- COUNCILLOR PERSONAL USE
- MANAGING THE COUNCIL FACEBOOK ACCOUNT
COUNCILLOR PERSONAL USE
This policy is intended to help staff and members make appropriate decisions about the use of social media and all its forums.
This policy outlines the standards we require staff and members to observe when using social media, the circumstances in which we will monitor your use of social media and the action we will take in respect of breaches of this policy.
This policy does not form any part of any contract of employment that staff may have and it may be amended at any time.
Who is covered by the policy
This policy covers all individuals working at all levels.
The scope of the policy
All staff and members are expected to comply with this policy at all times to protect the privacy, confidentiality and interests of the Council and our services, employees, partners and customers.
Breach of this policy will be dealt with and, in serious cases, may be treated as gross misconduct leading to summary dismissal.
Responsibility for implementation of the policy
The Town Clerk has overall responsibility for the effective operation of this policy
All staff and members are responsible for their own compliance with this policy and for ensuring that it is consistently applied. All staff should ensure that they take the time to read and understand it. Any breach of policy should be reported to the Town Clerk.
Rules for use of social media
Always write in the first person, identify who you are and what your role is.
Do not upload, post, forward or post a link to any abusive, obscene, discriminatory, harassing, derogatory or defamatory content.
Any member of staff or member who feels they have been harassed, bullied, or are offended by material posted by a colleague onto a social media website should inform the Town Clerk.
Never disclose commercially sensitive, anti competitive, private or confidential information.
If you are unsure whether the information you wish to share falls into one of these categories, you should discuss it with the Town Clerk.
Do not upload, post, forward any content belonging to a third party unless you have that third party’s consent.
It is acceptable to quote a small excerpt from an article, particularly for the purposes of commenting on it or criticising it. Quote accurately, include references and when in doubt, link, don’t copy.
Be honest and open, but be mindful of the impact your contribution might make to people’s perception of Town Council. If you make a mistake in your contribution, be prompt in admitting it and correcting it.
You are personally responsible for content you publish into social media tools – be aware that what you publish will be public for many years.
Don’t escalate heated discussions.
If you feel even slightly uneasy about something you are about to publish, then you shouldn’t do it.
Do not discuss colleagues, competitors, customers or suppliers without their prior approval.
If you notice any content posted on social media about Town Council then please report it to the Town Clerk.
If you notice any use of social media by other members of staff or members in breach of this policy then please report it to the Town Clerk.
Posts must not contain anyone’s personal information, other than necessary basic contact details.
If staff or councillors blog, tweet or post personally they must not act, claim to act or give the impression that they are acting as a representative of the Council. If in doubt, they should make it clear that they are posting personally especially when posting on subjects which are the concern of the public.
In particular uploading, posting, forwarding or posting a link to any of the following types of materials on a social media website, whether in a professional or personal capacity, will amount to gross misconduct (this list is not exhaustive)
a). pornographic material (this is writing, pictures, films and video clips of a sexually explicit nature).
b). a false and defamatory statement about any person or organisation
c). material which is offensive, obscene, criminal, discriminatory, derogatory or may cause embarrassment to us, our clients or our staff.
d). confidential information about us or any of our staff.
e). any other statement which is likely to create any liability (whether criminal or civil, and whether for you or for us).
f). material in breach of copyright or other intellectual property rights, or which invades the privacy of any person.
The Town Clerk shall be responsible for reviewing this policy and is to ensure it meets legal requirements and reflects best practice.
MANAGING THE COUNCIL FACEBOOK ACCOUNT
All staff and councillors must ensure that they use the council facilities appropriately. If using a council provided website or social networking area, any posts made will be viewed as made in an official capacity. Council facilities cannot be used for personal or political blogs.
The council’s use of social networking applications has implications for its duty to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults. There are also implications for employees, councillors and the Council as a corporate body.
This policy is intended to help councillors and council staff make appropriate decisions about the use of social media and provide a framework of good practice.
When participating in on-line communication on behalf of the Council, staff and councillors must;
- Never make false or misleading statements
- Never name an individual third party unless you have written permission to do so
- Never use language that may be deemed as offensive, relating in particular to sexuality, race, disability, gender, age or religion.
The council will have two nominated persons as editors and moderators, both to be officers of the Council. They will be responsible for posting and monitoring of the content on council pages, ensuring it complies with the Social Media Policy. The moderators will have authority to immediately, without notice or comment, remove any posts from the council’s Facebook page if they are deemed to be inflammatory or of defamatory or libellous nature. Such posts will be reported to the Clerk for council records.
The Clerk reserves the right to require the removal of content published by Council representatives which may adversely affect the reputation of the Council of put it at risk of legal action.
The Facebook page will be used to;
- Advertise events and activities
- Post news stories about council activities and decisions
- Link to appropriate websites
- Advertise vacancies
- Share information from partners, i.e Police, North Yorkshire Council
- Announce new information appropriate to the council
- Post or share information promoting bodies for community benefit
- Post information about council services
- Post contact information for the council
- Post other items as the council sees fit
The Facebook site will be checked on a regular basis to ensure security settings are in place. Access passwords for the site will be given to the Clerk and appointed editors/moderators only.
The Council will only moderate social media accounts during office hours.
If a matter is raised on the Facebook page which needs further consideration by the council, it may be raised at either the public participation session or as an agenda item for consideration by a quorum of councillors. Any response agreed by council will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
Reports of any concerns regarding content on the social media accounts should be reported to the Clerk for referral to the moderators and/or council as required.
The use of the Council’s logo and other branding elements should be used where appropriate to indicate the council’s support. The logo should not be used on social networking applications which are unrelated to or are not representative of the council’s official position.