Home > Editorial policy of the Directeur général des élections concerning the social media

Editorial policy of the Directeur général des élections concerning the social media

In Québec, the term Directeur général des élections (“Chief Electoral Officer”) refers both to a person and to an institution. In order to ensure the impartiality and political neutrality of this office, the Chief Electoral Officer is appointed by and reports directly to the National Assembly. As arbiter of our electoral system, the institution is independent, neutral, impartial and non-partisan. With the goal of promoting the democratic values of Québec society, informing the public, and raising Quebecers’ awareness concerning the fundamental issues of democratic life, the institution has decided to establish a presence on the social media to be governed by the current editorial policy.

This policy governs the publication and commentary of the Directeur général des élections du Québec as well as related programs drafted by authorized employees on the various social media. For the purposes of the aforementioned policy, the terms “social media” and “Web 2.0” refer to any participatory online mechanism involving written commentary such as, but not restricted to, Wikipedia, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Flicker, YouTube and blogs.

The main reason for our presence on Web 2.0 is the same as for our websites, i.e. to provide more and better information for the general public. We are on the social media  to maintain a conversation and facilitate exchanges by sharing content deemed interesting and germane with respect to the organization’s mission, and not for purposes of self-promotion. In this way, we wish to introduce a climate of sharing and a real two-way exchange with citizens. All of our actions are based on providing services to citizens and on being attentive to their needs. The sharing and collaboration typical of Web 2.0 are strongly encouraged so long as interventions respect the rules of netiquette. We accept the fact that it is impossible to control everything on the Web, and we agree to transfer some content control to the net surfer. We also accept observations that are constructive and respectful, and promises to remain forthright.

The messages that we voice on the social media do not take precedence over those disseminated by way of the regular channels of information used by us. Our social networks, such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and YouTube, supplement the institutional website and the various thematic sites, and must in no case replace the aforementioned sites. If the content available on the institution’s social networks should differ from the content on our website, it is the latter that will prevail. Any change or evolution in our official position will be communicated first by official online and offline publications, including speeches, press releases, and traditional statements to the media, as well as by the institutional website.  

You are invited to join the conversation via the following channels:

The content disseminated on our official social platforms, as identified above, belongs to the public domain and may be consulted by anyone. Those not having access to such information must not be penalized.

Any content that is rebroadcast or retransmitted must identify the original author. We promise to respect intellectual property. However, the ideas, scenarios, proposals, concepts, etc. that we receive from the social media are provided freely and without charge. In no case will we provide any remuneration or compensation whatsoever for contributions of any kind.

We appreciate all observations and questions concerning the content that we share and will read all feedback and direct messages that we receive.

Tone of exchanges

The community manager responding to net surfers will always maintain a transparent and institutional level of discourse by using the formal “we”; the official name of the Directeur général des élections, or its abbreviation (DGEQ); or initials or a first name when the publication is of a personal nature. As such, shared content coming from the website, press releases, or feedback of a general nature will not require initials, whereas more personal feedback must be clearly identified as belonging to the author.

Time frame for a reply

We promise to reply within a reasonable time period during business hours and according to the institution’s service statement to citizens. The time frame for a reply may vary depending on current events. Please note that we cannot always feed and monitor our account in real time. It should be recalled that social platforms belong to third parties and may upon occasion be unavailable. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience that this might entail, but we cannot be held responsible for the absence of service during these times of inactivity. 

Official language

Notwithstanding the instantaneous nature of social communications, we are committed to maintaining a high quality of French at all times and will respect the rules of writing established by the various platforms. Our social media communications will be carried out in French, unless the net surfer asks a question or makes an observation in English, in which case our office will reply in English.

Validity and availability of replies

Replies made to net surfers’ questions and observations are valid on the date that they are published. A net surfer may not use a message previously published by us as a reply to a current question. New replies that have been adjusted according to changes in legislation or context will be given for each new question. We reserve the right to remove replies that we deem out of date.

Referral of observations

In certain cases, it will prove necessary to pass on observations, i.e. when exchanges require more than a short explanation or personal information is requested. On such occasions, one of the following measures will be taken: net surfers may be referred to our customer service department by way of an email address or a telephone number, or a private conversation may be sought (by way of email, a private message, or an exchange of telephone numbers).