If you choose to participate in these types of online activities it is important that you understand what is recommended, expected and required, whether at work or on your own time. Accordingly, we have developed the following guidelines for you to follow when posting to a blog or some other form of social media like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or Linkedin.
Be thoughtful about how you present yourself in online social networks. The lines between public and private, and personal and professional are blurred in online social networks. If you identify yourself as an Apple employee or are known to be one, you are now connected to your co-workers, Leaders and even Apple's customers. You should ensure that content associated with you is consistent with Apple policies.
Respect your audience and your coworkers. Remember that Apple is a global organization whose employees and customers reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. Don't be afraid to be yourself, but do so respectfully. This includes not only the obvious (no ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, etc.) but also topics that may be considered offensive or inflammatory. Use your best judgment, but if you need further guidance regarding what constitutes inappropriate communications please consult with HR, your Leader or Apple's Harassment policy.
Respect the privacy of your coworkers. Blogs, wikis, social networks and other tools should not be used for internal communications among fellow employees. It is fine for Apple employees to disagree, but please don't use your external blog or other online social media to air your differences. Do not discuss your co-workers without their permission, and ask permission before posting their picture. By respecting your co- workers' privacy you will be helping to maintain the professional work environment at Apple.
Respect the privacy of our customers. It is a priority that we respect the privacy of our customers. Do not use or discuss any information regarding customers for any purpose. This includes contacting customers for social reasons or soliciting outside business. If you need further guidance in this area, please refer to Apple's policy regarding customer private information.
Use a disclaimer. When Apple wishes to communicate publicly as a company it has well established means to do so. Only those individuals officially designated by Apple have the authority to speak on behalf of the company. If you identify yourself as an Apple employee, however, people may confuse your opinions with those of the company. In order to avoid this problem you must make clear that you are writing for yourself and on your own behalf, and not for Apple. At a minimum, we strongly recommend that you include a disclaimer similar to the following: "the postings on this site are my own and do not represent Apple's opinions or positions."
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