Policy overview and purpose
Social media is changing the way we communicate.
This policy has been developed to inform our community about using social media so people feel enabled to
participate, while being mindful of their responsibilities and obligations. In particular, this policy provides practical
guidance allowing all parties to benefit from the use of social media, while minimising potential risks and
protecting those involved.
This policy assists to establish a culture of openness, trust and integrity in all online activities related to Alcester
This policy contains Alcester RFC guidelines for the Alcester RFC community to engage in social media use. It
also includes details of breaches of the policy.
In circumstances where guidance about social media issues has not been given in this policy, we suggest you
use common sense or seek out advice from those who have approved this policy.
This policy complements Alcester RFC’s core values:
Promote rugby in the community at all levels.
The committee and/or the Committee member representative for Social Media is responsible for all matters
related to this policy.
This policy applies to all persons who are involved with the activities of Alcester RFC, whether they are in a paid
or unpaid/voluntary capacity and including:
- members, including life members of Alcester RFC
- persons appointed or elected, committees and sub-committees;
- employees of Alcester RFC;
- members of the Alcester RFC Executive;
- support personnel, including managers, physiotherapists, psychologists, masseurs, sport trainers and others;
- coaches and assistant coaches;
- referees, and other officials;
- member associations
- Spectators and family members
Social media refers to any online tools or functions that allow people to communicate and/or share content via
This social media policy applies to platforms including, but not limited to:
- Social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Yammer, etc)
- Video and photo sharing websites or apps (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Flickr, Vine, etc)
- Blogs and micro-blogging platforms (e.g. Tumblr, Wordpress, Blogger, etc)
- Review sites (e.g. Yelp, Urban Spoon, etc)
- Live broadcasting apps (e.g. Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook Mentions, etc)
- Podcasting (e.g. iTunes, Stitcher, Sound cloud, etc)
- Geo-spatial tagging (e.g. Foursquare, etc)
- Online encyclopaedias (e.g. Wikipedia, etc)
- Instant messaging (e.g. SMS, Skype, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Viber, etc)
- Online multiplayer gaming platforms (e.g. World of Warcraft, Second life, Xbox Live, etc)
- Online voting or polls
- Public and private online forums and discussion boards
- Any other online technologies that allow individual users to upload and share content.
This policy is applicable when using social media as:
1. an officially designated individual representing Alcester RFC on social media; and
2. if you are posting content on social media in relation to Alcester RFC that might affect Alcester RFC’s
business, products, services, events, sponsors, members or reputation.
NOTE: This policy does not apply to the personal use of social media where it is not related to or there is no
reference to Alcester RFC or its business, competitions, teams, participants, products, services, events,
sponsors, members or reputation. However, any misuse by you of social media in a manner that does not directly
refer to Alcester RFC may still be regulated by other policies, rules or regulations of Alcester RFC.
Using social media in an official capacity
You must be authorised by the committee representative for Social Media, before engaging in social media as a
representative of Alcester RFC.
To become authorised to represent Alcester RFC in an official capacity, you must have confirmed with the
committee representative for Social Media, your intentions.
As a part of Alcester RFC’s, community you are an extension of the Alcester RFC brand.
As such, the boundaries between when you are representing yourself and when you are representing Alcester
RFC can often be blurred. This becomes even more of an issue as you increase your profile or position within
Alcester RFC. Therefore it is important that you represent both yourself and Alcester RFC appropriately online at
You must adhere to the following guidelines when using social media related to Alcester RFC or its business,
products, competitions, teams, participants, services, events, sponsors, members or reputation.
Use common sense
Whenever you are unsure as to whether or not the content you wish to share is appropriate, seek advice from
others before doing so or refrain from sharing the content to be on the safe side.
When using social media, the lines between public and private, personal and professional, may be blurred.
Remember, you are an ambassador for Alcester RFC.
Protecting your privacy
Be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy.
