Policy on the Use of Social Media

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages is responsible for protecting language rights and promoting English and French in Canadian society. More particularly, it ensures that federal institutions comply with the Official Languages Act. Currently, the Interim Commissioner is Ghislaine Saikaley.

The Office of the Commissioner’s social media accounts are an excellent way of interacting with us and keeping up the news in the field of official languages in Canada.

You can also visit our Web site to find detailed information about Office of the Commissioner, our publications, your language rights, or how to file a complaint when you believe a federal institution has not respected the Official Languages Act.

Our accounts

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages has a Facebook page, a YouTube channel and a Twitter account in English and in French.

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube
English Facebook account: @officiallanguages Twitter account: @OCOLCanada Instagram account: @OfficialLanguages YouTube account: Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada
French Facebook account: @languesofficielles Twitter account: @CLOduCanada Instagram account: @LanguesOfficielles YouTube account: Commissariat aux langues officielles du Canada

Content

We use social media to share with you:

  • links to news releases, speeches, research reports and other documents from the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages;
  • messages from the Interim Commissioner;
  • links to relevant information produced and disseminated by other individuals or organizations (such as associations that deal with official language issues, federal institutions, other agents of Parliament, researchers and the media);
  • interesting facts, quotes, videos, photos or comments related to the official languages.

Our presence in social media

Our Communications team manages the social media accounts on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. Although we can receive your comments at any time, we update and monitor our accounts only during normal working hours: Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Occasionally, we publish messages outside working hours.

Our posts sometimes contain links to Web sites not managed by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. We also pass on news, links and comments that we deem relevant, by retweeting or by using Facebook’s “share” function.

We provide these links and the content from external sources solely for the convenience of users. The Office of the Commissioner takes no responsibility for the accuracy, currency or reliability of this information. We make no guarantees in this regard, and we do not endorse the sites or their content.

The Office of the Commissioner is not responsible for the content on external sites.

The Office of the Commissioner’s favourite pages and subscriptions

The Office of the Commissioner’s favourite social media pages include accounts belonging to individuals, not for profit organizations, associations and government agencies.

The fact that we follow certain people or groups does not mean that we support them or endorse what they say.

“Liking” and following the Office of the Commissioner

Our Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter accounts are open to the public, which means that anyone with Internet access can view the content.

When you click Facebook’s “Like” button on our page, you are authorizing the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages to post updates on your news feed. Similarly, you can authorize the publication of news from the Office of the Commissioner on your Twitter feed by becoming a follower. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Comments and interaction

We strongly encourage you to leave comments and take part in the conversation on our social media accounts. We read all comments and messages. We consider all suggestions and ideas, and pass them on to relevant members of our staff.

However, we cannot reply to every message and comment we receive on our social mediar accounts. To receive an official reply, see the Contact Us page on our Web site.

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages is not responsible for comments left by users. These comments represent the opinions of those who post them, not those of the Office of the Commissioner.

Note that the Office of the Commissioner does not review user comments before they are posted, but we do reserve the right to edit or withdraw comments at our discretion if we feel they do not comply with the comments etiquette.

If we think a comment or question calls for a general, public reply, we may formulate a response to all users, which we will disseminate on our other channels, such as our Web site or other social media. In some cases, it is necessary to translate and repeat what the originator wrote in order to put our reply in context. If you prefer to remain anonymous, send us your questions or comments in a private message.

When users send a private message, we answer via private message. If we think the comment or question also calls for a general and public reply, we may translate and mention its content elsewhere. In this case, we do not disclose information that might identify the user.

For more details, see the sections on copyright and protection of privacy.

Filing a complaint with the Office of the Commissioner

We do not consider comments posted on our social media accounts to be complaints. If you wish to file a complaint to report a violation of the Official Languages Act, do not use social media for this purpose, but rather our official channels. You will find information on our Web site on how to file a complaint.

If you have a complaint or comment about the content or management of our social media accounts, see the Contact Us page on our Web site.

Comments etiquette

We use social media to share news with you and gather your comments. Sometimes we may have to remove a comment if we find the content to be unacceptable.

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages does not tolerate offensive, disrespectful or abusive comments about an individual or organization. Here are some examples of unacceptable content:

  • Racist, sexist or offensive language
  • Hate speech
  • Sexually explicit language
  • Personal attacks and defamatory statements
  • Breaking copyright rules (including copying and pasting content without crediting the source and/or author)
  • Violating someone’s privacy (e.g. by providing personal information such as phone numbers and e-mail addresses)
  • Threats or harassment
  • Spam
  • Commercial promotional content
  • Anything illegal

Any individual who does not adhere to these rules may be excluded temporarily or permanently from the dialogue spaces of the Office of the Commissioner’s accounts. Users may also be reported to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter if they do not adhere to these service providers’ terms of use.

