Social Media Policy
Guidance for all on the use of social media associated with Cheshunt FC.
Cheshunt Football Club Social Media Policy & Guidance
- Club Statement
- FA Information
-Players, -Employees, -Volunteers, -Officers, -Coaches
- Policy Breach
Cheshunt Football Club benefits from positive publicity generated by social media, and it uses this tool itself to promote its activities and to communicate with supporters, stakeholders and the community. Accordingly, Cheshunt FC entrusts its officers and volunteers to use social media wisely and consider the reputation impact on its name through any misuse of social media. Similarly, Cheshunt FC has a reasonable expectation of supporters, including those who post about Cheshunt FC in an unofficial capacity, to behave responsibly when using social media & referring to Cheshunt FC.
Social media offers the opportunity for people to gather in online communities of shared interest, to create, share or consume content. As a public-facing organisation, Cheshunt FC recognises the benefits of social media as an important tool of engagement, communication and marketing to our supporters and customers.
It is important that the reputation of Cheshunt FC, as well as its community, sponsors, partners, employees, volunteers, teams & players is not damaged in any way by anyone using social media inappropriately, particularly in relation to any content that directly references Cheshunt FC.
When someone clearly identifies their association with Cheshunt FC, or can be associated with Cheshunt FC, in this type of open forum, Cheshunt FC expects them to behave and express themselves responsibly and in a manner that complies with this policy.
This policy applies to all associated with Cheshunt FC and covers all social media. For the purpose of this policy, social media includes, but is not limited to, activities such as:
- Maintaining a profile page on social networking sites (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked-In, Snapchat etc);
- Content sharing including using sites such as Flickr (photo sharing) and YouTube (video sharing);
- Commenting on blogs/forums in a personal or club capacity;
- Leaving product or service reviews on retailer sites or customer review sites.
- Taking part in online votes and polls;
- Taking part in conversations on public and private web forums, message boards, gaming forums or Whats App
- Editing a Wikipedia page.
The intent of this policy is to cover anything posted online where information is shared that might refer to or otherwise affect our community, members, sponsors, partners, customers, or supporters of Cheshunt FC as an organisation and/or affect the respective reputations of Cheshunt FC, Leagues & organised competition Cheshunt FC or teams playing under the banner of Cheshunt FC have aligned to, this includes the Football Association and all competitions associated with or run by them, and FA or League appointed Officials.
Cheshunt Football Club understand everyone involved in football must recognise that the responsibility to safeguard exists both on and off the field of play. Coaches, club officials, volunteers and others in a position of trust in football need to act responsibly both on and off the field and this includes the use of electronic communications.
The Club and teams within it that set up an internet based, or social media presence have a responsibility to ensure safeguards are in place. Coaches, officials and those in a position of responsibility in the Club must ensure they communicate responsibly. Teams, their representatives & ultimately the Club are responsible for ensuring all content hosted on their websites, social network areas and any associated message boards or blogs abide by the Rules and Regulations of The Football Association (FA) , Hertfordshire FA, National League, Isthmian League, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Leagues, Eastern Junior Alliance, Cheshunt League, Mid Herts Rural Minors League, Full Time, & any other organisation a team or teams within the Club align.
The Club & Representatives should:
- Refrain from publishing offensive comments about other clubs, players, representatives or referees, or any topic that may be deemed controversial or potentially inflammatory.
- Avoid hostile or harassing communications in any posts or other online communications. To Note; ‘harassment’ is defined as any offensive conduct based on a person`s or persons race, sex, gender identity, national origin, colour, disability, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, marital status, religion or any other status identified by The Equality Act 2010.
- Identify all ‘used’ , ‘secondhand’ or copyrighted material with citations and links. When publishing direct paraphrased quotes, thoughts, ideas, photos or videos, request permission & give credit to the original publisher, author or source.
- Where the Club maintains a website, blog, chat room, video-sharing site, bulletin board, or other social media (ie Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat etc) that promotes team(s) or the Club in general, representatives should remember they are responsible for reviewing responses to online posts and resolving any concerns about the propriety of the responses before they are reposted.
- If an external blogger, journalist, news agency or any other online participant posts an inaccurate comment about the Club, a team within the Club, or anyone associated with the club, please do not respond to the post, please contact The Section Secretary, Section Director, Club Media Manager, or Chairman for guidance/advice.
- Picture, Video or Information based material associated with Youth teams, and or events or promotion involving minors should be inline with existing Safeguarding guidance, and have the permissions of parent(s) / guardian(s) in advance. (Cheshunt FC coaches & assistants are all CRB checked, have completed Safeguarding courses recommended by the FA and will be aware of Safeguarding guidelines)
- Do not use a position as a custodian of a social media account associated with the club to promote third party business, services or events where the third party does not have an existing fully recorded commercial advertising or sponsorship relationship with the club.
The FA Position on Social Media:
Pages 24 of the ‘Essential information for Players’ advises on Social Media, it applies also to Managers, Coaches, Officials & any other person(s) acting in an official or unofficial capacity on behalf of the Club.
https://www.thefa.com/football-rules-governance/discipline/player-essentials this link includes the following statements;
- You are responsible for everything on your account at all times whether or not you posted it.
