Say 'No' to Cyberbullying
Harassment and bullying look different in virtual meetings
Though associations shifted many of their activities online during the COVID-19 pandemic, bullying and harassment haven’t moved entirely offstage. An association’s social media hashtags can get hijacked; remote meetings can get Zoom-bombed by pranksters or critics; email and chat platforms can be abused. And even with the possibility of physical intimidation removed, virtual meetings can still become venues for inappropriate conduct.
Even if an association already has a code of conduct in place for in-person meetings, “they should have a policy that’s more focused on the conduct itself,” said Paula Brantner, president of PB Works Solutions, which focuses on preventing workplace harassment. “You may also need a social media policy and moderation policy for online forums where members communicate. And the language needs to be clear and consistent across those policies.”
In addition to updating conduct policies to encompass the digital spaces where people interact, association leaders will need to consider how these rules are communicated to members and other participants in association activities.
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