Social Media Policy
West Norfolk Swimming Club recognises that the use of networking sites is a growing phenomenon and is increasingly used as a communication tool of choice. Although these technologies are useful and provide exciting opportunities they are also unfortunately accompanied by dangers and negative consequences if abused by users.
This Social Media Policy has been created in order to set down guidelines and advice for acceptable usage of all online social networking communications that relate to WNSC. The policy includes, but is not limited to, the following:-
Twitter WhatsApp Bebo
Facebook Snap Chat Flickr
Instagram Tumblr and any other networking sites
This policy applies to all members or persons involved with WNSC and includes Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Teachers, Officials, volunteers and swimmers.
The following rules must be adhered to at all times:-
- Never post any photos or videos or make comments that may be hurtful, untrue or upsetting, or that may be used by other people in a way you did not intend.
- Do not post content that could bring you, or the Club, into disrepute. This includes disparaging comments, anything that contains nudity, photos of a sexually suggestive nature, graphic or gratuitous violence, and anything that can be regarded as racist, biased or misleading.
- Never post any personal information about anyone else that leaves the other person vulnerable to online abuse, bullying, identity theft or exposure to inappropriate content.
Additional Guidance for Coaches, Teachers and Volunteers (Adults)
Coaches, Teachers or volunteers of the Club should not be in contact with young people through social networking sites if they are members of the club. Friendship requests from any young person in the Club should not be accepted. Contact with the child should be through the Club and the parent/guardian.
The publishing of a photo or video on any social networking site is governed by the same requirements as those contained within the ASA photography guidance. Social networks should never be used as a tool to abuse or criticise club members or ASA organisations. To do so is likely to be in breach of the ASA Rules and Regulations.
Additional Guidance for Coaches, Teachers and Volunteers aged between 18 to 21
The ASA recognises that many young Coaches will have been members of the Club before becoming a Coach, and will have been friends with their fellow members, some of whom will be 16 to 17 years old or below. It is therefore possible they will have contact details for those members and will be friends with them on Social networking sites. In these circumstances the ASA accepts that it would be inappropriate to require such friends to be removed from their contact list on the networking sites. The Coach is, however, advised to inform the Welfare Officer and the Head Coach of any friends on their networking site that they may also coach.
Additional Guidance for Coaches, Teachers and Volunteers aged 16 to 18
If the Coach is a young person aged 16 or 17 and requires contact with other Coaches aged 18 and over for professional reasons, written consent must be obtained from the parent/guardian which names the individual adult and social networking site concerned. The named adult must sign an agreement to keep contact with the young person to the discussion of matters relevant to the young person’s professional role within the club. All communications should be shared with an identified third person e.g. parent/guardian or Club Welfare officer. If the young person or adult is found to be in breach of the above, action must be taken by the club to address the concern. Or the breach can be referred to the ASA or statutory agencies concerned.
Additional Guidance for Swimmers under the age of 18
Do not ask your Coach or Teacher to be your friend on any social networking site. They will refuse, as to accept would be a breach of good practice. Use the internet responsibly and don’t place yourself at risk. Be careful who you invite to be your friend and follow the good advice of the social networking sites to ensure you are talking to the person that you think you are talking. There is some good advice on www.thinkuknowhow.co.uk
Always remember that any communications, comments, videos or photographs that are posted onto a networking site may be shared or seen by more people than you intended. Never share any photos of yourself, family or friends that you wouldn’t be happy for your family to see. Always remember social media is instantaneous and can sometimes mean that posts are sent in the ‘heat of the moment’ and then instantly regretted. Never place a comment on the internet that you would not put in writing or say out loud to someone.
Additional Guidance for Parents of Swimmers under the age of 18
Many parents are becoming ‘friends’ with their children on social networking sites, perhaps for security reasons and to ensure the wellbeing of their child. This may give the parent access to the profiles of other children listed as ‘friends’ of their child. It would not be appropriate for the ASA to prevent a parent whose own child is a swimmer from using this form of protection for their child’s online activities. The parent concerned should not have direct contact with other swimmers through the social networking site, unless prior consent has been given from the child’s parent. Where the parent has access to the child’s networking site they should not contact any other children under the pretence of being their child. Parents should be aware that posting any content on a social networking site of a derogatory nature will breach the Parent’s Code of Conduct.
General Guidelines for Parents
Prevention is better than cure, and to help protect your children, they need to understand how to prevent putting themselves in vulnerable situations. Please try to:
- Limit the amount of personal information your child has on show
- Remind your child that the internet is available to everyone
- Talk with your child about the importance of being wary of strangers
- Educate your child to be aware of potential online predators. Some people may post false or misleading information about themselves including their identities.
- Check privacy policies
- Be on the look-out for cyber bullying
- Be aware of your child’s online habits
- Guide them to appropriate sites
- Teach them about internet safety
What to do if you have concerns
You may at some point, come across or be made aware of, inappropriate use of social networking. If this is in relation to the swimming club, please inform the Club Welfare Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you or your swimmer can raise concerns anonymously with the following organisations:
- Swimline Child Protection helpline: 0808 100 4001
- www.childnet.org.uk (NSPCC support service for young people)
- Stop It Now Freephone 0808 1000 900
- NSPCC helpline and website 0800 800 5000 www.nspcc.org.uk
Consequence of actions
Please be aware that anyone posting messages, comments or any media on a social networking site that breaches the above social media policy may face disciplinary action in accordance with the Club’s disciplinary Procedures.