About the code

As Community Managers we have responsibility for creating safe, welcoming, thriving and productive social environments across virtual spaces, in which we facilitate inquiry and discussion, respect for universal human rights.

We have a unique role as brokers and mediators of relationships, and unique opportunities to create constructive outcomes for the ecosystem of Australia’s online communities and social media networks.

This is a potent time for social media. We believe its capacity to exact profound influence on people and events must come with accountability. ​We are also mindful that there is a challenging disconnect between the terms governing digital platforms and the safe governance of the communities that gather there.


The aim of this Code is to establish standards of practice to guide Community Managers when acting on behalf of their organisation, and in the interests of their communities.


This framework provides Community Managers, their employers and the public a clear understanding, and expectation, of what is considered ethical practice within their industry. ​Fundamentally, the pursuit of ‘engagement’ and other commercially motivated outcomes is not an excuse to act contrary to this guidance.

Code of Ethics

Community Managers will educate themselves about the ethical and legal principles framing their work, and apply the following standards of practice.


Deal fairly and honestly with community members, the public, employers, colleagues, public officials and the media.


Avoid publishing and encouraging content that contains an unnecessary emphasis on personal characteristics, including gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, age, sexual orientation, family relationships, religious belief, or disability.


Never engage in baiting (such as gender, racial or generational) for the purposes of boosting 'engagement'.


Do their utmost to ensure respectful member conduct within their communities. This should include the creation of relevant guidance for members in producing a healthy culture. Community Managers should report any forms of abuse, whether directed at them or others, to their employer and to the platforms this activity occurs on.


Community Managers should to their best to remain up to date with all relevant legislation in their regions of practice and community locations, and should comply with these at all times. Note: This does not preclude advocating for change of this regulation or informing its evolution.


Adhere to relevant rules and terms on the platforms on which they operate. Compliance does not prevent Community Managers from offering platforms constructive criticism to improve those platforms, or lodging formal complaints if required.


Community Managers should seek permission to re-post content from other sources, and correctly attribute all copyrighted content to the original owner or licensee (in the case of Creative Commons or similar). Build a culture of attribution and recognition.


Disclose any personal conflicts of interest, and not permit payments, gifts or benefits that undermine the accuracy or fairness of their interactions with employers, their communities and the general public.


Do not knowingly disseminate false or misleading information, and take care to address errors and issue corrections as soon as is practicable. Where it is verified that community members have posted other’s private information, false or defamatory material Community Managers will act to remove it in a timely fashion.


Avoid conduct or practices likely to discredit themselves, their employers or client, colleagues and community members.

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