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That's an excellent analysis of the series of events, Craig.
It also raises implicitly the question of how far statutory office holders can appropriately go in being activists for a cause closely bound up with their statutory obligations.
The Human Rights Commission - which includes the Disability Commissioner's role - has a range of obligations, including education about the Australian human rights regime. It also has a responsibility to resolve complaints under the legislation. It declares on its website that it is committed to fulfilling its mission by being, inter alia, "open, expert, committed and impartial". I would read Innes' contribution here as going for "committed" at the expense of any pretence at being "open" or "impartial". I wonder how an employer, reading this, would feel about appearing before the Commission on a complaint of disability discrimination.
In my view, however good the cause and however worthy the intention, his action is a political act and could put at risk the scope for other statutory officers to engage via social media. He and other activists would no doubt think otherwise.
And from a totally pragmatic viewpoint, surely it would not have been hard to prompt someone else, not encumbered by a mission statement declaring impartiality, to get up the petition? :)
For the record, I once - long ago - served as national director of public education for the Commission.
Your main point is well taken. Journalists today are in no place to get too high and mighty about social media - no doubt they are under unprecedented pressure themselves to be first rather than right, so maybe they could share some clues rather than being dismissive or judgemental about social media culture.
In our online communities we also need to step up and help create and maintain standards. It was disturbing last week to see requests being reported from the police for people not to tweet or otherwise report on exactly where searches were taking place and then to see self-indulgent tweets doing just that.
Putting the lives of law enforcement people needlessly at risk just to give ourselves a feeling of being up with the latest is not a good thing to be doing..
And Happy New Year to you too, Doug. Yes, a long time. I hope one day we'll get to meet over a beer or other beverage of choice!
Excellent post, Doug. The distinction can't be pointed out too often.
Thanks for providing these dimensions and the explanations, Matt. I'm ok with the cover pic size, but the profile pic is surely too big now, proportionate to the cover pic?
I wonder has anyone done a collection of well designed business-focused cover pics?
Lots of good advice Mike.
On the photos, I encourage people to lose the pics of someone on a boat or otherwise in the middle distance and basically unrecognizable. I also promote the idea of using the same professional pic across networks, so as to answer implicitly the question "Is this the same Mike/Joe/Jane...?" question.
With some others here I take a different view on showing contacts. Actually the settings on my account give me only two options, to show to (a) my connections or (b) just me. I've always felt that one of the reasons people might be attracted to join my network would be to associate with people of like mind and related interests, so hiding the connections has never made sense to me. If anyone ever complained, I would reconsider, but in my 7 years and 3 months on LinkedIn no one has ever complained. By the same token, if I ever found someone abusing the privilege I would instantly drop them from my connections.