- Only use words, phrases and images that you are 100% sure of the meaning of – ignorance will not be a
- Your comments may affect your future career.
- Remove any inappropriate postings as soon as possible.
- You are responsible for everything on your account including historic posts, you may no longer remember but are still on your account. Therefore you must ensure you remove all posts, which might be in breach of FA Rules.
- Be careful of what you ‘like’ or ‘ re-post’
If you have any questions or queries relating to media comments or social media issues, please contact:
Charges may be brought in respect of any comments or postings that may cause damage to the wider interests of football or bring the game into disrepute.
- Do not post, host, text or email things that are hurtful, insulting, offensive, abusive, threatening, or discriminatory as this would breach the club’s rules and could also be against the law.
- Avoid posting personal comments in relation to the management or operation of the club, club officials, match officials, players, supporters, opposition team member(s), or any family members of those above.
- Do not give out personal details online including mobile numbers, email addresses or social networking account access to people you don’t know well offline.
- (Youth players) Do not invite any adult involved with the club to become your friends online, or accept them as a friend on any social network site. They have been advised they should not to accept such invitations.
- Please do not immediately delete inappropriate text or email messages sent to you as they may form part of any subsequent investigation
- Use inappropriate language.
- Do not reveal specific, explicit, or exact information about training, fixtures and contractual agreements etc. using social media posts.
o Employees, Volunteers, Officers, Managers, Coaches
Where you have access to a Club account on any social media platform, it should be used only for Club related matters, please create a personal account for personal views & opinion.
- Please do not use club related/addressed text or emails for personal conversations, sending pictures, jokes or other items of a personal nature or engage in any ‘banter’ or comments with or about players, managers or officials.
- Please do not use club related /addressed or web based mobile phones or other form of communications to send personal messages of a non-football nature.
- Do not respond to or encourage emails or texts received from minors other than those directly related to club matters.
- Do not use language/dialogue that is directly (or could be misinterpreted as being) discriminatory, sexist, derogatory, threatening, abusive or sexualised in tone.
- Do not accept as a friend, or ‘follow’ young players or any person employed or volunteering at the club who is U18 on social networking sites, except where recognised & recorded as an organised ‘parent aware’ method of team/club communication.
- Avoid sharing your own personal social networking sites with minors involved at the football club or inviting them to be your ‘friend’.
- Do not make contact with children or young people known through football, outside of the football context on social networking sites.
- Do not post personal comments in relation to the management or operation of the club, club officials, match officials, children, parent/guardian or opposition teams or any family members of those groups.
- Please do not delete any inappropriate text or email messages sent to you as they may form part of any subsequent investigation.
Please be part of the communications between the club, you and your child. Open communication about club activities/ issues often mean that concerns are picked up early and issues can be resolved more easily.
- Know who the club Child Safeguarding Officer is and how to contact them if you have any concerns about the content of club web pages or in relation to the welfare of your child
- Ensure you are aware of how coaches, managers and other members of the club should communicate with your child
- Please familiarise yourself with The FA guidance for clubs in relation to websites, text messaging and social networking sites
- Please understand the club’s communication practices. If the club uses text messages, WhatsApp or emails as a source of communication you may request to be copied into anything sent to your child.
- Ensure your child understands that they should tell someone that they trust about any communications that make them feel uncomfortable or when they’ve been asked not to tell their parent/carer or coach about the communication.
- Remember as a parent/carer of a child at the club you and your child are responsible for and need to abide by the club policy, The aligned League Policy Guidance your team is associated with, and The FA Rules and Regulations regarding comments that you place online about the club or club officials, The League, FA, players, managers, match officials, opposing teams players or family members of any of those groups.
- Inform the club Child Safeguarding Officer as soon as possible if you or your child receives any inappropriate communication from any member of staff/volunteer or other person associated with the club and ensure you save the communication for reference.
- Parents should avoid the use social media to speak ill of the club or any staff or associates, or to comment on players, training or matches. Instead please raise your concern with the appropriate team manager, section lead, or Child Safeguarding Officer if relating to a minor.
A breach of this policy would need to be considered by the appropriate Team Manager > Child Safeguarding Officer > Secretary & Operational Committee for the team involved, level dependent on the nature & extent of the breach, and could engage the Club Directors if required.
All reports of a breach or technology misuse will need to be investigated and may need to result in notification to the Police where Cheshunt Football Club is obliged to do so. Everyone must be aware that in certain circumstances where a crime has been committed, they may be subject to a criminal investigation by the police, at which point, Cheshunt Football Club will have no further control or influence on outcome.
Internal sanctions may include, but are not limited to, a suspension, or ban from Cheshunt Football Club. The aligned League & The FA may also take action in the form of a suspension, ban & or fine.
Further information is available from the FA, via their 2020-21 Handbook available online here & also as a PDF document.
Assistance and/or advice may be sought from the manager or coach of the respective team at Cheshunt FC you are aligned with at the time, or the following club representatives;
Chairman. Dean Williamson
Club Safeguarding Officer Neil Harrison
Secretary Cheshunt Youth & Girls Gary Allen
Committee Member responsible for Diversity. Glenn Williamson
Secretary 1st Team Cheshunt Women FC & FA. Nigel Griffiths
Communications Manager Howard Bailey