Social Media Policy

Policy regarding the management and use of social media

March 2018 

Table of contents

  1. Introduction 
  2. Definitions 
  3. Aims of this policy 
  4. Guidelines 
  5. References: charters, laws and code of ethics
  6. Editorial segment 
  7. Online content 
  8. Content management 

1 – Introduction

Chiropractic is a healthcare profession that specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of neuromusculoskeletal (NMS) disorders, and the effects that these disorders have on a person’s overall health. The focus is on manual treatment, including spinal and joint manipulations, and soft-tissue techniques.

The profession of chiropractor is recognized and regulated by the Ordre des chiropraticiens du Québec (OCQ), whose main mission is to ensure public protection. All chiropractors must be members of the OCQ in order to practise chiropractic. They must adhere to the provisions of the Chiropractic Act and the series of regulations that govern them, as well as the standards of practice established by the OCQ.

The profession in Quebec comprises nearly 1400 chiropractors, who work together with other healthcare professionals to ensure the well-being of the general public.

A policy regarding the management and use of social media to help shape the dialogue

The mission of the Ordre des chiropraticiens du Québec (OCQ) is to safeguard the public by ensuring the quality and excellence of chiropractic practice and supporting the development of its members’ skills.

In order to promote access to quality services, the OCQ controls access to professional practice and imposes specific conditions that must be met in order to obtain a license to practise chiropractic in Quebec. It evaluates and oversees its members’ practice and professional behaviour, receives and handles public complaints and monitors the illegal practice of chiropractic.

The OCQ also supports chiropractic excellence by encouraging the professional development of its members through continuing education and positioning itself with respect to the media and the public as a key reference in neuromusculoskeletal health. The OCQ is committed to promoting best practices and new developments in the field of neuromusculoskeletal health.

In order to achieve its mission, the OCQ must publicize its role and responsibilities, the values it espouses, its members’ obligations toward the public and the recourse to which the public is entitled. The OCQ also wishes to raise awareness of the field of chiropractic, inform the public about the education required to become a chiropractor and publicize its members’ skills.

Recognizing that the management and use of social media is key to a communication program aimed at increasing confidence in the OQC and the profession, the OCQ has developed this policy for managing and using social media to help shape the dialogue.

It is specifically intended for members of the OCQ, its personnel and directors, and the general public.

2 – Definitions

Director: Any person who is on the board of directors, or any other committee or working group set up by the OCQ.

CCQ: Civil Code of Québec, S.Q., 1991, c. 64.

Chiropractor or Doctor of chiropractic: Any member in good standing of the OCQ. The terms “chiropractor” and “doctor of chiropractic” can be used interchangeably, since chiropractors hold a Doctor of Chiropractic degree.

Document: A document for the purposes of the Act to establish a legal framework for information technology, C.Q.L.R., c. C-1.1; it constitutes information inscribed on a medium. The information is delimited and structured, according to the medium used, by tangible or logical features and is intelligible in the form of words, sounds or images. The information may be rendered using any type of writing, including a system of symbols that may be transcribed into words, sounds or images or another system of symbols. 

Right to respect of privacy: The privacy of a person may not be invaded without the consent of the person or without the invasion being authorized by law . Such invasion includes using the person’s name, image or voice, without his or her consent.

Employee: Any person who performs contractual on non-contractual duties for the OCQ or on behalf of the OCQ, including consultants, students, student trainees and employees.

Content manager: Any person duly authorized to manage the OCQ’s social media (SM) as part of his or her duties within the organization.

Social media (SM): Any online application, platform or digital media designed to promote social interaction, collaboration, and the creation and sharing of content.

Online social media include, in particular:

  • Social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn)
  • Video and photo sharing sites (e.g., Facebook, Flickr, YouTube)
  • Microblogging sites (e.g., Twitter)
  • Personal or corporate blogs, and comment sections on SM
  • Discussion forums (e.g., Google Groups, Wave, MSN Messenger)

Confidential information: Data or information whose access or use is reserved for designated or authorized people or entities.

Post: Text posted on social media.

Personal information: Any information about a natural person that makes it possible to identify him or her.

User: Any person, including a member of the OCQ or the content manager, who posts on social media.

