Social Media Policy & Guidelines of The Missouri Bar
These are the official guidelines for social media use on
behalf of The Missouri Bar. These guidelines apply to Missouri Bar staff and
Missouri Bar volunteers including, but not limited to, sections, committees,
boards, departments and related groups ("entities") who use the state
bar's name and/or logo in conjunction with a social media platform that is
affiliated with The Missouri Bar. We expect all who participate in social
media on behalf of The Missouri Bar to understand and follow these
guidelines, and to be aware that they will continually evolve as social media
The Missouri Bar's use of social media platforms is
designed to increase member engagement, to provide information and
resources to members and to the public, and to raise awareness of state bar
services, benefits and programs, with the goal of providing greater
value to our members and the public. The state bar's social media
presence will provide a digital conversation for Missouri's legal
community and help educate Missouri citizens about their legal system.
Administering the Social Media Presence
The information on The Missouri Bar's social networking
sites should be regularly updated with postings on bar events and
news relevant to Missouri Bar members and the public. The communications director
will make determinations about the content that should be posted. All items for
posting from state bar entities must be submitted to the communications director for approval. These entities should regularly provide the communications director with content for posting to the social media sites. The communications director is encouraged to post material that has already been
released and approved for publication in other Missouri Bar communications
(e.g., press releases, articles, program information and other practice
The Missouri Bar's communications coordinators, under the
direction of the communications director, will have rights to post items on
The Missouri Bar's official Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Linkedln accounts,
YouTube channel, Instagram account and Snapchat account. The communications director will serve as the administrator and staff will serve as editors for
each social media platform.
With respect to Facebook, sites will be created
so that only the site's administrator can post to the "wall" of the
site. State bar members and the public will be able to "fan" the site
and comment on postings so long as those comments are consistent with these
guidelines. The Missouri Bar will constantly monitor the sites for
inappropriate posts and retain the right to remove posts deemed to be
inappropriate and/or to be deemed outside of these guidelines. The disclaimer located at the bottom of this page regarding
comments will be linked to from all Missouri Bar social media sites.
State bar staff members are encouraged to become a
"fan" of the state bar's Facebook pages and a "follower" of
the state bar Twitter accounts, YouTube channel, Instagram account and
Snapchat account. State bar staff members have absolute discretion to
decide whether to confirm social media connection requests for their personal
One Official Presence
The Missouri Bar will maintain one official presence on any
social networking site in order to maintain control of content, provide for the
most effective use of staff time and avoid confusion over what is deemed the
official bar message. The state bar’s official presence on social media
The exception to this policy are the Facebook accounts of the CLE department (www.Facebook.com/MoBarCLE), Young Lawyers’
and the Missouri Plan (www.Facebook.com/MissouriPlan),
as well as the Twitter accounts of the president (@MoBarPresident), Joint
Commission on Women in the Profession (@MoWomenLawyers), the Missouri Plan
(@MissouriPlan) and CLE department (@MoBarCLE), which are governed by these guidelines.
The Board of Governors has ratified the sites then-existing
at the time of the adoption of these guidelines and requires board approval for
Other entities within the bar (departments, sections, committees,
etc.) are encouraged to submit appropriate information through communication
with their bar staff liaisons, who will provide information for the site
administrator and/or editor to post items to the official sites.
To create consistency and community on the web, The Missouri
Bar has established standard logo templates, disclaimers and naming
conventions. In order to maintain one official presence, the use of The
Missouri Bar's name and/or logo may be used only on official Missouri Bar
social media sites, which have been approved by the Board of Governors.
At all times, be professional, respectful and discreet in
your online dialogue. Represent The Missouri Bar and our profession well.
Exercise good judgment. Entities and individuals who fail to do so, or who fail
to comply with these guidelines, may forfeit the right to participate in social
networking activities sponsored by The Missouri Bar.