When posting content online there is potential for that content to become publicly available through a variety of
means, even if it was intended to be shared privately. Therefore, you should refrain from posting any content
online that you would not be happy for anyone to see, even if you feel confident that a particular individual would
never see it.
Where possible, privacy settings on social media platforms should be set to limit access. You should also be
cautious about disclosing your personal details.
Your honesty—or dishonesty—may be quickly noticed in the social media environment. Do not say anything that
is dishonest, untrue or misleading. If you are unsure, check the source and the facts before uploading or posting
anything. Alcester RFC recommends erring on the side of caution – if in doubt, do not post or upload.
Do not post anonymously, using pseudonyms or false screen names. Be transparent and honest. Use your real
name, be clear about who you are and identify any affiliations you have.
If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, point it out. If you make an endorsement or
recommendation about something you are affiliated with, or have a close relationship with, you must disclose that
The web is not anonymous. You should assume that all information posted online can be traced back to you. You
are accountable for your actions both on and offline, including the information you post via your personal social
Use of disclaimers
Wherever practical, include a prominent disclaimer stating who you work for or are affiliated with (e.g. member of
Alcester RFC) and that anything you publish is your personal opinion and that you are not speaking officially. This
is good practice and is encouraged, but don't count on it to avoid trouble -– it may not have legal effect.
If you are an employee of Alcester RFC, you must ensure that your personal use of social media does not
interfere with your work commitments or productivity.
Respect confidentiality and sensitivity
When using social media, you must maintain the privacy of Alcester RFC’s confidential information. This includes
information that is not publically accessible, widely known, or not expected to be shared outside of Alcester RFC.
Remember, if you are online, you are on the record—much of the content posted online is public and searchable.
Within the scope of your authorisation by Alcester RFC, it is perfectly acceptable to talk about Alcester RFC and
have a dialogue with the community, but it is not okay to publish confidential information of Alcester RFC.
Confidential information includes things such as details about litigation, unreleased product information and
unpublished details about our club: e.g. team, coaching practices, financial information and trade secrets.
When using social media you should be considerate to others and should not post information when you have
been asked not to, or where consent has not been sought and given. You must also remove information about
another person if that person asks you to do so.
Permission should always be sought if the use or publication of information is not incidental, but directly related to
an individual. This is particularly relevant to publishing any information regarding minors. In such circumstances,
parental or guardian consent is mandatory.
Gaining permission when publishing a person’s identifiable image
You must obtain express permission from an individual to use a direct, clearly identifiable image of that person.
You should also refrain from posting any information or photos of a sensitive nature. This could include accidents,
incidents or controversial behaviour.
In every instance, you need to have consent of the owner of copyright in the image.
Complying with applicable laws
Do not post or link to content that contains illegal or indecent content, including defamatory, vilifying or misleading
and deceptive content.
Abiding by copyright laws
It is critical that you comply with the laws governing copyright in relation to material owned by others and Alcester
RFC’s own copyrights and brands.
You should never quote or use more than short excerpts of someone else's work, and you should always attribute
such work to the original author/source. It is good practice to link to others' work rather than reproduce it.
Discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying
The public in general, and Alcester RFC's employees and members, reflect a diverse set of customs, values and
points of view.
You must not post any material that is offensive, harassing, discriminatory, embarrassing, intimidating, sexually
explicit, bullying, hateful, racist, sexist or otherwise inappropriate.
When using social media you may also be bound by Alcester RFC’s values and Anti-Discrimination, Harassment,
Safeguarding and Bullying Policies.
Avoiding controversial issues
Within the scope of your authorisation by Alcester RFC, if you see misrepresentations made about Alcester RFC
in the media, you may point that out to the relevant authority in your Alcester RFC. Always do so with respect and
with the facts. If you speak about others, make sure what you say is based on fact and does not discredit or
belittle that party.
