3 | A Guide to Social Media REBBA 2002 contains certain prohibitions and restrictions in relation to any form of advertising, including social media. Confusing Terms When describing the role of a registrant, registrants may not use any terms or titles that may be confused with the approved descriptions. False, Misleading or Deceptive Statements False, misleading or deceptive statements and inaccurate representations are prohibited. RECO’s vision is public trust and confidence in Ontario’s real estate profession. Therefore, it is essential that registrants do not knowingly make inaccurate representations. Consent Consent is required when a registrant wishes to include anything in an advertisement that would: a. Identify a party to a transaction Parties to a real estate transaction cannot be identified unless there is written consent to do so. b. Identify a specific property A property may not be advertised as for sale or sold without the consent of the owner. This includes acquiring the consent of the seller and the buyer. c. Identify agreement details Claims or statements that refer to the specifics of a real estate transaction may only be posted with the consent of all parties involved in the transaction (seller and buyer). Prohibitions and Restrictions Puffery refers to promotional statements or claims that express subjective rather than objective views, which no “reasonable person” would take literally. Puffery is not prohibited, but should only be used sparingly to preserve a professional image. An example of puffery is: “The best- looking real estate salesperson in town!” Scraping is the act of extracting data, through manual or automatic means, from an internet source and then representing it as one’s own original work. Plagiarism is the “wrongful appropriation” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions” and the representation of them as one’s own original work. d. Reference another party’s intellectual property The use of someone else’s publication, imagery, or other intellectual property requires the consent of the participating brokerage, or an appropriate reference. Plagiarism and/or scraping is considered unethical behaviour. For more information on prohibitions, see the Advertising Guidelines at www.reco.on.ca.