3 – Aims of this policy

  • To determine the type of content that can be broadcast, shared or discussed on the OCQ’s social media.
  • To determine how the OCQ manages comments and its netiquette.
  • To make members of the OCQ aware of the highly public nature of information shared on social media and raise awareness of the type of information that can be broadcast, shared or discussed on social media.
  • To establish guidelines for users of the OCQ’s social media sites.
  • To specify ways of managing the OCQ’s social media.

4 – Guidelines

  • The OCQ uses social media to inform the public and share content related to the fields of chiropractic and neuromusculoskeletal health.
  • The OCQ promotes friendly, respectful, courteous and relevant exchanges among users.
  • The OCQ ensures respect for the rights of patients, in particular with regard to the confidentiality of their files and the protection of their personal information.
  • The OCQ ensures respect for the rights of its members, in particular with regard to each member’s personal life, and personal and confidential information.
  • The OCQ recognizes that anyone can become a user and be invited to comment on the content or ask questions on platforms.

5 – References: charters, laws and code of ethics

This policy is based on the following laws, charters and code of ethics:

5.1 - Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, C.Q.L.R., c. C-12

The Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms sets out a person’s rights and freedoms, and responsibilities toward others: the right to the safeguard of his dignity, honour and reputation (s. 4), a right that can easily be violated in the context of social media;

  • the right to respect for his private life (s. 5);
  • the right to professional secrecy, meaning that healthcare professionals can at no time disclose users’ personal information on social media without their consent (s. 9);
  • freedom of expression (s. 3), although often mentioned to justify posting on social media, cannot under any circumstances violate the rights of a third party.
5.2 - Professional Code

The Professional Code provides a framework for and governs the professional system to which chiropractors belong. By virtue of this regulation, chiropractors must preserve the honour and dignity of their profession in the performance of their duties (s. 59.2).

  • No professional may engage in an act derogatory to the honour or dignity of his profession or to the discipline of the members of the order, or practise a profession, carry on a trade, enterprise or business or hold an office or function.
5.3 - Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector

The Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector stipulates that any enterprise that collects, holds, uses or communicates personal information must respect certain rules, in particular those prescribed in sections 10 to 15 of the Act.

5.4 - Copyright Act

The Copyright Act provides the following definition: “For the purposes of this Act, copyright, in relation to a work, means the sole right to produce or reproduce the work or any substantial part thereof in any material form whatever, to perform the work or any substantial part thereof in public or, if the work is unpublished, to publish the work or any substantial part thereof, and includes the sole right.”

Management of social media

6 – Editorial segment

6.1 - Objectives

The editorial line is designed to establish guidelines for the content to be broadcast on the OCQ’s social media sites.

The OCQ shares information with the public regarding issues, practices, advances, innovative initiatives and events related to the field of neuromusculoskeletal health.

If the editorial line is set out in a specific document related to the programming of its posts, it is important to recall its main objectives, namely:

  • To raise awareness of and promote the services provided by the OCQ.
  • To emphasize and publicize advances in the field of neuromusculoskeletal health or chiropractic.
  • To raise awareness of the initiatives and innovative achievements of its members.
6.2 - Target audiences and editorial calendar

An editorial calendar is drawn up in order to establish a plan for posting on the OCQ’s social media sites, in accordance with the OCQ’s overall communication strategy. Planning makes it possible to determine the type of content to be broadcast, and when and how often to do so. It is carried out by a person appointed by the OCQ, who acts as a community manager, under the supervision of the OCQ president, who approves the content and the broadcast periods.

Depending on their level, posts are intended for the following target audiences:

  • OCQ members
  • The general public
  • Future chiropractors
  • OCQ partners and members of other professional orders

Management of social media

7 – Online content

7.1 - Principles

With regard to posting on social media, the OCQ ensures respect for the following principles pertaining to content:

  • All content posted by the OCQ on social media must be related to preventive healthcare, chiropractic, the field of musculoskeletal health, or the OCQ, its mission and its activities.
  • Unless otherwise agreed by the president and executive director, all content posted by the OCQ is original and informative content issued directly by the OCQ.
  • No confidential information regarding the OCQ, or its members, collaborators, directors or employees, will be disclosed by the OCQ.
  • The sharing of news-related or external content requires prior approval by the president.
  • The OCQ will not post any content or statement that is deemed discriminatory or defamatory, or that undermines the dignity, reputation or image of its members, or any targeted user, person or organization. It will also not publish any illegal, violent or obscene content.
7.2 - Confidentiality and code of ethics

The OCQ does not handle public complaints via social media. If a patient or any other person wishes to file a complaint regarding the practice of the profession, he or she must contact the syndic directly at The OCQ is obliged to respect the confidentiality of information. No specific cases or files are handled via social media. No personal information regarding OCQ members, or information that would help identify them directly or indirectly, will be disclosed.