Dealing with mistakes
If Alcester RFC makes an error while posting on social media, be up front about the mistake and address it
quickly. If you choose to modify an earlier post, make it clear that you have done so. If someone accuses Alcester
RFC of posting something improper (such as their copyrighted material or a defamatory comment about them),
address it promptly and appropriately and if necessary, seek legal advice.
Conscientious behaviour and awareness of the consequences
Keep in mind that what you write is your responsibility, and failure to abide by these guidelines could put your
membership at risk.
You should always follow the terms and conditions for any third-party sites in which you participate.
Branding and intellectual property of Alcester RFC
You must not use any of Alcester RFC’s intellectual property or imagery on your personal social media without
prior approval from Alcester RFC.
Alcester RFC’s intellectual property includes but is not limited to:
- Imagery which has been posted on Alcester RFC official social media sites or website.
You must not create either an official or unofficial Alcester RFC presence using the organisation’s trademarks or
name without prior approval from Alcester RFC.
You must not imply that you are authorised to speak on behalf of Alcester RFC unless you have been given
official authorisation to do so by the committee, or a member of the committee.
Where permission has been granted to create or administer an official social media presence for Alcester RFC,
the committee representative for Social Media should also be added as an additional administer, so that
adherence to the Alcester RFC Branding Guidelines, can be more easily achieved.
Breaches of this policy include but are not limited to:
- Using Alcester RFC’s name, motto, crest and/or logo in a way that would result in a negative impact for the organisation, clubs and/or its members.
- Posting or sharing any content that is abusive, harassing, threatening, demeaning, defamatory or libellous.
- Posting or sharing any content that includes insulting, obscene, offensive, provocative or hateful language.
- Posting or sharing any content, which if said in person during the playing of the game would result in a breach of the rules of the game.
- Posting or sharing any content in breach of Alcester RFC’s anti-discrimination, racial discrimination, sexual harassment, safeguarding or other similar policy.
- Posting or sharing any content that is a breach of any British law.
- Posting or sharing any material to our social media channels that infringes the intellectual property rights of others.
- Posting or sharing material that brings, or risks bringing Alcester RFC, its affiliates, its sport, its officials, members or sponsors into disrepute. In this context, bringing a person or organisation into disrepute is to lower the reputation of that person or organisation in the eyes of the ordinary members of the public.
Reporting a breach
If you notice inappropriate or unlawful content online relating to Alcester RFC or any of its members, or content
that may otherwise have been published in breach of this policy, you should report the circumstances
Via any means of communication inform the committee representative for Social Media, or any Alcester RFC
committee member, of the nature of the breach of the rules.
A copy (by screen capture, of other means), should not be attempted as sending this to the Alcester RFC
members, would in itself be a breach of the rules.
Alleged breaches of this social media policy may be investigated according to this policy and in line with Alcester
RFC’s Disciplinary procedure.
Where it is considered necessary, Alcester RFC may report a breach of this social media policy to police.
Disciplinary process, consequences and appeals
Depending on the circumstances breaches of this policy may be dealt with in accordance with the disciplinary
procedure contained in the Alcester RFC’s Member Protection Policy.
Employees of Alcester RFC who breach this policy may face disciplinary action up to and including termination of
employment in accordance with Alcester RFC Member Protection Policy or any other relevant policy.
Any person who is sanctioned under a disciplinary process for breach of this policy may have a right of appeal to
the full committee.
- Code of Conduct
- Anti-Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Policy
- Acceptable IT use Policy
- Member Protection Policy
- Grievance Policy
- Child Protection Policy
- Appeals & Resolution Procedures Policy
Other legal considerations that may be applicable include but are not limited to:
- Intellectual property laws, including copyright and trade mark laws, Privacy, confidentiality and information security laws
- Anti-discrimination laws
- Employment laws
- Advertising standard
- Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
- Information Privacy Act 2000
- Equal opportunity laws
- Contempt of Court
- Gaming laws
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