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Social media policy

The social media policy of St Albans City Football Club.

Social media provides its users with the opportunity to gather in online communities of shared interest and create, share or consume content.

As a public-facing organisation, St Albans City Football Club (SACFC) recognises the benefits of social media as an important tool of engagement, to communicate with, market promotions to our supporters and support both our commercial and community partners.

It is important that the reputation of SACFC, as well as its affiliated sponsors and partners, is not tarnished in any way by anyone using social media tools inappropriately, particularly in relation to any content that directly references SACFC.

When someone clearly identifies their association with SACFC, or can easily be associated with SACFC through their employment, contractual or voluntary status, in this type of open forum, they are expected to behave and express themselves appropriately and in a manner that is consistent with SACFC’s social media policy.

The purpose of this social media policy is to provide some guiding principles for not only staff and volunteers of SACFC but also supporters (when engaging with the club’s own social media accounts) to follow when using social media.

This policy does not apply to the personal use of social media platforms by SACFC staff or volunteers where no reference is made to SACFC or any associated partners, sponsors, projects, players or staff.

The intent of this policy is to include anything posted online where information is shared that might affect our staff, volunteers, sponsors, partners, customers, or supporters of SACFC as an organisation and the reputation of both the club, the League or the Football Association and the competitions associated therewith.

When using the internet for professional or personal pursuits, all SACFC staff and volunteers must respect the brands of SACFC, our partners, sponsors, the associations to which we are members, such as the League and the Football Association, as well as other staff and volunteers, following the guidelines in place to ensure that the intellectual property of both SACFC and our partners is not compromised and the organisation is not brought into disrepute.

Guiding principles

The online world is not anonymous. SACFC staff and volunteers should assume that everything they write online, especially in open forums, can be traced back to them. Due to the unique nature of SACFC as a business, the boundaries between personal and professional profiles and any associated opinions and comments can often be blurred. As such, it is essential that SACFC staff and volunteers clearly acknowledge this ambiguity when posting anything online and consider at all times their connection to SACFC and, as such, their role as a representative or supporter of the club.

In certain situations, SACFC staff or volunteers could potentially breach the Data Protection Act or inadvertently make SACFC liable for breach of copyright. SACFC staff and volunteers should be considerate to others in such circumstances and should not post information when they have been asked not to or consent has not been sought and given. They must also remove information about another person should they be asked to do so. Under no circumstances should offensive comments be made about SACFC, club staff, volunteers, players or any affiliated partners or sponsors online including junior teams. The St Albans City FC social media accounts are not to be used for the posting of abusive or derogatory comments about individuals associated with the club, nor for the posting of comments that intend to make false allegations, mis-inform, deceive or confuse to the detriment of the followers of the club’s social media accounts.

The club will continually monitor online activity in relation to the club to check for any breaches of SACFC policy.

The social media team will monitor outgoing and incoming posts, messages or comments on the social media sites used by SACFC. They will remove any posts, messages, comments which they believe may breach any sections of the Social Media policy and which they feel may damage the reputation of SACFC or it’s partners.

Persistent offenders breaking the Social Media policy set out by SACFC run the risk of being blocked from the sites or, if relevant, reported to the authorities for severe offences.

All social media moderators shall apply to the Club Secretary for approval on any blocking of a person or block them themselves if they feel it is in best interest of SACFC, its staff, volunteers, supporters, players, staff, sponsors or partners. In exceptional cases, the Club Secretary may decide to either agree a contract of acceptable behaviour to be complied with by the person or impose a club ban upon the person – meaning that the person will not only be blocked from club social media sites but also excluded from attending any club events (including match fixtures) for a specified period of time.

This policy has been developed to provide guidance for SACFC staff, volunteers and supporters in the area of social interaction. SACFC staff, volunteers or supporters who are unsure of their rights, liabilities or actions online and seek clarification should contact the club secretary.

All appeals on blockings or bans and any queries can be directed to the Club Secretary by email to [email protected]