One of the most common questions we are currently asked by our members is how to deal with issues arising from negative or inappropriate comments made by either society board members, or ordinary members, on social media.
Social media is a fantastic tool to reach out to your members and engage over a wide range of topics but it can also be a very divisive and disruptive medium, giving individuals the ability to express their personal feelings on matters either publicly or anonymously.
Used effectively, social media can be an attention grabbing way to converse with your members, but we are unfortunately aware of an increasing number of reported instances which see disputes arising via social media.
In some cases these reported online disputes constitute a serious breach of member or board conduct and some cross into the realms of harassment, abuse and can potentially become criminal matters.
It is important you as a Trust lay down the acceptable boundaries for online engagement to protect both your members who communicate via and the Trust board members who operate and manage official social media accounts.
We have developed a suite of side policy templates over the years for your Trust to adapt and adopt as it sees fit. These policies give some light and shade to your society rules and provide you with a framework and structure for dealing with disciplinary issues, board conduct, elections, general meetings and board meetings.
A “social media conduct policy” is something our members often ask about and we wanted to share some such policies which have been developed by our members and implemented successfully across the network.
The nature of the ongoing evolution and development of social media platforms and how they are used means there is no “one size fits all” policy but you will be able to adapt the versions below which are currently used by other Trusts and Supporter Owned Clubs to police their social network and online engagement platforms.
If you have developed a social media policy for your Trust and would like ourselves or our legal experts to give it a “once over” to assess its suitability, please contact Network Manager Nicola Hudson.