Know the rules
Each social media site and platform has its own online terms and policies which apply to all users. In creating a page or becoming a member, your club and administrators may be agreeing to (among other things) payment terms, advertising guidelines and privacy policies. Make sure you are aware of your rights and responsibilities as determined by the social media site your club plans to use.
The law still applies
Despite the seemingly unregulated nature of social media, the law still applies online. Postings online (and similarly in email or text messages) are subject to the law in areas like defamation, racial discrimination, intimidation, breach of copyright and trademark infringement.
Offensive and inappropriate content
Social media when used most effectively is a conversation between users and is therefore open to comments both good and bad. Your club’s Social Media Policy should promote guidelines for responsible social media use and outline how offensive or discriminatory comments will be moderated and/or reported if serious enough.
Protecting children and young people
Young people are big users of social media and they are also inclined to underestimate the associated risks. The anonymity and immediacy offered by social media increases the potential to engage in cyber-bullying and ‘sexting’, both of which can cause serious harm.
Your club’s use of social media comes with an obligation to encourage all members and supporters – including children and young people – to use social media responsibly.
Tips for avoiding social media issues
- Develop a social media policy detailing what can be uploaded and how the club can be marketed using social media. Play by the Rules has produced a Communications and Technology Policy template. Use it as is or as the basis for developing your own document.
- Make sure that your online business practices do not contravene any laws.
- Read and understand the terms and conditions of the social media platform you will be using.
- Never upload or post illegal, offensive or inappropriate content anywhere on the internet and always report such content to the relevant authority.
- Always gain the permission of people in photos or videos before posting online.
- Monitor content posted on the internet about your club by setting up a Google Alert.
- Complete the Play by the Rules online training course. A new free course will be available from December 1.