- Social media
- ORFC understand how important social media is in today’s world. We’ve included the following policy to help you understand how to engage positively with social media whilst avoiding damage to our reputation and the reputation of those connected to us.
- ORFC also supports the RFU guidance on social media at Appendix 1 which forms part of this policy.
- This policy deals with personal and business use of all forms of social media, including Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, WhatsApp, YouTube, Google+, all other social networking sites (including any company social media platforms or instant messaging platforms e.g. Slack, Facebook Workplace) and all other internet postings including blogs. This policy applies whether or not you consider you’ve restricted your privacy on a particular platform by using the privacy settings and whether or not you consider that you’re in a ‘private conversation’.
- Remember, what you publish can be copied, redistributed, read by many (and more than the audience you intended) and may not be capable of being removed or deleted.
- You must not use social media to;
- make false or misleading statements;
- impersonate fellow members or third parties;
- express opinions on our behalf other than with our written authority;
- post anything that is or could be perceived to be abusive, threatening, offensive or discriminatory about anything or anyone connected to your membership or to us;
- associate your comments with our logos, slogans other trademarks or anything else belonging to us;
- suggest that your own personal views are in any way connected with us;
- post anything that could damage our reputation, or that of our members, visitors, sponsors, the community or employees;
- post any confidential information, commercially sensitive information or personal data (other than in respect of yourself);
- post anything which would breach our policies including out anti-discrimination policy or our values.
f. We might need you to remove a social media posting immediately if we consider it is in breach of this policy or our anti-discrimination policy. You agree to immediately remove the post and understand that despite doing so you may still be subject to disciplinary action which could include the termination of your membership
g. Any member who wishes to create a social media platform on behalf of the club must apply for permission in writing from the committee outlining the purpose and scope of the social media use, being also to demonstrate the benefits to the club and its members. in addition to outlining how this policy will be upheld in relation to security and reputational risk/
h. The club reserves the right for refuse any request on what is reasonable.
i. The club can remove permission for a social media account to exist as an official account where the committee feel that the rationale for the benefit to the club has dissolved, management of the account has become problematic or there has been a repeated breach of the social media policy.
j. You are responsible for implementing and adhering to this policy.
RFU Guidance: Social media for clubs
Social networking, such as Twitter, Facebook, internet blogs and other online sites, offers tremendous opportunities for rugby to communicate and engage with a growing audience as well as its existing members, supporters and players.
The RFU is keen to promote the safe and responsible use of social networking technology but also to make its members aware of the potential risks and to share best practice.
Participants should be aware that comments, which bring the game into disrepute, or are threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting, might lead to disciplinary action.
Comments that include a reference to a person’s ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability may attract a high disciplinary sanction.
Comments can also attract civil and criminal action.
- These are public forums, so treat them as such
- Individuals and organisations are strictly responsible for any posting on his/ their account(s)
- Re-posting or re-tweeting inappropriate content represents an endorsement of that content and can be actionable
- Do not use abusive, derogatory, vulgar or sexual language
- Do not criticise or imply bias in match officials
- At all times, exercise discretion and respect for clubs, players, fans and the game’s partners
- Deleting or apologising publicly for an improper posting does not prevent disciplinary action being taken
- Consider “protecting” Tweets and changing security/visibility of Facebook accounts
Clubs and Constituent Bodies
Clubs and Constituent Bodies (CBs) should be aware that they can be vicariously liable for material published by employees in the course of their employment, for example on an official website, Facebook site or Twitter feed, or published by employees outside work via a work email address or a work Twitter handle.
Clubs can also be liable for third party comments and postings made in their website forums or on their Facebook pages.
We recommend that clubs and CBs:
- Clearly identify who is responsible for posting and maintaining social networking and internet sites
- Set standards for content generated in line with the RFU’s Core Values and the guidelines above
- Establish protocols for monitoring output, moderating content in online forums and removing offensive postings
- Hold members to account for any breaches
The RFU’s Safeguarding Policy advises against coaches having direct personal communication with children unless in exceptional circumstances and coaches and club officials should not communicate with children through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, nor should they be “friends” with children or comment on their status.
The RFU works closely with the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit, which provides comprehensive guidance and resources relating to this issue.
Players and officials
Individuals need to understand that they are personally responsible and liable for their comments and postings. At all times you should exercise discretion and be respectful of other players, teams, officials, organisations and brands. What you regard as “banter” could be regarded as embarrassing or hurtful by a wider audience and bring the game into disrepute.
In short, follow the general guidelines above and:
- Don’t comment if you have any concerns about the consequences
- Don’t link to unsuitable content
- Don’t get into disputes with audience
- Don’t share or elicit personal detail
- Do show your personality and be approachable
- Do share your achievements
- Do let people know what it is like to be a player/official
- Do post regular comments to grow and engage with an audience
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