Code of Ethics: As REALTORS®, you are subject to the Code of Ethics, which also applies to anything you post online. Note especially, Article 12 of the Code of Ethics that requires you to be truthful in advertising and disclose your status as a real estate professional.
Harassment: The harassment policy applies to all Alabama REALTORS® and could be violated by something you post online targeting an individual or a class of people.
Fair Housing Act: Most REALTORS® know that the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing due to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. On social media, you may be limited to a certain number of characters and must be sure that you are advertising to the broader population and not discriminating against any specific class.
Client Privacy: In posting information about or pictures of a home online, make sure that you are not disclosing information that could identify a specific individual or any confidential information about a transaction.
Intellectual Property Infringement: Copyright protection is available for every original work that is ultimately made into a tangible medium of expression. As a REALTOR®, ensure that you have the right to post content, including pictures, music, and videos, before putting it on social media. If you do have the right to post, make sure that you are also attributing the work properly.
Defamation: Avoid any falsely written or spoken statement that could potentially damage another person’s reputation. Even if it doesn’t rise to the level of defamation, REALTORS® must also remember their obligations under Article 15 of the Code of Ethics, which states REALTORS® should not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals.
Antitrust: REALTORS® need to be extremely careful about suggesting that they refuse to work with certain individuals, websites, or companies to avoid any antitrust concerns. Likewise, REALTORS® should be cautious about posting or sharing anything regarding charging a certain commission.