Social Media Policy
Social Media Use Policy
Social Media Policy
In this document “Organization” refers to Williams Lake Blue Fins
1. Terms in this Policy are defined as follows:
a) Participants – Refers to all categories of individual members and/or registrants defined in the By-laws of the Organization who are subject to the policies of the Organization, as well as all people employed by, contracted by, or engaged in activities with, the Organization including, but not limited to, employees, contractors, Athletes, coaches, instructors, officials, volunteers, managers, administrators, committee members, parents or guardians, spectators, committee members, and Directors and Officers.
b) Social Media – The catch-all term that is applied broadly to new computer-mediated communication media such as blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.
c) Organization-branded social media -Official social media engagement by the Organization including the Organization’s Facebook page(s), Twitter feed, photo sharing accounts, YouTube channels, blogs, or other social media engagement; both those that exist currently and those that will be created by the Organization in the future.
- The Organization encourages the use of social media by its Participants to enhance effective internal communication, build the Organization brand, and interact with members. Since there is so much ambiguity in the use of social media, the Organization has created this policy to set boundaries and standards for Participants’ social media use.
3. The Organization is aware that Participant interaction and communication occurs frequently on Social Media. The Organization cautions Participants that any conduct falling short of the standard of behaviour required by this Social Media Policy and the Code of Conduct and Ethics may be subject to the disciplinary sanctions identified within the Discipline and Complaints Policy.
Application of this Policy
4. This Policy applies to all Participants.
Conduct and Behaviour
a) Posting a disrespectful, hateful, harmful, disparaging, or insulting comment on a social medium.
b) Posting a picture, altered picture, or video on a social medium that is harmful, disrespectful, insulting, embarrassing, suggestive, provocative, or otherwise offensive.
c) Creating or contributing to a Facebook group, webpage, Instagram account, Twitter feed, blog, or online forum devoted solely or in part to promoting negative or disparaging remarks or commentary about the Organization or its stakeholders or reputation
d) Any instance of cyber-bullying or cyber-harassment where incidents of cyber-bullying and cyber-harassment can include but are not limited to the following conduct on any social medium, via text message, or via email: regular insults, negative comments, vexatious behaviour, pranks or jokes, threats, posing as another person, spreading rumours or lies, or other harmful behaviour.
- Participants should be aware that their Social Media activity may be viewed by anyone, including the Organization.
8. If the Organization unofficially engages with a Participant in Social Media (such as by retweeting a tweet or sharing a photo on Facebook) the Participant may, at any time, ask the Organization to cease this engagement.
9. When using Social Media, a Participant must model appropriate behaviour befitting the Participant’s role and status in connection with the Organization. Participants shall refrain from discussing matters related to the Organization or its operations on Participants’ personal social media. Instead, matters related to the Organization, or its operations should be handles through more official communication channels (like email) or through the Organization-branded social media.
10. Participants must engage with social media only in the context(s) described in their contract of employment, volunteer position, or position with the organization. For example, an Organization Head Coach shall not represent the Organization in answering a question on the Organization-branded social media that is directed at, and better addressed in more official communication channels by, the Organization’s Treasurer.
11. Participants shall use their best judgement to respond to controversial or negative content posted by other people on the Organization-branded social media. In some cases, deletion of the material may be the most prudent action. In other cases, responding publicly may be preferred. If a Participant questions the correct action to take, they shall consult with another Participant who has more decision-making authority in the Organization.
12. Removing content from Social Media after it has been posted (either publicly or privately) does not excuse the Participant from being subject to the Discipline and Complaints Policy.
13. An individual who believes that a Participant’s Social Media activity is inappropriate or may violate policies and procedures should report the matter to the Organization in the manner outlined by the Discipline and Complaints Policy.
- The Organization has a responsibility to understand if and how Persons in Authority and Athletes are using Social Media to communicate with each other. Persons in Authority and Athletes may need to be reminded that behaviour in Social Media is still subject to the Code of Conduct and Ethics and Social Media Policy.
- Participants will not:
a) Use social media for the purpose of fraud or any other activity that contravenes the laws of Canada, the Organization’s Code of Conduct and Ethics, or any other applicable jurisdiction
b) Impersonate any other person or misrepresent their identity, role, or position with the Organization
c) Display preference or favouritism with regard to clubs, athletes, or other members
d) Upload, post, email, or otherwise transmit:
i. Any content that is offensive, obscene, unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, hateful, invasive or another person’s privacy, or otherwise objectionable
ii. Any material which is designed to cause annoyance, inconvenience, or needless anxiety to others
iii. Any material that infringes on the patent, trademark, trade secrets, copyright, or other proprietary right of any other party
iv. Any material that is considered the Organization’s confidential information or intellectual property
16. The Organization will:
b) Ensure that the Participants only use social media in a positive manner when connecting with other
c) Properly vet and understand each social medium before directing Participants to engage with, or create, the Organization-branded social media
d) Host expert training sessions on the topic of social media; in the event that the social media engagement directed by the Organization is unclear or not fully understood
e) Ensure that Participants balance personal and professional information posted via social media and inform Participants that a balance is necessary and positive
f) Monitor Participants’ use of social media
17. Complaints and concerns about the behaviour of a Person in Authority or Athlete in Social Media can be addressed under the Discipline and Complaints Policy.
