Social Media Policy

1. Position Statement

Basildon AC recognises the numerous benefits and opportunities which a social media presence offers. The club aims to build relationships and work with the members community to share news/information/successes. We will endeavour to use social media to engage appropriately with other areas that could benefit the club.

A social media account provides a flexible delivery platform. The club will use it to supplement a small part of our communications and will restrict its use to officially authorised purposes such as communications via the Committee. We will actively encourage our members to make effective and appropriate use of it as well as sharing appropriate outputs.

In order to provide clarity and consistency for members, while recognising the corresponding challenges for the individuals we have in place procedures to restrict use/and some common sense boundaries. Our approach is therefore to support members to engage with the social community, while providing appropriate guidance on best practice.

Members are expected to refresh their knowledge of relevant Basildon AC policies which apply in this context, particularly the e-Safety Policy, Communications Policy, Acceptable Use Policy and Disciplinary Policy.

2. Authorisation and Review

The social media policy has been approved by the Committee on 1st November 2014.

Any questions relating to this policy should be addressed to the Designated Social Media Policy Officer (DSMPO) currently the Chairman and supporting committee.

The impact of this policy will be monitored regularly to reflect the changing online environment and technologies. The policy may also be amended where particular concerns are raised or where an incident has been recorded.

3. Scope of the Policy

For the purposes of this policy, social media is defined as any online interactive communication tool which encourages participation and exchanges. Common examples include; Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

This policy applies to all members and to all communications which directly or indirectly, represent the club. It applies to online communications posted at any time and from anywhere, whether to an individual, a limited group or the world.

Basildon AC respects privacy and understands that member may use social media forums in their private lives. However, personal communications likely to have a negative impact on professional standards and/or the club’s reputation are within the scope of this policy.

Professional and personal responsibilities apply regardless of the medium being used. All social media communications which might affect the club’s reputation, whether made either in a private or professional capacity, must comply with relevant club’s policies which address member conduct.

Professional /non-professional communications are those made through official channels using the club’s name. All professional/non-professionals communications are within the scope of this policy (and are subject to the Communications Policy).

Personal communications are those made via a private social media account, such as a personal blog or wiki. In some limited circumstances these are communications subject to this policy. In all cases, where a private account is used which clearly identifies the club it must be made clear that the member is not communicating on behalf of the club. An appropriate disclaimer, such as:

“the views expressed here are my own and in no way reflect the views of Basildon AC’s” should be included.

Private communications which do not refer to/represent/impact upon the club, are outside the scope of this policy.

4. Roles and Responsibilities

There are clear lines of responsibility for social media use within Basildon AC.

The DSMPO (Chairman/committee) is responsible for:

  • Keeping up to date with technology developments
  • Reviewing and updating all relevant documentation
  • Delivering training and guidance on social media where applicable
  • Taking a lead role in responding to and investigating any reported incidents
  • Making an initial assessment when an incident is reported and involving appropriate staff and external agencies as required

Members are responsible for:

  • Knowing the contents of the policy and its procedures
  • Ensuring that any use of social media is carried out in line with this and other relevant policies
  • Attending appropriate training as appropriate
  • Informing the DSMPO (chairman/committee) where the club account is to be used
  • Seeking relevant authorisation for official postings prior to publication
  • Regularly monitoring, updating and managing content he/she has posted via the club account
  • Ensuring that all members have read, understood and agreed to the code of conduct/e-safe rules/acceptable use policy], before accessing and posting content via Basildon AC social media accounts
  • Adding an appropriate disclaimer to personal accounts when naming the institution
  • Reporting any incidents in line with section 11 below

The Chairman is responsible for

  • Addressing concerns or questions regarding posts or comments via official and personal accounts
  • Reporting outcomes to the committee members, or escalating the matter to involve appropriate agencies
  • Authorising posts, where designated

5. Behaviour

Basildon AC requires that all member using social media adhere to the standard of behaviour as set out in this policy and other relevant policies.

Members will not use social media for the purposes of recruitment selection. Members will not use social media to infringe on the rights and privacy of colleagues or make ill-considered comments or judgments about other members.

Digital communications by members must be professional and respectful at all times and in accordance with this policy. Where an incident is reported, refer to section 12 below.

Unacceptable conduct, (e.g. defamatory, discriminatory, offensive, harassing content or a breach of data protection, confidentiality, copyright) will be considered extremely seriously by the club and will be reported as soon as possible to a relevant Chairman/Committee, and escalated where appropriate. The club will take appropriate action when necessary.

