Washington Post prohibits social media criticism of advertisers

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The Washington Post will now prohibit social media activity that “adversely affects” the newspaper’s advertisers or partners, according to a Washingtonian report.

The new policy states that employees of The Post must not conduct themselves on social media in a way that “adversely affects The Post’s customers, advertisers, subscribers, vendors, suppliers, or partners.” A breach of the policy could result in disciplinary action “up to and including termination of employment.”

A bulletin sent out Sunday night by The Post’s guild protested the company-wide action. The policy, put into effect on May 1, encourages employees not to disparage the paper’s partners on social media, to not use social media during the workday unless vital to one’s job and to contact human services if someone suspects another employee of violating the policy.

{mosads}Deputy Managing Editor Tracy Grant sent out a note to the paper’s employees on May 30 to remind them of their “obligations under the newsroom’s social media policy,” which warns journalists not to “place tokens, badges, or virtual gifts from political or partisan causes on pages or sites.”

The Washingtonian pointed out similarities of the guideline to a policy at The Los Angeles Times, which says “don’t write or post anything that would embarrass the LAT or compromise your ability to do your job.”

The guild is reportedly seeking to remove these controversial parts of the policy in a new labor agreement with The Post.


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