AFS Board Approves New Statements on Appropriate Behavior and Social Media Use at Annual Meetings
Monday, April 17, 2017
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
The AFS Executive Board approved two new annual meeting policy statements—one on appropriate professional behavior and one on social media use—when it met April 7-8, 2017.
The texts of those new policy statements are below, and may also be found on our website at http://www.afsnet.org/?page=AMpolicies. As we put these new policies into practice, our experience will likely lead to changes in their texts and provisions. The most current versions will always be on the AFS webpage just noted.
Our thanks go to those who worked on the drafting of these statements. We invite member comments on both of them; please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appropriate Annual Meeting Behavior
Drafted by Katherine Borland and Merrill Kaplan, The Ohio State University
Reviewed and revised by Maurice Stevens and Sydney Varajon, The Ohio State University; Ann K. Ferrell, Western Kentucky University; Leonard Norman Primiano, Cabrini College; and Lorraine Walsh Cashman, Tim Lloyd, and Meredith McGriff, AFS
Approved by the AFS Executive Board, April 8, 2017
The American Folklore Society intends its annual meeting to be a supportive environment that upholds values of inclusion, safety, and mutual respect. AFS expects participants at its annual meeting to follow the same standards of ethical engagement there as they do elsewhere in their practice as folklorists, and in everyday life.
Our standards include avoiding discrimination on the basis of age, body size, class, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, physical appearance, political perspective, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Our standards call for sensitivity to power dynamics, exhibited in part through respect for the ideas, work, personal autonomy, and contributions of individuals in more junior positions in the field. Our standards include a belief in the rights of free speech and open inquiry, as well as respect and tolerance for people with worldviews, opinions, and experiences different from our own.
Harassment violates these standards of our field. We expect all annual meeting participants to avoid harassment in all meeting venues and at all meeting activities, and we expect all annual meeting participants to comply promptly if asked to stop any harassing behavior. Attendees should hold themselves and each other to these expectations.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
- Personal remarks about individuals that reinforce damaging social structures of domination (e.g., related to age, body size, class, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, physical appearance, political perspective, race, religion, or sexual orientation)
- Inappropriate use of sexual images in public spaces
- Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
- Unwanted photography or recording
- Sustained disruption of talks or other events
- Inappropriate physical contact
- Unwelcome sexual attention
- Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior
The version of this statement that will appear in the annual meeting program book will continue as follows:
If you are the target or witness of harassing behavior, we encourage you first to ask the person behaving in this way to stop immediately. If that is not successful or possible, we encourage you to report the incident to AFS Executive Director Tim Lloyd (email@example.com) and/or AFS Associate Director Lorraine Cashman (firstname.lastname@example.org). You may also choose to ask someone else to report on your behalf, but experience suggests that our action will be better informed if we hear about such behavior directly from those who have experienced or witnessed it.
Those who report an incident can expect the Society to take action to curtail behavior that disrupts the meeting or that makes the environment hostile for others, and to ensure that the AFS annual meeting remains a welcoming environment for all participants.
If you become aware of immediate safety issues at the annual meeting, report them first to hotel security at 000-000-0000 or to police at 911, and then to the AFS staff named above.
The version of this statement that will appear on the AFS website page devoted to annual meeting policies will continue as follows:
Each year, our annual meeting program book will contain this policy statement and will describe a procedure for reporting harassing behavior. Those who report an incident can expect the Society to take action to curtail behavior that disrupts the meeting or that makes the environment hostile for others, and to ensure that the AFS annual meeting remains a welcoming environment for all participants.
Annual Meeting Social Media Use
Approved by the AFS Executive Board, April 8, 2017
AFS supports social media as communication channels that can complement our Annual Meeting. AFS expects all meeting participants to adhere to our standards of professional annual meeting behavior; as the social media community and its norms continue to emerge and evolve, we particularly ask social media users to be mindful of the standards of ethical engagement below. Although we use Twitter as an example in this policy statement, the basic framework and principles described here are meant to be applied across all social networking platforms.
Consent Do not use any visual or audio recording devices to record presentations without the express approval of the presenter. Enforcement is the responsibility of the session chair, as directed by the speaker. Audio and video recordings of sessions should not be made or posted without the permission of all panelists or seminar members, ideally secured through the chair in advance of the session. Any speaker has the right to request that his or her work and comments not be tweeted. Please ask subjects involved before posting and tagging photos.
Professional Tone The meeting hashtag represents an extension of the conference online. As such, we encourage participants to consider their comments to be public, avoiding remarks that would be inappropriate in other professional spaces.
Fair Quotation Live-tweeting often represents itself as a transcript of spoken words. Tweeters should be aware of the potential for misrepresentation, appropriation, and removal of context. It is important to attribute tweets with a speaker’s handle or full name (e.g. @handle:xxx); presenters’ handles may be found in the program book’s index of presenters. Retweeting and favoriting remove tweets from temporal sequence, so it is best to attribute individual tweets, rather than just the first in a sequence.
AFS encourages 2017 Annual Meeting attendees to live tweet using #afsam17 and to share their Twitter handles.
For more guidelines, see: http://blog.historians.org/2013/03/the-dos-and-donts-of-live-tweeting-at-an-academic-conference-an-update/