If you’ve been keeping track of all the nonsense and drama pervading the comics space when it comes to online media interactions, you might know that various artists and comic book creators who are anti-Conservative have been quite vocal about their politics. Well, DC Comics decided to step in on their side and prevent their employees from further getting engaged in the online antics related to the culture war.
Bounding Into Comics is reporting that an e-mail has been sent out to DC employees listing a number of rules that they should not engage in if they plan on using social media accounts on popular services like Twitter, Facebook or Reddit.
The e-mail starts by rolling out what DC doesn’t want its employees saying online while working at the company either as a freelancer or as a full time employee…
“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 guidelines. We ask, and expect, that you will help to create an online environment that is inclusive, supportive and safe.”
Many suspect that this is in response to the current heated attacks directed toward Ethan van Sciver; not so much in relation to what Sciver has said or done, but more-so as a safeguard against any of the employees if they get pushed too far and begin attacking their audience the way Marvel’s employees and freelancers have been doing for the last several years. In fact, Marvel’s employee antics have been so caustic that in combination with the poorly written stories, sales for many of Marvel’s comics have tanked… badly.
The company directive from DC doesn’t end with the statements above. There is more.
As reported in the article, there’s a bulletpoint list of various activities that DC does not want its freelancers or employees engaging in while online.
You can read the rules below.
“ 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.
Interestingly enough, it seems very similar to some of the rules that other companies have for their employees or staff.
At the end of the day, the last thing DC likely wants is one of their employees coming out on social media for or against #ComicsGate, which seems to be picking up steam after the DC Comics sub-Reddit and the Comic Books sub-Reddit banned all discussion of #ComicsGate.
Some people think that DC’s new rules are super harsh while others think this is a necessary step to keep employees from spilling spaghetti all over their social media accounts, which has happened plenty of times, including Wonder Woman and Judge Dredd writer Alex de Campi going on a Twitter rant against white males, blaming them for the decline in sales of SJШ-themed comic books.
(Main image courtesy of Ku Kuru Yo)