SAA Social Media Policy

Sep 16, 2019

As part of our continuing efforts to overhaul and improve our communications with members, SAA is adopting a new social media policy. It is our hope that a transparent and clear set of guidelines will provide a better forum for important conversations between SAA and our members.   

Social Media Policy

This is a space to share, discuss, and boost anything related to archaeology or the Society’s business. We encourage active discussion that is safe, transparent, and respectful. To ensure that users are protected, SAA reserves the right to remove inappropriate content and block accounts that engage in personal attacks, profanity, spamming, or other hostile behaviors. 

How was this policy developed?
To understand what changes were needed, we started by identifying and categorizing comments from members about SAA, online as well as in the post-Albuquerque meeting evaluation. It was clear that members felt our prior social media policy inadequately explained the purpose of SAA’s social media presence, failed to clearly establish what behaviors were acceptable and unacceptable, and was inconsistently enforced.  
Next, we consulted the policies of other Register for Professional Archaeologists member organizations such as the Society for Historical Archaeology, as well as other major professional/academic organizations. These provided further perspective on where SAA’s prior policy lacked essential detail, such as what rights are reserved by moderators and the purpose of our social media presence.  
We used this information to develop a new policy that better reflects our priorities as an organization and provides clear ground rules for discussion. With this guidance, we promise to do a better job of engaging with our members and acknowledging fair criticism. 
What will occur to accounts that are currently blocked?
All SAA member accounts that are currently blocked will be unblocked under the new policy. Non-member and unverified accounts will be unblocked on a case-by-case basis. We welcome feedback from all of SAA’s stakeholders. 
Who is actively overseeing SAA’s social media?
SAA’s social media is managed by staff on a day-to-day basis, under supervision of the executive director. Any messages coming directly from the Board or President will feature the author’s initials. 
What does the definition of “inappropriate content” cover?
Our goal is to protect our members in all cases, so in addition to nuisance activities like spamming or advertising, we retain the ability to remove harassment or abusive content. If a comment wouldn’t be tolerated in a work environment, it won’t be tolerated here.   
Is the policy open to revision?
We believe that this policy is in line with the best practices of our neighbor institutions. By implementing this policy, we hope to begin more conversations on other areas where SAA can improve beyond social media. However, if a significant portion of our members feel this policy is inadequate, we are open to hearing suggested changes.