NASW recently turned off comments on Instagram after receiving several inflammatory and inaccurate comments from some followers.
After reviewing that decision, we realize that this was not the best step to take. We inadvertently silenced a discussion to handle a few malicious posts, and in doing so, completely took social workers out of an active conversation. This was a mistake, and we are working on how in the future we can moderate discussions in ways that targets posts that are explicitly trolling while not silencing passionate and heartfelt responses to important issues.
Social work was built on collaboration, and on our social media platforms, we are committed to adhering to the Code of Ethics in all of our interactions. The NASW Code of Ethics states: Social workers should treat colleagues with respect and should represent accurately and fairly the qualifications, views, and obligations of colleagues.
Online harassment or cyber-bullying is a violation of the Code of Ethics. We recognize that this means we shouldn’t stop discussions when they become heated, but rather try and single out posts that cross a line from posts that convey messages that might be controversial.
Constructive comments addressing NASW as an organization, addressing the social work profession, or other systems as a whole are welcome and demonstrate our commitment to our ethics.
We do retain the right to block followers or disable comments when a follower is in violation of our Instagram/Facebook terms of conduct (e.g. personalized insults, threats, or language that is intended to demean).
Our intent in blocking users or comments is to protect our communities, when we take this action it is not intended as a silencing tool to limit criticism. For the safety and mental health of our staff, we have and will disable comments as needed.
We welcome and need a healthy dialogue. Please give us your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.