal or professional opinion or position not specifically endorsed by WPA is offered, a WPA Member, Board member, or officer is not to advertise their affiliation with WPA.
  • WPA supports and promotes professional and public education in psychology. The presentation of information in all venues of public education including, but not limited to, public forums, educational seminars, professional workshops, or articles must follow the guidelines of the WPA Continuing Education Committee and the APA Standards of Ethical Practice.
  • All participants are prohibited from making negative commentary about other members, member services or products, unaffiliated colleagues, provider groups or clinics, or the association on any online platforms. This policy also prohibits the use of profanity or unauthorized self-promotion. These activities or other similar abuse will result in the violator being removed from social media.
  • All users of any WPA online resources acknowledge that the association is not responsible for third-party conduct or comments.
  • All online resource users agree to abide by applicable laws and any online terms or conditions and takes responsibility for his or her own actions.
  • All rights are reserved on WPA’s intellectual property that is used or displayed online.
  • WPA prohibits unauthorized use or copying of third-party content as well as the posting of any unlawful or objectionable content.

 

WPA Social Media and Publication Guidelines

Emerging platforms for online collaboration are fundamentally changing the way we work, offering new ways to engage with members, colleagues, and the world at large. It is a new model for interaction and we believe social computing can help build stronger, more successful relationships and a stronger association.

WPA encourages members to be champions of the association and its services. Participation in social media on behalf of WPA is not a right, but a privilege that needs to be taken seriously and with respect. What you write, post, or contribute will remain on the web forever. It is your responsibility to adhere to the following guidelines set forth by WPA for responsible social computing.

Social Media Accounts: The association will establish association accounts in various social media platforms that do not cross over into private or public domain. These accounts will serve as social medial platforms to communicate with WPA’s members and colleagues.

All social media posts are subject to approval by WPA and WPA’s identified social media administration. WPA retains the right to remove, edit, or deny posts, comments, or online information that does not adhere to the stated policies and guidelines. 

WPA also retains the right to deny access to or limit participation on social media platforms or the WPA Blog to any individual or group for violation of the stated communications policies and guidelines.

If you participate in social media, please follow these guiding principles:

  • Stick to your area of expertise and provide unique, individual perspectives.
  • Do not share personal information about yourself or another person.
  • Post meaningful, respectful comments. Refrain from making off-topic or offensive comments.
  • Avoid posting material that is highly politicized or potentially inflammatory, but don’t be afraid to share a balanced, research-based, and psychological perspective on current topics.
  • When disagreeing with others’ opinions, keep it appropriate, respectful, and polite. Maintain professional decorum.
  • In order to avoid engaging in potentially heated conversations, choosing to respectfully disengage is always the best choice.
  • Do not post spam on the social media platforms.
  • Always pause to think before posting. Never forget that what you post will live forever on the web.
  • Reply to comments in a timely manner when a response is appropriate.
  • Respect proprietary information, content, and the confidentiality of others. Don’t share information that is not yours to share.
  • It is the information provider’s responsibility to ensure accuracy of all shared material.
  • It is the information provider’s responsibility to secure permission for sharing copyrighted and proprietary information.
  • It is the information provider’s responsibility to appropriately reference material as needed.
  • Do not share association work without permission or a request from the association.
  • However, WPA encourages sharing links to other content on the internet as long as the content falls within the stated posting guidelines. Posting links is not considered an endorsement of the shared material by WPA.
  • Admit to errors in a timely manner and take steps to correct the error as soon as possible. If you need help, contact the chair of the WPA Communications Committee for further guidance. Do not alter previously posted material without indicating corrections.

 

Management of Inappropriate Content/Posts/Comments

Examples of inappropriate content, posts, or comments include but are not limited to the following:

  • Negative or inflammatory posts or comments about the content being shared by WPA.
  • Negative or inflammatory posts or comments about individual members, nonmember colleagues, groups, facilities, or the association that are potentially harmful to the intended party’s reputation.
  • Inflammatory or highly politicized posts.
  • Posts or comments that share proprietary information about an individual member, nonmember colleague, group, facility, or the association that are not approved by the implicated party and the association.
  • Posts containing inaccurate or misleading information.
  • Posts that contain graphics or information that is shared in violation of copyright law.
  • Disclosure of potentially harmful personal information.
  • Unauthorized advertisements.
  • Spam posts.
  • Posts containing profanity.

 

The following is the process to be followed if a post on any online platform, including the WPA Blog, is considered serious enough to require a response:

  1. Identify the potential problematic communication posting and immediately share the information with the WPA Communications Committee Chair.
  2. It is the responsibility of the Communications Committee Chair to address the post in question as soon as possible with a member or members of the WPA Executive Committee to minimize potential damage to the association or other parties that are implicated in the post.
  3. A management plan for addressing the post in question will be developed that might include rendering a response to the incident. Any response will be developed in collaboration between the WPA Communications Committee Chair and any involved Executive Committee Members.
  4. Sharing of the response is subject to the collaborative decision of the WPA Communication Committee Chair and any involved Executive Committee Members.
  5. The response should be sent in a private communication to the implicated party, should clearly indicate why the observed content was problematic and/or in violation of the guidelines and policies, and should include specific information pertaining to any consequences for posting the content and any required actions on the part of the poster. The response should be as specific as possible.
  6. Continued monitoring of the forum for additional inappropriate activity may be appropriate and will occur upon the collaborative decision of the WPA Communication Committee Chair and any involved Executive Committee Members.
  7. Decisions rendered by the Communications Chair and Executive Committee on such matters of problematic posts shall be final.