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Social Media

We recognise that social media has an important role to play in how we communicate with, engage and promote dialogue with our residents.

The acceptable use of social media by customers and residents

We acknowledge that everyone has the right to free speech. This is enshrined in law. But a right to free speech must be balanced with laws covering matters such as libel and defamation, contempt of court, harassment, the Communications Act, the Computer Misuse Act, and with what is generally acceptable. 

As a council, we also have a duty of care towards our employees and elected members. Any form of online hate, abuse or bullying is unacceptable on any platform, not just council-owned.

What is and isn’t acceptable.

We know that there will be times when people will be unhappy with what the council does (or doesn’t do) or the decisions it takes. People are free to share their views about the district, the council, and its work. 

However, there are occasions when posts or messages, on whatever social media site or channel cross the line in terms of unacceptability. Members of staff who manage our social media channels are human beings too. 

The vast majority of people who use social media do so with respect and tolerance.

However, under its House Rules for acceptable social media use, in the event of unacceptable use of social media by customers and residents, the Council reserves the right to take action in relation to social media posts or messages.

Unacceptable behaviour includes (but is not limited to) social media posts or messages which:

  • Use any abusive, offensive, defamatory, discriminatory, threatening, harassing, bullying, racist, sexist or other inappropriate comments which are perceived or intended to cause concern, upset or harm to others.

  • Incite hatred on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality or sexuality or any other personal characteristic.

  • Incite someone/people to break the law.

  • Contain inappropriate material (photographs or video)

  • Target named members of staff with direct, unacceptable, criticism.

  • Breach confidentiality, share personal details, such as private addresses, phone numbers, email addresses or other online contact details.

  • High volumes of overly long messages which could constitute as spamming.

  • Repetitive negative messages which aim to provoke a response or do not constructively add to the conversation.

  • Comments that impersonate or falsely claim to represent a person or organisation.

  • Comments that are off-topic, promote services or product

  • Breach of any of the terms of any of the social media platforms and their community guidelines.

The Council moderates messages on its corporate social media channels and will remove those which breach the above House Rules and moderation guidelines.