Use of Social Media


Agreed at Business Committee 10 January 2014 and formally adopted at the 31st AGM 27 June 2014

1 Introduction
This guidance covers all members of City of Durham Constituency Labour Party.
‘Social media‘ is the term commonly given to websites, online tools and technologies which allow users to interact with each other by sharing information, opinions and knowledge online. Examples are Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube but there are many similar sites.
‘Cyber bullying’ is the term used to describe bullying, harassment and victimisation conducted via social networking channels. This can often occur in blogs or social networking sites and by posting photographs or offensive or threatening comments about colleagues.

2 Guidance on the personal use of social media
Social media is easily accessible and any content posted may be viewed immediately by people who are not known to the member.
Members should also be aware that they can be held personally liable for their actions on social networking sites, which could result in external individuals or organisations instigating legal action against them.
Members should think carefully about posting information and below is general guidance for members to consider. Members should:
Make it clear that their views are their own and not those of the Labour Party. This is particularly important if the member could be viewed as being in a position of responsibility within the party and the messages posted could be construed as an official statement.
Be aware that they are personally responsible for any content they post or write online and that this can result in the information being permanently available and therefore available to be republished in other media in the public domain.
Not publicise any personal or confidential information, such as contact details or photographs.
Understand their own online privacy settings. Settings must be checked and members should be clear who can see their information.
Be aware that their account may be vulnerable to hacking, which has become a problem for some social media sites.

3 Inappropriate personal use
Outlined below are examples of conduct which may lead to disciplinary action being taken against a member. This list is not exhaustive and each case will be determined on the individual facts.
Under no circumstances make offensive comments about, or to colleagues on the internet. Harassment, cyber-bullying and discrimination will not be tolerated and would be deemed a disciplinary offence which may constitute gross misconduct.
Expressing any, defamatory or unlawful comments, e.g. making inappropriate comments about constituency activities and policies to friends on Facebook.
‘Following’ potentially negative, defamatory or unlawful third party social media feeds, e.g. “liking” comments relating to extremist organisations.
Publishing/disclosing any rumours, internal or confidential information about the Party or its members.
Breaching Copyright or the Data Protection Act.
Members must ensure that all communication/videos/behaviour online does not breach Equality and Diversity Policy or damage the reputation of the party.

4 Reporting process
If a member acts inappropriately whilst accessing social media, they must attempt to rectify it immediately but should inform the Constituency secretary.
Any member who believes they have been subject to cyber bullying should report the behaviour in writing to the Constituency secretary.
If a member believes that another member has breached this guidance, for example by posting inappropriate or offensive remarks, this should be reported in writing to the secretary.
Members are advised not to respond online to anything they believe to be inappropriate.

City Of Durham CLP
January 2014