In addition, be mindful that in some circumstances,
inappropriate use of social media may result in discipline for failure to
adhere to applicable Rules of Professional Conduct, as well as civil or
criminal penalties, as warranted.
responsible. You are personally responsible for the material you
post. All statements must be true and not misleading. Carefully consider
content; what you publish will be widely accessible for a long time and,
in some cases, indefinitely. Protect your privacy and the privacy of others and adhere to all legal
proscriptions governing the privacy of individuals and confidential
information of The Missouri Bar.
relevant and add value. Comments should be related to and in
response to the topic of the original post. Posts also should be relevant to The Missouri
Bar's mission and/or goals. Write about what you know. Contribute
knowledge, not self-promotion. Information adds value if it contributes to
the legal community's knowledge or skills, improves the legal system or
public understanding of the legal system, or builds a sense of community.
upfront; identify yourself. Use your real name and, if relevant, your
role or interest in the topic discussed. Make it clear that your views are
your own and not those of The Missouri Bar. Only the communications director, with prior approval from the executive director, and the president
are authorized to speak for The Missouri Bar.
civil and respectful. It is all right to disagree with others'
views, but do not use defamatory, libelous, or damaging innuendo; abusive,
threatening, offensive, obscene, explicit, racist or illegal material.
Avoid sensitive and/or potentially objectionable or inflammatory topics.
quick to correct an error. Be the first to respond to your own
mistakes and quickly provide the correct information. If appropriate,
modify an earlier post to make it clear you have corrected an error.
copyright and fair use laws. Always give credit for the work of
others. Make sure you have the right to use the material with attribution
before publishing. In general, it is a good practice to link to others'
work rather than reproducing it on the site.
confidential, proprietary or other privileged information. Do not
discuss or misuse proprietary or confidential information. Protect the personal
information of yourself and others.
politics. Refrain from advocating for or against any candidate or
campaign, including persons running for elected positions within The
Missouri Bar. Avoid commenting on any political policy, cause or legislation
on which The Missouri Bar has taken no official position. Nothing in these
guidelines should be read to prohibit the use of social media as part of a
response to the criticism of judges or courts in accordance with The
Missouri Bar Plan for Response to Criticism of Judges and Courts.
from making uninformed or unsubstantiated claims. You should not
make any claims about your experience with a Missouri Bar program,
service, product or activity unless you have personally used the service
or product or participated in the program or activity. Comments should not
be misleading or unsubstantiated. If you have a relationship with The
Missouri Bar, clearly disclose such relationship when making comments.
Such disclosures are necessary to ensure that third-party readers are
appropriately informed of the relationship and can take them into account
when considering the comment.
with Missouri rules governing lawyer conduct. Comply with all
legal restrictions and obligations governing professional conduct,
particularly those regulating communication and advertising.
not violate antitrust laws.
by the social network's rules. By joining a particular social
review those items carefully.
blatant marketing. Blatant marketing or advertising by
individuals is inconsistent with the purposes of general dialogue and
information exchange and is not in accord with the purpose and strategy of
The Missouri Bar's social media presence. The Missouri Bar may use its own
social media site to promote its programs, products and services.
Enforcing these guidelines
The Missouri Bar reserves the right to monitor all sites
covered by the policy and guidelines herein and will take appropriate action to
enforce these guidelines.
Approved by the Board of Governors on May 13, 2011
Amended by the Board of Governors on May 5, 2016
Amended by the Board of Governors May 9, 2019
The Missouri Bar does not agree with or endorse every
comment that individuals post on our pages. Our goal is to share ideas and
information that contribute to The Missouri Bar's mission: Improving the
administration of justice, the laws and the legal profession on behalf of the
public. Our policy is to accept comments that contribute to this mission.
Posted comments and images do not necessarily represent the
views of The Missouri Bar. External, non-Missouri Bar links on this site do not
constitute official endorsement on behalf of The Missouri Bar. All links posted
as comments on official Missouri Bar posts will be reviewed and may be deleted.
While we encourage fans to share thoughts and opinions on
The Missouri Bar Facebook page, we expect that this will be done in a respectful manner. A comment will be
deleted if it contains:
Profane, obscene, explicit or vulgar language; Nudity in profile pictures;
Defamatory, libelous or threatening language toward an individual or group;
Name calling and/or personal attacks;
Objectionable or inflammatory language;
Comments whose main purpose are blatant marketing or advertising; Comments that
infringe on copyrights or other intellectual property; Misuse of proprietary,
privileged or confidential information;
Spam comments, such as the same comment posted repeatedly on a profile;
Comments in violation of the Facebook guidelines; or
Any other comments that The Missouri Bar [Social Media Committee] deem
Repeated violations of The Missouri Bar comment policy may
cause the author to be blocked from The Missouri Bar Facebook page or other
official Missouri Bar social media accounts.
We understand [that] social media is a 24/7 medium; however,
our monitoring capabilities are not. We may not see every inappropriate comment
right away, and we are trusting members of our community to ignore personal
attacks and negative speech or respond politely.
Please contact email@example.com
if you have any questions.