Official languages

Because of its mandate, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages is especially concerned with ensuring compliance with the Official Languages Act. Information is provided in both English and French, and is of equal quality in both languages.

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter are available in both of Canada’s official languages. The interface language depends on the preferences you have selected for your account. You can change the interface language at any time by changing the preferences.

We publish all our messages in both official languages. We encourage you to take part in the conversation in the official language of your choice by selecting the appropriate accounts.

We reply to comments and questions in the official language in which they were sent. If we think a question or comment calls for a general, public reply, we place the response on both our French and English accounts for the benefit of all users. As a result, we may sometimes summarize and translate what a user writes in order to put our reply in context. In these cases, we may also sometimes mention the name of the user who posted the comment. For more details, see the sections on copyright and protection of privacy.

Users should be aware that our posts may refer to some information from external sources that are not subject to the Official Languages Act. Links to these resources are provided for the convenience of users and are only available in the language used on the site in question. When a Web page is unilingual, we make an effort to provide an equivalent link in the other official language.

Links leading to unilingual content are labelled FR (French only) or EN (English only). Insofar as possible, we try to give users an idea of any content that exists only in the other official language.

Accessibility

As third-party service providers, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter are not bound by the Web accessibility policies of the Government of Canada.

As far as possible, publications found on our social media accounts include links to accessible Web content. Note that our own publications can be found on our Web site, which does comply with the Government’s accessibility rules.

Learn more about Facebook and accessibility on their website. If you have difficulty accessing our messages, contact us and we will attempt to solve the problem or provide the information in a suitable format.

Information posted by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages is subject to Canada’s Copyright Act. For further information, see the Important Notices section of our Web site.

When you publish a comment or question on one of our accounts, you give the Office of the Commissioner the right to adapt, summarize, translate and reproduce it on other social media accounts. You also give us the right to mention on these other accounts the Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter username you used to post the original content. If you wish to remain anonymous, send us your questions or comments in a private message.

When you post comments on one of the Office of the Commissioner’s social media accounts, you must also comply with the provisions of the Copyright Act. For instance, when you quote another person or organization, you must identify the source and author.

The Office of the Commissioner takes no responsibility for copyright infringement committed by users on its social media accounts.

Protection of privacy

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter are not Government of Canada Web sites; they are sites of third-party providers. We suggest that you read the confidentiality policies of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter because they apply to your use of our accounts.

Information shared with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages via social media is subject to the provisions of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. This means that the information you share through the Office of the Commissioner’s social media accounts can be captured, stored, consulted and disclosed in response to a request under either of those acts.

To protect your personal information, and that of others, we recommend that you not include information such as telephone numbers or e-mail addresses in your comments and messages.

The Office of the Commissioner does not collect or keep personal information on users of its accounts, unless you choose to send us a message or make a comment in which you voluntarily provide personal information. Such personal information provided by you will be passed on to the Office of the Commissioner’s staff so they can respond to you.

However, personal information posted on the Office of the Commissioner’s Facebook or Instagram pages and YouTube channel or included in tweets will become public given the nature of these sites. If you want us to remove personal information that you have included on one of our pages, contact us.

The Office of the Commissioner may adapt, summarize, translate and reproduce your comments or questions on other social media accounts. We may also mention on these other accounts the Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter username you used to post your original content. The username of a person who sent a private message on social media will not be reproduced if the Office of the Commissioner decides to share his or her comments.

The Office of the Commissioner’s staff on social media

Some of the Office of the Commissioner’s employees have accounts on social media. Despite their professional affiliation with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, their posts do not represent the Office of the Commissioner’s official position. These posts should be seen as the personal messages of individual citizens. The Office of the Commissioner takes no responsibility for the content of its employees’ personal social media accounts.

Media interview requests

We would ask journalists to send their questions to our media contacts rather than asking questions through social media.

Additional information

If you have any questions about this policy or any other matter, contact us through our Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter accounts, or at:

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
30 Victoria Street, 6th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0T8
Telephone: 819-420-4877
Toll free: 1-877-996-6368
TTY: 1-800-880-1990
Fax: 819-420-4873