Social media is very much part of our lives today but as a seafarer it’s important to understand what you are and aren’t allowed to post online – because a mistake could cost you your job!

You should understand that you are legally responsible for your posts. So, if they are found to be defamatory, harassing, in breach of confidentiality or copyright, or in violation of any other applicable law, you will be held responsible.

Danica has a Social Media Policy which complies with our clients’ requirements and we urge you to familiarise yourself with this policy. Please be aware that a violation of our Social Media Policy may result in disciplinary action and even termination of your employment.

One aspect of the social media policy that is particularly important at present is that you must not share any information about your vessel’s movements or activities. We are sure you all realise that these are turbulent times and there are many areas of the world which are less safe for ships than they were in the past. Sharing vessel details like these puts your ship and your colleagues – and yourself – at risk. Do not do it!

Another key rule is that you must not share any information, at all, about any accidents or incidents involving your ship. Obviously you can tell your closest family that you are safe but you must not give any details which they could then share online too. When an accident happens there are internationally agreed procedures which are gone through by official accident investigators and these must not be hampered by you putting information into the public domain which could influence the outcome of an independent investigation.

Here’s a handy list of the other key things you cannot post online.

1.    You cannot comment on any aspect of company business or policies – that’s including Danica and the shipowner you are working for. In some countries it is illegal to publicly criticise your employer and they could seek financial damages from you.

2.    You must not share any confidential company information.

3.    Don’t share any financially-sensitive information.

4.    You are not allowed to post your vessel name or company’s logos or trademarks in your personal posts. So when you take a photo check that no logo is showing and if there is one then edit the photo to remove it.

5.    You are forbidden from communicating with members of the press or media online in relation to your work or the company employing you.

6.    You must not violate your colleagues privacy by identifying them in a post nor share their image without their permission.

7.    And you must not post anything on your personal social media outlets that uses stories, photographs, videos or any other work which directly results from your association with Danica or your ship owning company.

8.    Do not engage in casual conversation on sensitive or confidential matters.

9.    While you are onboard or engaged  by a company you must not send communications containing material that is racist, sexist, offensive, defamatory, fraudulent or otherwise inappropriate.

Remember, if in doubt, pause before you post and check the policy or ask a company representative. Don’t let a social media post ruin your career.

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