Where conduct is found to be unacceptable, the club will deal with the matter internally. Where conduct is considered illegal, the club will report the matter to the police and other relevant external agencies, and may take action according to the Disciplinary Policy.

Basildon AC permits reasonable and appropriate access to private social media sites.

The following general guidelines apply to members posting content via social media:

The Do’s

  • Check with a committee member before publishing content that may have controversial implications for the institution
  • Use a disclaimer when expressing personal views
  • Make it clear who is posting content
  • Use an appropriate and professional tone
  • Be respectful to all parties
  • Ensure you have permission to ‘share’ other peoples’ materials and acknowledge the author
  • Express opinions but do so in a balanced and measured manner
  • Manage your social media presence on behalf of the club
  • Think before responding to comments and, when in doubt, get a second opinion
  • Set up a shadow system or buddy system i.e. a colleague who can edit/authorise/access posts
  • Seek advice and report any mistakes to the club committee

The Dont’s

  • Don’t make comments, post content or link to materials that will bring the club into disrepute
  • Don’t use the club’s logo/branding on personal accounts
  • Don’t publish confidential or commercially sensitive material
  • Don’t breach copyright, data protection or other relevant legislation
  • Consider the appropriateness of content given the age of readers, and don’t link to, embed or add potentially inappropriate content
  • Don’t post derogatory, defamatory, offensive, harassing or discriminatory content
  • Don’t use social media to air internal grievances

6. e-Safety

Basildon AC takes e-safety and its duty of care seriously. The club will do all that it reasonably can to ensure that various online and working environments, including online forums, are safe for members.
Where members are working with younger and/or more vulnerable members, extra safeguards may be required such as a moderating content prior to publication. This aspect should always be considered and if in doubt refer to the club committee for advice.

7. Use of Other Peoples’ Materials

Sharing content such as images, photographs and video is extremely popular and easy to do via social media sites. While this may have value in an educational context, there is a real risk of breaching the rights of individuals who own the different media e.g. images rights, patents, copyright in a blog, or rights associated with collaborative outputs. All members should ensure they have permission or other justification to share content in this way. Content is particularly risky where it is commercially valuable, confidential and/or sensitive.

Members will not post any images, photographs, videos, text etc. via social media sites without appropriate permission from the rights holders. If unsure, members are advised to check permissions attached to digital content prior to posting via social media.

Further information and guidance is available from the committee.

8. Personal Information

Personal information is information about a particular living person. No personal information will be shared via social media sites without consent, unless it is in line with the club Data Protection Policy. Authorised persons posting content or setting up accounts are responsible for ensuring appropriate informed consents are in place. Members should include their name, email and position where possible. It is at their discretion whether they wish to post additional contact information.

9. Education and Training

Basildon AC wishes to make it clear to members what our policy contains and the reasons behind it. We will provide members with additional guidelines/training/further information on e safety and effective practice, and the Chairman/Committee will be on hand to answer any queries and address any comments.

Members authorised to use Basildon AC social media accounts, will receive guidelines training on relevant safeguards and acceptable practice before access is granted.

10. Incidents and Response

Any breach of this policy could lead to disciplinary action. Where a breach of this policy is reported to the club this matter will be dealt with seriously and in line with the Club’s Disciplinary and Acceptable Use policies. The club will act immediately to prevent, as far as reasonably possible, any damage to an individual, their rights or the institution’s reputation. Any stakeholder or member of the public may report an incident to the club. This should be directed immediately to the Chairman/Committee. Where it appears that a breach has taken place, the Chairman/Committee will review what has happened and decide on the most appropriate and proportionate course of action. The steps for dealing with any incident, methods of escalation, appropriate sanctions and involvement of external agencies are contained in the club constitution. Where a member of the club/ committee considers an incident to be serious, this should also be reported to the Chairman/Committee.

Note: If an incident needs to be dealt with expeditiously such that does not allow time for committee representation the Chairman has the power to make this decision single headedly in the best interest of the club.

Where members are in receipt of offensive, unacceptable content via social media, this should be reported to a relevant member of the committee immediately.

Where questionable content has been received by the institution, the committee must be informed prior to any response being submitted.

11. Feedback and Further Information

Basildon AC welcomes all constructive feedback on this and any other policy. If you would like further information on social media, or wish to send us your comments on our Social Media Policy, then please contact: Basildon AC via our website