Social networking sites (such as, but not exclusively, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc.) are a useful way for keeping in touch with friends, family and club members, and are also a great way to exchange information. However, members must not forget that what they post on social networking sites may be seen across these networks, and are reminded that they must not bring Exeter Rowing Club (ERC) into disrepute or cause any distress to any other member.
ERC recognises that some members will make use of social networking in their own time, using their own equipment. Whilst there is no intention to restrict any proper and sensible exercise of the individual’s rights and freedoms, it is expected that all members will conduct themselves in such a way as to avoid bringing ERC into disrepute or compromising its effectiveness.
This policy has been prepared to protect the privacy, confidentiality and interests of ERC. This policy only applies to club related issues and is not meant to infringe upon an individual’s personal interaction or commentary online. However all members are asked to respect the privacy, confidentiality and propriety of ERC and those working on their behalf, and not post anything that might be considered to breach this. Members should take care when discussing information relating to ERC affairs as discussions can sometimes be misinterpreted and could potentially put other members or the public at large at risk.
All members should be aware that any inappropriate posts made to social media sites could lead to disciplinary action and in extreme cases, civil and criminal liability. All members must take account of the following before posting to the internet, including engaging in blogging or the use of forums, video sharing or social networking sites.
Whilst it is a personal decision, it is suggested that members do not disclose their position as an ERC employee or volunteer. Members should be aware that the committee takes the posting at any time of offensive material, and the harassment, bullying or victimization of members via the internet and social networking sites very seriously.
A breach of any of the following may lead to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.
- Members must not divulge any confidential information or information belonging to ERC which is not in the public domain or expand upon such information already available in the public domain
- If any member discloses that they are attached to ERC then it must be made absolutely clear that any views expressed do not represent the official position of ERC but are the views of the individual
- Members cannot write a blog in an official capacity unless sanctioned and minuted by committee, i.e. representing the views of ERC. If however, they give a personal opinion as an experienced person in a particular field, they must state that this is solely their view and not the view of ERC. Members must not use any ERC logo or other copyright material that infers official endorsement of the photograph, article, document or opinion.
- Any photographs of ERC staff in club garments must not be used to harass, intimidate or bring the Club into disrepute.
- Members must not display offensive images or make offensive comments, or in any way harass, intimidate, bully, victimise or discriminate against other members.
As a matter of good practice, members are asked to remember that:
- Any material published online may be accessible by any audience greater than anticipated (including the public en masse) and could remain accessible for a long time.
- Social media communications may be misconstrued and so care should be taken before anything is shared online.
- Uncertainties or concerns about the appropriateness of any material should be referred to committee prior to publication.
Committee Members Responsibility
All committee members have a duty to implement this policy and take action if they become aware of any breach of this policy and should explain the Club’s policy on the use of social media and networking sites and take steps to promote awareness of this policy.
What to do if you believe you are being harassed, bullied or victimised via a social networking site
If you are a member who believes that you are being harassed, bullied or victimised as a result of another member’s post to an internet site, it is open to you to take the necessary action. Members should contact the Club Welfare Officer for support and guidance on the informal and formal action which can be taken.
Consequences of not following this policy
Any member found to be in breach of the above may be subject to disciplinary action. If they are also found to be in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 or other relevant legislation or copyright, it could lead to criminal proceedings and prosecution.