8 – Content management

8.1 - Content manager and moderator

The OCQ appoints a person responsible for managing posts. He or she also plays the role of a moderator and ensures that the standards set out in this policy, including netiquette, are respected. Online content must be approved by the president before being posted.

The content manager must keep the president continually apprised of any situation that could potentially create difficulties for or harm the OCQ, any of its members or a member of the public.

The content manager can moderate or penalize a user who broadcasts inappropriate statements by issuing a warning, censoring content or banning the user from the OCQ’s social media sites. The content manager, who is also a user, is required to adhere to the following strict rules of conduct.

The content manager must:

  • not publish content about someone, unless he or she obtains that person’s written consent;
  • be the first to correct an error (erroneous, defamatory or other content) in order to prevent any conflictual situation or situation that could undermine confidence in the OCQ;
  • highlight the OCQ’s values and commitments in an honest, accurate and transparent way, since he or she is acting on behalf of the OCQ, its members, its partners and the public;
  • be respectful in his or her writing, since insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated;
  • always bear in mind that, as an authorized user who represents the OCQ on social media, he or she must avoid any conflict of interest.

Other users’ published content

The OCQ is not responsible for the accuracy, relevance, truthfulness, legitimacy or legality of the published content, activities or statements posted on social media by other users. The OCQ can at no time be held responsible for endorsing or supporting them in any way.

8.2 - Netiquette

Netiquette makes it possible to manage dialogue among users on the basis of common values. The OCQ will not tolerate content or comments that contravene the organization’s values, breach netiquette, or violate the rules or code of ethics.

Consequently, the OCQ reserves the right to withdraw any of the following content that is created or shared, even if this policy specifies that the content involves only the Internet users themselves:

  • Defamatory, discriminatory, heinous, slanderous, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, sexist or vexing statements, or statements that could damage a person’s reputation
  • Content that violates a person’s fundamental rights, in particular rights and freedoms, and the right to respect for his or her private life, dignity and reputation, and the confidentiality of personal information
  • Information or messages that are erroneous, illegal or political in nature
  • Photos, videos or publications posted without the author’s consent or that infringe on copyright

The OCQ could unsubscribe or block an anonymous user or subscriber, or one who is tenacious or refuses to comply with this policy.

8.3 - Responsibilities of users
  • All users are invited to comment or ask questions on the OCQ’s social media platforms. However, the comments and questions must pertain to chiropractic or neuromusculoskeletal health, or the OCQ, its activities or its mission.
  • Any content of a commercial nature (e.g., training, offers of employment, other types of material) that has not been previously approved by the OCQ will not be accepted and will be deleted.
  • Users’ comments and questions on the OCQ’s social media sites must, at all times, be respectful, courteous, relevant and accurate, and adhere to the laws and regulations related to confidentiality and copyright.

All users who fail to respect the private lives of others will be banned without prior notice. It is forbidden to disclose personal information (e.g., e-mail addresses, civic addresses, telephone numbers) or the content of private conversations (e‑mails or discussions on other platforms). Photos or videos can be posted only if each person appearing in the photos or videos has given his or her prior consent.

8.4 - Use of social media by employees and members of the OCQ for personal and professional purposes
  • Certain employees, members of the OCQ and members of the board of directors have social media accounts. Although they have a professional link with the OCQ, the opinions and points of view that they may express on social media do not necessarily represent the official position of the OCQ or the profession as a whole. They must be loyal to the organization at all times and not use confidential or strategic information. Their opinions are essentially citizens’ personal expression.
  • All users, and employees or members of the OCQ must ensure that what they write on social media complies with the requirements of this policy, since the content can be seen and consulted by anyone in the world. Even if it is suppressed, a written message can be recorded by anyone once it has been broadcast. Consequently, any broadcast on social media can remain in circulation for an indeterminate period. The broadcast of a written message can therefore be permanent, despite all efforts to the contrary.

Although they enjoy the right to freedom of expression, as stipulated in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, all employees and members of the OCQ must exercise this right while respecting the rights of others that are protected by the same Charter, in particular with regard to private life and