On February 12th 2018 a large amount of DC creative staff received an email regarding, among other things, behavior on social media. Speculation could leave one to believe this is a response to artist Ethan Van Sciver and his recent conduct on social media, which created a social media blitzkrieg of information and speculation last week, with several instances of Van Sciver’s responses via twitter being the focus. (of the activity last week)
The email, although not directly forbidding such conduct, does ask that creators make sure to establish that their views are their own, and not representative of DC Comics, furthermore it does strongly urge creators not to engage in social media arguments when people don’t like their work, and to stay generally positive in social media, as the internet doesn’t forget, as many young people will likely learn someday.
Furthermore the email suggests the creators not engage press via social media, frequently the best way to get in touch with creators, without participation from the DC Talent Regulations Department in regards to breaking news or teasing upcoming work.
Here is the email in full:
“Dear DC Talent Community –
The comic book industry is a very special creative community dedicated to telling epic and legendary stories of action, heroism and intrigue with a rich and diverse portfolio of characters. Both DC’s employees, as well as its extended family of freelance talent, contribute to our success and are direct reflections of our company, characters and comics.
As such, DC expects that its employees and freelance talent community maintain a high level of professionalism as well as reasonable and respectful behavior when engaging in online activities. Comments that may be considered defamatory, libelous, discriminatory, harassing, hateful, or that incite violence are unacceptable and may result in civil or criminal action.
In addition, comments that may be considered insulting, cruel, rude, crass and mean spirited are against company policy and guidelines. We ask, and expect, that you will help to create an online environment that is inclusive, supportive and safe.
Below you will find the most current version of the company’s social media guidelines. If you have any questions, please contact DC Talent Relations department so that we can be of assistance.
DC Entertainment Social Media Guidelines for Talent:
This policy has been developed to empower DC Talent to participate in social media activities, represent their creative endeavors well and share their passion for DC’s characters, stories and brands. We recognize the vital importance of online social communities and this policy reflects our commitment to the best possible use of social media. Below are DC’s recommended guidelines when partaking in social media.
Stay positive when you post and we also recommend that you avoid negative comments in this very public forum.
You may want to refrain from engaging with individuals who may be speaking negatively about you, other talent, DC, our fans and the comics industry as this is a no-win situation.
If there has been a personal threat to you or those around you then in addition to alerting DC, please involve the proper law enforcement authorities.
Use good judgment when posting, reposting and liking comments, photos and videos as these may have unintended consequences.
Talent should take special care when using social media to ensure that comments and postings made by you are not associated with DC.
Under all circumstances, please indicate that you do work for DC, but that your comments are your own and do not reflect those of the company.
The internet is permanent regardless of “privacy settings” or other limits you may try to place on your posting. Think before you post, comment, retweet or like something.
Do not reveal plot points, storylines or launch timing — including photos or video of in-progress assets, artwork, story outlines, scripts, panels, announcement details, etc. without coordinating with DC Publicity. Members of the press may follow you on social media, and your posts can — and probably will — become news.
Don’t break news on social media. If you have any questions on what you can or can’t post on any platform, DC Publicity or Talent Relations departments are available to assist.
If you’d like to share DC news on your social pages, we recommend sharing news from DCComics.com, DCE-sanctioned social media pages and other news widely reported on credible news outlets.
If you are contacted by members of the press or asked to participate in an interview about your work for DC, please coordinate this with the DC Publicity department so that news can be rolled out in an orchestrated fashion and elevated on DC digital and social channels as well.
And finally, we recognize that there can be a dark side to social media and to that end if you feel that you are being harassed or bullied through social media channels because of your work for DC or your association with us, please feel free to contact the DC Talent Relations department so that we can be of assistance.”
Staff reactions ranged all over the place, from worry that DC is censoring their staff to acceptance, realistically the email is mostly common sense it seems, with it focusing on not being rude or confrontational in a majorly public forum. As public figures seem to go out of their way to do at times from any viewpoint.
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