The internet often gives individuals a false sense of anonymity, and parody accounts like “Sorority Girl Problems,” “Total Sorority Move” and “Total Frat Move” have caused an uptick in this type of anonymous posting. But here are some important things to remember:
- Just because your account is anonymous does not make you immune to trademark violations. If your account name, image/avatar or Twitter background includes the name, logo or insignia of Alpha Phi (or another affiliate brand or organization), your account has the potential to be suspended for inappropriate content on the grounds of trademark infringement. So, before you post something derogatory or against Alpha Phi’s social media policy, ask yourself this: if my current anonymous profile/account were replaced with my name and personal photo, would I still want Alpha Phi staff, volunteers, potential new members, parents, fraternity/sorority advisors and those unfamiliar with Greek life to read my posts? If you answered “no,” it might be time to re-think your account and the information posted.
- At the beginning of each year, members should sign a social media policy. A copy of Alpha Phi’s sample social media policy is located here. This policy states that members should refrain from posts that demean any group, including but not limited to other Greek organizations, minorities, ethnicities, cultural segments, men or women. There should be no postings or references to alcohol or drugs, and posts should be free of profanity. Use of Alpha Phi insignia must also follow the visual standards manual rules. A copy of this manual is located on the marketing department resource page under Members Only. If an individual violates any of the above, she will be held accountable by both her chapter and the International Executive Office.
- Before posting, creating or interacting with an account, ask yourself the following questions: What is the purpose of this account or post? Does it present a positive image of Alpha Phi, my chapter and the Greek community? Will you be making Alpha Phi information or images available to everyone? Are you accurately representing Alpha Phi?
Please know that Alpha Phi takes our brand representation across social media very seriously, and that what you do as an individual or chapter impacts Alpha Phi’s image as a whole. I hope we can work together to positively brand Alpha Phi across every medium and ensure that Alpha Phi’s mission and values are held to the highest standards.
Kristen Mitchell is the Program Manager of Marketing & Communications at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. You can reach her by email at email@example.com.