United in the Community

UITC Social Media Policy

Background
The Trustees have agreed that UITC should have a social media policy covering communications from those involved in the organisation, both themselves and with the players. This policy follows FA guidelines “Responsible Use of Social Networking sites”

A most effective way of communicating to young people is via a social networking site which can be used by named members, parents and carers, solely about football matters e.g. fixtures, cancellations and team selection.

FA Guidelines regarding Players
Children and young people should be advised by their coaches, parents/carers and Welfare Officer to always tell an adult who they trust about communications that make them feel uncomfortable or where they’ve been asked not to tell their parent/carer about the communication.

The following is best practice in relation to social networking.

Do:

  1. Ensure all the privacy settings are locked so that that the page(s) are used explicitly for club or league matters and are not used as a place to meet, share personal details or have private conversations.
  2. Nominate a club/league official to monitor the club/league social networking page regularly and remove access for anyone behaving inappropriately.
  3. Make sure everyone within your club knows who is responsible for monitoring the content of the social networking areas and how to contact them.
  4. Provide all users with The FAs best practice guidance on using social networking sites.
  5. Gain written parent/carer permission before access is given to U18s.
  6. Inform the Welfare Officer if you have received inappropriate communications online, keeping a record of any inappropriate, threatening or offensive material as this may be needed as evidence.

Don’t:
Unless a child/young person is a direct relation, the coaches, managers, referees, medics and club officials should not:

  1. Accept as a friend, players or referees U18 on social networking sites they are members of or share their own personal social networking sites with children or young people involved in youth football.
  2. Make contact with children or young people known through football outside of the football context on social networking sites.
  3. Use internet or web based communications to send personal messages of a non- football nature to a child or young person.
  4. Engage in any personal communications, ‘banter’ or comments.

The FA recommends that texting is not used as the primary method of communication between adults and child/young people in football.

UITC Specific Guidelines for employees, coaches and volunteers

UITC understands that employees/coaches/volunteers may participate in social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn) chat rooms and create & maintain personal websites, including blogs.  UITC respects employees/coaches/volunteers online social networking and personal internet use.  However, an online presence can affect UITC as someone’s words, images, posts, and comments can reflect or be attributed to UITC. 

Staff and coaches should be mindful to use electronic media, even in their own personal time, responsibly and respectfully to others.  Employees and coaches’ online comments and postings can impact on UITC and/or the way employees/coaches/volunteers are spending their time.

UITC has adopted the following guidelines that all involved with the organisation must observe when participating in social networking sites and/or engaging in other forms of internet use on and off duty.  It shall be considered a breach of acceptable conduct to post on any public or private website or other forum, including but not limited to discussion lists, newsgroups, blogs, information sharing sites, social media sites, social or business networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, chat rooms, Twitter, or any other electronic or print communication format, any of the following:

  • Anything that may harm the goodwill or reputation of UITC or any disparaging information about UITC.
  • Any disparaging, discriminatory or harassing information concerning any employees, coaches, volunteers, players, parents, partner organisation or other person/group associated with UITC. UITC policies prohibiting harassment apply online as well as offline.
  • Any confidential information or intellectual property of UITC obtained, including information relating to finances, research, development, marketing, operational methods, plans and policies.
  • Any private information relating players, employees, coaches, volunteers or partner organisation of UITC.

In compliance with good practice and transparency, employees/coaches/volunteers endorsing UITC’s products or services must disclose their involvement or relationship with UITC and must ensure that endorsements do not contain representations that are deceptive or cannot be substantiated.

If you are speaking about job-related content or about UITC you must either clearly identify yourself as a UITCemployee / coach / volunteer, or speak in the first person and use a disclaimer to make it clear that the views expressed belong solely to you.  In addition, the following statement must be used,"The opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of UITC."

This Policy applies regardless of where or when employees/coaches/volunteers post or communicate information online.  It applies to posting and online activity at work, home or other location and while on duty and off duty. 

UITC reserves the right to monitor and access any information or data that is created or stored using UITC’s technology, equipment or electronic systems, including without limitation, e-mails, internet usage, hard drives and other stored, transmitted or received information.  Employees should have no expectation of privacy in any information or data (i) placed on any UITC computer or computer-related system or (ii) viewed, created, sent, received or stored on any UITC computer or computer-related system, including, without limitation, electronic communications or internet usage.

Employees / coaches / volunteers that violate UITC’s Social Networking Policy could be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment / coaching / volunteer role. Monitoring will be undertaken by and any violations reported to either the Chair or Community Manager.

Footnote:
This policy was reviewed / approved by trustees on 8/08/2017. This policy will be reviewed every two years as part of UITC wider policy / procedure review. Should there be changes in relevant legislation it may need to be reviewed earlier.

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Board of Trustees - Mrs Ruth Walkden (Chair), Mr. Robert Ellam, Mrs. Caroline Preedy, Mr Lee Symonds
Company Registration Number - 06772188
Charity Registration Number - 1127857

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