Social Media Policy

Letterkenny Golf Club
Social Media Policy

Purpose 
Social Media has presented organisations such as ours with new and welcome communication opportunities. However, it has from time to time also presented challenges. This policy sets out Letterkenny Golf Club’s expectations on the use of social media platforms. It is in no way intended to restrict normal interaction between members but to ensure that the benefits of such a facility are realised and the negative outcomes minimised.

Objective(s)
To ensure that club members understand the guiding principles and terms of use of social media platforms used on behalf of Letterkenny Golf Club and to encourage the development of an understanding of both the benefits and constraints in using social media.

Guiding Principle
When any individual identifies their association with Letterkenny Golf Club they are expected to behave appropriately and in ways that are consistent with Letterkenny Golf Club values and policies.

Background
The Internet provides many opportunities to communicate with other members and the community. Social media platforms provide the opportunity for members to promote the community of members and club activities. Members should be aware that the use of these platforms can also be abused and potentially damage the reputation of Letterkenny Golf Club; in extreme cases this type of abuse can result in legal proceedings.
The web is not anonymous. Users of social media platforms should assume that all comments made by them will be traced back to them as individuals or to the organisation in general. When using social websites, members need to make a clear distinction between their activities as a Member and their personal activities undertaken outside of Letterkenny Golf Club. The Internet is a fast moving technology and it is impossible to cover all circumstances. This policy aims to provide guiding principles to help to exercise good judgment as well as providing specific detail on behaviour that must not be undertaken.

Scope
This policy covers all forms of social media and applies to Letterkenny Golf Club members when using any such media. It does not apply to personal use of social media websites when the member:
● Is not identifiable as a member of Letterkenny Golf Club;
● Makes no reference to Letterkenny Golf Club or issues relating to Letterkenny Golf Club.

Definitions
Letterkenny Golf Club Members: Club members, volunteers, employees and any individual authorised to represent the club.
Use of social media platforms: Any online activity where information is shared by an individual that might affect members of Letterkenny Golf Club.
It includes but is not limited to activities such as:
● Maintaining a profile page on one of the social or business networking sites (like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram);
● Commenting on blog sites for personal or business reasons;
● 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 such as message boards or editing a Wikipedia page.

Usage
All current responsibilities of Letterkenny Golf Club members remain in force when using social media websites. Online activity:
● Must not be used as a formal correspondence to the Committee or Management. Note: Inappropriate correspondences will be removed. The Committee and Management will not reply using social media. (If a member wishes to make a formal complaint about any issue he or she should do so in writing to the Secretary)
● Must not interfere with club operational commitments
● Must not contain or link to libellous, defamatory or harassing content, including by way of examples, illustration or use of nicknames
● Must not contain or link to pornographic or indecent content
● Must not comment on or publish information that is confidential or proprietary to Letterkenny Golf Club.
● Must not bring the organisation into disrepute.
● Members may not use the Golf Club brand to endorse or promote any product, opinion, cause or political candidate. It must be abundantly clear to any other user that any opinions expressed by a member are personal opinions only and do not represent the views of Letterkenny Golf Club.

Letterkenny Golf Club members posting material to social networking sites shall adhere to the following best practice guidelines:
● Think twice before posting: Privacy does not exist in the world of social media. Consider what could happen if a post becomes widely known and how that may reflect both on the commenter and Letterkenny Golf Club. Search engines can turn up posts years after they are created, and comments can be forwarded or copied. If you wouldn’t say it at a conference or to a member of the media, consider whether you should post it online.
● Strive for accuracy: Get the facts straight before posting them on social media. This is especially important if posting on behalf of Letterkenny Golf Club in any capacity.
● Secure permission: Only officers authorised to do so may speak on behalf of Letterkenny Golf Club. If you are posting material related to Letterkenny Golf Club or attempting to reflect the views of Letterkenny Golf Club, always consult with the PRO
● Be respectful: Understand that content contributed to a social media site could encourage comments or discussion of opposing ideas. Responses should be considered carefully in light of how they would reflect on the person posting the message and/or on Letterkenny Golf Club.
● Identify your views as your own: Once you are identified as a member online, it should be clear that the views expressed are your personal views and not necessarily those of the club.
● Rules: Become familiar with the terms of service and policies of sites and networks in which you participate.

Official Golf Club blogs, social pages and online forums
When using official Letterkenny Golf Club blogs, social pages and online forums, please be aware that, in addition to the responsibilities in relation to the general use of social media;
● Posts must not contain or link to pornographic or indecent content
● Letterkenny Golf Club has the right to remove any content
● Members must not use Letterkenny Golf Club online pages to promote personal projects or opinions
● All materials published or used must respect the copyright of third parties.

Consideration towards other Members when using Social Networking sites
Social media websites allow photographs, videos and comments to be shared with other users. It is not appropriate to share club-related information in unauthorised social media forums without approval from the Club PRO.
Members must be considerate to other members, staff and club; content about a member or club must be removed when requested by the Member or the Club. Under no circumstance should offensive comments be made about Letterkenny Golf Club Members and staff online. This may be deemed to be a disciplinary matter.

Breach of Policy
A breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action as outlined in Section 17 of the club’s constitution.

Reference
This policy has been drafted pursuant to Section 7.5 of the club’s constitution.

Administrator/Moderator Guidelines

All comments are moderated after they go live, and removed if deemed inappropriate by the Administrator.
The moderation process must:
● be objective and impartial and avoid any perception that posts are being censored for ‘political’ reasons.
● be sensitive to the diversity of the community and avoid any perception that it is being applied in a discriminatory manner.
● inform commenters why their post has been rejected and give them an opportunity to resubmit.

Adherence to Acceptable Usage Policy.

The Administrator has responsibility, in managing/moderating all social media communities/sites relating to Letterkenny Golf Club, to ensure that the acceptable usage policy is adhered to.

● Posts that should be deleted include but are not limited to: off-topic posts, spam, spam links, abusive posts, and expletive and hate language.
● Serious misinformation posted within the community should be corrected (and if it is defamatory, deleted).
● Users are required to register on the social media site; posts cannot be added by “anonymous” users. This can reduce spam and abusive comments, and in some cases means the Club could hand over details in the event of a law suit.
● If a user contests the decision to delete a comment, or block them, the Administrator should not enter into a discussion within the thread itself, but move the discussion elsewhere e.g. via email.
● As the Administrator of a social media channel associated with Letterkenny Golf Club, it is important to ensure that comments and posts are responded to in a timely manner.

Procedure for Setup of Social Media Sites

In line with all other communications, all social media presences set up on behalf of Letterkenny Golf Club must be approved by the Parent Committee.
Objectives must be outlined and set up is not permitted until full approval has been granted.
In relation to the usage and development of social media within Letterkenny Golf Club, the following guidelines are recommended:
● There should be a single page per social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) that represents the Letterkenny Golf Club as a whole. This page should clearly indicate that this is the official representation of the Letterkenny Golf Club and any other pages that may appear as such are not endorsed in any way by Letterkenny Golf Club.
● Content and postings added by “fans” will be carefully moderated with any defamatory comments removed. If there are any cases of bullying of other members by an individual, this individual will be reported to the social media host. These members will also be removed from the page as a result of such behaviour.

● Where postings are made that are less serious in nature, such as criticisms, such, comments will not be removed. The best course of action will be determined by those in charge of the page, the PRO and the Parent Committee.

● If the Administrator in charge of pages is unsure as to certain posting or content to be uploaded onsite, the Parent Committee should be contacted.

If you require further clarification on any of the issues in this policy please contact the Club Secretary.