18. The Guidelines in this section provide Persons in Authority and Athletes with tips and suggestions for Social Media use. Persons in Authority and Athletes are strongly encouraged to develop their own strategy for Social Media use (either written down or not) and ensure that their strategy for Social Media use is acceptable pursuant to the Code of Conduct and Ethics.
19. Given the nature of Social Media as a continually developing communication sphere, the Organization trusts its Persons in Authority and Athletes to use their best judgment when interacting with Social Media. These Guidelines are not hard and fast rules or behavioural laws; but rather recommendations that will inform individuals’ best judgment.
Social Media Guidelines for Persons in Authority
20. Persons in Authority should consider the following guidelines to inform their own strategy for Social Media use:
a) With Minor Athletes, ensure that parents/guardians are aware if some interactions may take place on Social Media and the context for those interactions, and give parents/guardians the option to prohibit or restrict communication in this space
b) Attempt to make communication with Athletes in Social Media as one-sided as possible. Be available for Athletes if they initiate contact – Athletes may wish to have this easy and quick access to you – but avoid imposing yourself into an Athlete’s personal Social Media space
c) Ensure all Social Media communication is professional, unambiguous, and on-topic. Avoid emojis and unspecific language that can be interpreted in multiple ways
d) Choosing not to engage with Social Media is an acceptable strategy. Be prepared to inform Athletes (and/or parents/guardians) why you will not engage in this space and explain which media you will use to communicate with them
e) Athletes will search for your Social Media accounts. Be prepared for how you will respond when an Athlete attempts to interact with you on Social Media
f) Annually review and update the privacy settings on all your Social Media accounts
g) Consider monitoring or being generally aware of Athletes’ public Social Media behaviour to ensure compliance with Code of Conduct and Ethics and this Policy
h) Never demand access to an Athlete’s private posts on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook
i) Do not send friend requests to Athletes. Never pressure Athletes to send you a friend request or follow your Social Media accounts
j) If you accept a friend or follow request from one Athlete, you should accept these requests from all Athletes. Be careful not to show favouritism on Social Media
k) Consider managing your Social Media so that Athletes do not have the option to follow you on Twitter or send you a friend request on Facebook
l) Do not identify Minor Athletes on publicly available Social Media
m) Seek permission from adult Athletes before identifying them on publicly available Social Media
n) Avoid adding Athletes to Snapchat and do not send snapchats to Athletes
o) Do not post pictures or videos of Minor Athletes on your private Social Media accounts
p) Be aware that you may acquire information about an Athlete that imposes an obligation of disclosure on your part (such as seeing pictures of Minor Athletes drinking during a trip)
q) If official club business is announced on Social Media, ensure it is also posted on a less-social medium like a website or distributed via email
r) Never require Athletes to join Facebook, join a Facebook group, subscribe to a Twitter feed, or join a Facebook page about your team or organization
s) If you create a page on Facebook or Instagram for your team or Athlete, do not make this Social Media site the exclusive location for important information. Duplicate important information in less-social channels (like on a website or via email)
t) Exercise appropriate discretion when using Social Media for your own personal communications (with friends, colleagues, and other Persons in Authority) with the knowledge that your behaviour may be used as a model by Athletes
u) Avoid association with Facebook groups, Instagram accounts, or Twitter feeds with explicit sexual conduct or viewpoints that might offend or compromise your relationship with an Athlete
v) Never misrepresent yourself by using a fake name or fake profile
Social Media Guidelines for Athletes
21. The following tips should be used by Athletes to inform their own strategy for Social Media use:
a) Set your privacy settings to restrict who can search for you and what private information other people can see.
b) Coaches, teammates, officials, or opposing competitors may all add you to Facebook or follow you on Instagram or Twitter. You are not required to follow anyone or be Facebook friends with anyone.
c) Avoid adding Persons in Authority to Snapchat and do not send snapchats to Persons in Authority.
d) If you feel harassed by someone in a social medium, report it to your coach or another Person in Authority with the Organization.
e) You do not have to join a fan page on Facebook or follow a Twitter feed or Instagram account.
f) Content posted on a social medium, relative to your privacy settings, is considered public. In most cases, you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy for any material that you post.
g) Content posted to a social medium is almost always permanent – consider that other individuals may take screencaps of your content (even snapchats) before you can delete them.
h) Avoid posting pictures of, or alluding to, participation in illegal activity such as: speeding, physical assault, harassment, drinking alcohol (if underage), and smoking marijuana (if underage).
i) Model appropriate behaviour in Social Media befitting your status as a) an Athlete, and b) a member of your organization and its governing organizations. As a representative of your organization, you have agreed to the Code of Conduct and Ethics and must follow that Code when you post material and interact with other people through Social Media.
j) Be aware that your public Facebook page, Instagram account, or Twitter feed may be monitored by your organization, coach, or by another organization and content or behaviour demonstrated in Social Media may be subject to sanction under the Discipline and Complaints Policy.
- Failure to adhere to this Policy may permit discipline in accordance with the Organization’s Discipline and Complaints Policy, legal recourse, or termination of employment/volunteer position.