Social media policy guidelines

While freedom of expression is a right in South Africa, there is a host of legislation protecting other rights. Don’t fall foul of the law on social media with careless posts.

The Pharmaceutical Council of South Africa is currently developing a social media policy which will assist pharmacies in interaction on the platforms. In the interim here are a few pointers for you and your staff to flag, for posting on business accounts or personal accounts:

• Don’t ever posts anything offensive, unlawful, gender discriminatory, racist, sexually oriented, impersonating, libelous, profane, or sexist.

• Don’t put up information or photos of yourself or others that could embarrass or compromise anyone.

• Don’t share confidential information about patients , the pharmacy you work in or the pharmaceutical industry, anywhere.

• Stay clear of discussing colleagues, service providers, customers, or complaining work-related matters on social media – even on your own personal accounts.

• Watch out for copyright-protected material such as photos or information you may lift off the internet without permission or credit.

• Don’t diagnose a patient in response to a question or post – only general advice on a health topic is fine.

It’s not all doom and gloom – It’s good to get to know the different social media environments and use them to reach out to your customers and talk to them. Nowadays, the customer expects a business to have a website and to be active on social media so they can engage with you.


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Date: April 23, 2018