Sennen Churchtown Hall:
Social Media Policy

Context
Within the local area there are many people nowadays who regularly use social media
as part of their every day life. The trustees of Sennen Churchtown Hall (SCTH)
acknowledge the value of social media and any website access as an important tool in
maintaining contact with interested parties, including users and potential uses of the
Hall. The widespread popularity of social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter,
WhatsApp etc.) means that it is possible to easily make contact with people
wherever they are and share information about the SCTH with the local community.
Social media is immediate, interactive and conversational, making it extremely
popular and extensively used. The attractiveness of this form of interaction sets it
apart from other more traditional forms of communication and demands a different
way of thinking and a different set of rules. As well as the many new and up-to-date
opportunities that it offers, users should also be aware of (though not put off by)
the associated risks.
The following “good practice” guidelines have been compiled to help Trustees,
interested parties and users of SCTH who are active on social media to fulfil their
presence or role both safely and sensibly and with confidence. All guidelines are
based on principles of common sense and good judgment. In particular, Trustees
should participate online in the same way as they would in any other public forum.
Their actions should be consistent with the work of SCTH i.e. taking personal
responsibility for the things that are discussed, said and written.
1. Think Before You Write!
The immediacy of social media is one of its benefits – making it possible to respond
quickly to happenings, ideas and questions and to correct misunderstandings, or give
a personal perspective about an issue.
Before posting always think:
• Have I given this due thought and consideration before commenting?
• Have I spent time reading the facts, listening to others, getting a feel for
the tone in that particular forum and giving serious thought to how I might
participate?
• Is this relevant to my role as a trustee or user?
• Is this suitable for family participation?
• Is this story mine to share?
• Would I want this comment reposted elsewhere?2. Transient Yet Permanent
Social media updates are immediate and will outdate quickly BUT they can have a
more lasting impact. It should be assumed that anything posted is permanent. Even
if deleted at a later date, it may have been seen and re-published or referred to
elsewhere.
3. “Hiding” Behind Social Media
Anonymity and ‘hiding’ behind aliases when using social media is unacceptable. It’s
also at odds with what is considered the main reason for using social media
networks. On any social media platform, if a trustee chooses a username or profile
different to a true name, include brief personal detail in the about section.
When the account is a shared one, for example, a Facebook page, it should be clear
who is responsible for the content.
4. The Blurring of Public/Private Life Boundaries
The distinction between a Trustee’s SCTH duties and private life is important. It is
important to be clear of this when online. There are risks associated with personal
opinions being seen as public statements. Privacy settings on private and public
accounts should be used wisely.
5. Safeguarding
The informality that social media encourages can mean that potentially
communicating with children, young people and the vulnerable becomes a major
“safeguarding” consideration. Communicating directly online with someone, for
example with a private messaging service, is, in effect, considered to be a “virtual
meeting” with them – i.e. in private. The best advice is to send messages to groups,
rather than individuals but ideally to share them publicly.
Please be aware of and read the Safeguarding Policy.
6. Remain within the Legal Framework
By law, if one or more people can access a comment, the content is classed as
published. It is out in the public domain and subject to legislation around libel,
defamation, copyright and data protection. Whilst sharing thoughts and reflections
with friends or followers via social media may seem personal and private, it is clearly
not so. If a person chooses not to say something in a public meeting or to someone’s
face or write it in a newspaper or on headed paper – it should under no
circumstances be said online through social media.
In addition:
SCTH will never post anything that is derogatory, hurtful or damaging.
If a posting is deemed to be offensive -the administrator has the responsibility to
access the post and remove it if necessary.7. Confidentiality
The use of social media does not change the Trustees’ of SCTH’s understanding of
confidentiality. During Committee meetings and informal gatherings, there are
inevitably private meetings and conversations, particularly in terms of maintenance,
forward planning and the use of the Hall. Breaking any confidentiality and posting on
social media is unacceptable as a broken confidence may potentially spread rapidly
and be impossible to retract. Remember: Is this story mine to share? If in doubt,
don’t.
9. Personal Security
Personal information should never be overshared. Detailed personal information such
as an address or telephone number should never be published, unless in a private
message is sent to someone known and trusted.
It is expected that any postings on Social Media from a trustee of SCTH will be
relevant, accurate and timely as well as suitable for the organisation which is
represented.
10. Photographs
Any photographs posted from specific user groups (such as yoga) will have the
permission of the person running that group.
Photographs of children can only be used with the written permission of parents.
Names will not be added to photographs of children less than 18 years of age.
Photographs of SCTH fundraising or community events may be posted, permission
from adults will be sought where possible.
11. Advertising
Advertising future SCTH events, updating fundraising information and providing
details on the “Raise The Roof” project will be a priority. Other Community events
may be promoted when there is a clear connection with the Hall, and the people
running the event have asked us to promote their event.
Facebook
Sennen Churchtown Hall page
Administrator Chris Mawer
Twitter account Sarah Judd
Website Editors are:
WhatsApp
This policy needs to be read in conjunction with the SCTH Safeguarding Policy and
Data Protection Policy.
Date Adopted: ______________________
Policy written by J Atkinson, Nov. 2016 Updated March 18
Updated January 2017
Checked by Chris Mawer, Nov. 2016
Agreed by the Committee on
Signed:
Datedia Policy