Don’t violate ethics by calling out colleagues on social media
In the last few months I have seen an increase in ethics complaints citing Article 15 of the Code of Ethics. Members are being disciplined under the Code for all manner of mean-spirited, hateful and sometimes even defamatory statements that they publish regarding other members of their own profession.
I am writing this article to encourage everyone to try and slow down their reaction times and responses. Once something gets published, it is in the cloud or on a server somewhere, and it is very hard, if not impossible, to erase completely.
Before responding to a question regarding another real estate professional, choose your words carefully. Also, think twice before posting comments on social media about other members of the real estate profession. Consider how members of the public and your real estate peers will interpret your comments.
Article 15 states: “REALTORS® shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses or their business practices.”
- Under the Code of Ethics (Article 15, Standard of Practice 15-2): “The obligation to refrain from making false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses, and their business practices includes the duty to not knowingly or recklessly publish, repeat, retransmit, or republish false or misleading statements made by others. This duty applies whether false or misleading statements are repeated in person, in writing, by technological means (e.g., the Internet), or by any other means.”
- Article 15, Standard of Practice 15-3 states: “The obligation to refrain from making false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses and their business practices includes the duty to publish a clarification about or to remove statements made by others on electronic media the REALTOR® controls once the REALTOR® knows the statement is false or misleading.”
Let’s remember what our mothers always told us, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”