Organizations should not shun Web participation for a fear of bad behavior, but instead they should anticipate it as part of the social experience and formulate a multilevel approach to policies for effective governance, according to Gartner Inc.
Creating policies for social application participation is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, and policies will vary based on the goals of the particular social application and on the characteristics of the participating community. When it comes to formulating governance strategies for social sites, it is important not to focus too tightly on controls and restrictions and thereby to lose sight of the fundamental goals of building a thriving, self-sustaining community.
Organizations should create a general policy statement for expected online behavior, which should reflect established corporate policies on appropriate and ethical behavior, underscoring that company policy extends to online social interactions. Employees should be aware that if their profiles on public social networking sites identify them as employees of a company, then their postings can have an impact on the company's reputation.
Organizations concerned about general public misbehavior, such as copyright infringement and inappropriate brand use, should compile a second set of relevant policies but be careful not to restrict freedom of speech and personal freedoms; such restriction could risk alienating established and potential customers.