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Social Media Policy Guidelines

 Introduction. The use of online social and business sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, YouTube, LinkedIn and all other public online communications is now commonplace. As a proactive and innovative organisation, the Friends of Turn Moss actively welcome and support the use of these tools, as they help us to raise awareness of the voluntary work we do.  However, there have been a number of cases where the use of social media has harmed the reputation of an organisation/volunteers. This policy is intended to help avoid potential pitfalls.

If information on any of the sites we use raises concern for you, please contact a FoTM Committee member.  This policy outlines the Friends of Turn Moss expectations of its Committee and members regarding the use of social media when commenting on FoTM or acting for FoTM.

Breaches of the Policy. The following can result in disciplinary action including dismissal:

any reference, direct or indirect on social networking sites, blogs or other such sites, to the organisation, employment, individuals or organisations, or funding partners and members that could cause the Friends of Turn Moss reputation to be damaged.

Use of Social Media and Networking sites.  Social media should never be used in a way that breaches any of our aims as a group. You are expected, when using social and networking sites and the internet, to act in all situations in the best interests of FoTM.

Disrepute. You must not use sites in such a way that FoTM interests or reputation is or may be damaged whether directly or indirectly.  

You must not use social media to inflame, defame or disparage FoTM, our volunteers, members, stakeholders or third parties. 

You must not use social media to harass, bully or unlawfully discriminate against FoTM, our volunteers, members, stakeholders or third parties.

You must not use social media to make false or misleading statements or to impersonate fellow members or third parties.

Confidentiality. You are not to refer to or publish sensitive information, contact details or images/photographs of any Committee members, volunteers, members, supporters, children or young people, without obtaining express written permission to do so from the parties concerned.

Confidential information is defined as any information that is described as such by FoTM committee. This shall include any personal information, embargoed press releases, and any information, not legitimately available to the public, which relates to the commercial, financial and other activities of The Friends of Turn Moss.  Information shared on social and business networking sites, or personal blogs, even in private spaces, are still subject to copyright, data protection and defamation laws and may give rise to claims against an individual or Friends of Turn Moss.

Remember: Once you make a comment online it is extremely difficult to remove it. If you are answering in the capacity of FoTM, whether as a Committee member or a volunteer/member please be mindful of what you are saying and how it (by association) will reflect on FoTM. This can be e.g. defamatory, threatening, harmful, unsubstantiated information, homophobic or obscene comments. The privacy and feelings of others should be respected at all times.

Contacting children and young people: Under no circumstances should social or business networking sites be used inappropriately by you to contact children or young people.

Values. Under no circumstances should members of staff make any comments or post items, photos or materials that compromise Friends of Turn Moss values.  Be respectful to others when making any statement on social media and be aware that you are personally responsible for all communications which will be published on the internet for anyone to see.

Privacy. You must consider carefully your privacy settings, and that initially private postings may not remain so.

Offensive Material. You must not access or download pornographic, sexually explicit, religious hatred material nor any material which may be construed as discriminatory or otherwise unsuitable and then share or download to our shared FoTM cloud-based spaces such as Facebook, Google Docs. Dropbox etc.  No such offensive material should in any way be associated with FoTM.

Any breach of this policy or misuse of social networking sites or the internet may result in disciplinary action. You may be required to remove or be refused access to any social media that Friends of Turn Moss consider to constitute a breach of this policy.

If you are uncertain or concerned about the appropriateness of any statement or posting, refrain from posting it. If you see social media content that disparages us or reflects poorly on FoTM, you should contact a senior member of the Friends of Turn Moss Committee.  If you wish to report any suspected wrongdoing in relation to a suspected breach of this policy, please contact the Friends of Turn Moss Committee, either in person or anonymously.

Monitoring.  This policy is designed to reduce risks to both Friends of Turn Moss activities and reputation that might occur as a result of inappropriate use of social or business networking sites and personal blogs. Users must be aware that the use of FoTM shared online spaces such as Twitter, Facebook, Gmail and WordPress website, can be monitored by the FoTM Committee. This is to ensure that our rules are being complied with and for legitimate reputational purposes and you consent to such monitoring by your use of such resources and systems.

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