SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY

Introduction

Members of MCLTC enjoy the opportunities and rewards of a community-based sports club combined with affiliation to the Northern Cricket Union and Irish Cricket. It is subsequently expected that members will uphold the ethos of the Club in all social media
interactions. Members will not act in such a way that the image of MCLTC is brought into disrepute nor in a way that harms it’s immediate and wider reputation in the cricketing community.

Purpose

With social media a prominent method of communication for the Club, where we can express opinions, and is a key way we engage with the members of our club, along with the wider community, it is important for us to have a policy to demonstrate how we ensure we are represented in a suitable way and can take action should the need arise. We are taking this opportunity to remind our members of the importance of ensuring that all our social networking streams should be used thoughtfully and responsibly.

Defining Social Media

We have a number of social media sources which we use. These are examples of what we currently use and does not constitute an exhaustive list:

  • Facebook groups (different sections or teams in the Club).

  • Facebook pages (different sections or teams in the Club).

  • Instagram.

  • WhatsApp groups (different sections or teams in the Club).

There are many others which are not named here, but these should be considered to be electronic communication where individuals can interact online, be it within applications or on web pages, where the banner includes the Club’s name or branding, in part or in full.

Content

While the Club positively encourages social networking among members, we are mindful of the need to ensure that all content is suitable for publication and does not breach any laws or common decency. It is not acceptable to post, amongst others, items that may include reference to a person’s ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability, and any member found to have posted such items will be subject to disciplinary action. Comments of this nature may attract civil or criminal action against the author(s). In addition, any abuse of umpires, opposition etc may be deemed by the NCU to bring the game into disrepute and lead to disciplinary sanctions against both the author and/or the Club. Participants should be aware that comments which bring the game/club into disrepute, or are threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting, may lead to disciplinary action.

Data Protection

MCLTC will carry out all social media use in accordance with GDPR Regulations and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Cyber Bullying

All reports of cyber-bullying and other technology misuses will be investigated fully and may result in notification to the police where MCLTC is obliged to do so. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, suspension, or banning from membership of MCLTC. Members must be aware that in certain circumstances where a crime has been committed, they may be subject to a criminal investigation by the police over which MCLTC will have no control.

General Guidance

These are public forums, so treat them as such.

  • Members are expected to show respect to others, including other members of our club and the wider cricketing community, and to act at all times within the core values of the game.

  • Individuals and organisations are strictly responsible for any posting on their account(s).

  • Respect the rights and confidentiality of others.

  • Re-posting or re-tweeting inappropriate content represents an endorsement of that

    content and can be actionable.

  • Do not use abusive, derogatory, vulgar or sexual language.

  • Do not criticise or imply bias in match officials.

  • At all times, exercise discretion and respect for clubs, players, spectators and the game’s partners.

  • Deleting or apologising publicly for an improper posting does not prevent disciplinary action being taken.

  • Consider “protecting” Tweets and changing security/visibility of Facebook accounts. Do’s and Don’ts
    Follow the general guidelines above and:

  • Do show your personality and be approachable.

  • Do share your achievements.

  • Do let people know what it is like to be a player/official.

  • Do post regular comments to grow and engage with an audience.

  • Do report any content that you encounter that is in breach of this policy.

  • Don’t comment if you have any concerns about the consequences.

  • Don’t link to unsuitable content.

  • Don’t get into disputes with audience.

  • Don’t share or elicit personal detail.

Take down policy

The club is aware that they can be vicariously liable for material published by employees in the course of their employment, for example on an official website, Facebook site or Twitter feed, or published by employees outside work via a work email address or a work Twitter handle.

Clubs can also be liable for third party comments and postings made on any of their social media platforms.

We insist that:

  • Participants clearly identify themselves.

  • Participants follow standards mentioned above and align to the Club’s Core Values and the guidelines.

  • Should an administrator deem an article, post or comment contradicts the guidelines above it will be taken down at the earliest possible opportunity.

  • The club will hold members to account for any breaches. Reporting

    Any grievance, criticism or resentment should be directed in person to the individual or respective managers or coaches. Matters of a more serious or contentious nature should be discussed with the Club’s Executive Committee, via the Club secretary Sandra Prentice.

    Use of the Club Badge

    The Club would like to remind members that the Club badge should not be used by anyone without prior written request being made to MCLTC’s Executive Committee and approval given, via the Club secretary Sandra Prentice.

Child Safeguarding

In the same way that MCLTC has responsibility for the physical safety of Youth members when on the Club’s premises, we must also ensure that there is nothing on our website nor social media, which could harm a child, directly or indirectly. MCLTC is responsible for the content of its’ website and social media content. All material which can be posted by all members, will be moderated to ensure inappropriate content is removed.

When posting on social media there are two key risks to guard against:

  1. Disclosing personal information about a child on social media: this could be the child’s name, address, or any information about a child’s life, interests or activities which would help a stranger target a child or engage that child in conversation.

  2. Abusive or inappropriate content (photos, video or text), on social media: this includes material which criticises or humiliates a child. It could also be information which places undue pressure on the child to participate in some aspect of a clubs’ activities.

Online Photos and video

Photos and video clips can make any child featured vulnerable to grooming if information about the child (name, address, activities or interests) is also disclosed. Furthermore, posting an image on social media carries a risk that the image could be taken and adapted for an inappropriate use.

NCU Recommendations:

1. Social Media / Network Pages

NCU Coaches / Managers / Volunteers should not ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ NCU age grade players on social media. Messages left to or from NCU age grade players on an NCU social media / network sites should be written on an open page (e.g. A Facebook ‘Wall’) and not in a private message or by using ‘chat’ [oneon-one]. An NCU Coaches / Managers / Volunteers should not network or communicate with an NCU age grade players via closed [one-on-one] chats e.g. Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, etc,. This should be done only through ‘Group Chat.’ Any events or activities run by the NCU that are organised or publicised on an NCU social media or network page should be a closed event so as non- members cannot access the event without suitable permission by the site administrators.


If emails are required to be sent to NCU age grade players via an NCU social media or network site they will be sent to at least one other Coach / Manager / Volunteer. (This can be done by ‘bcc’ if necessary.) Parents/guardians will be asked to give their approval for NCU Coaches / Managers / Volunteers to communicate with their NCU age grade children via social networking sites, or by any other means of internet communications (e.g. email). Parental permission is required before pictures/videos of NCU age grade players are posted online. Any disclosures of abuses reported through a social networking site will be dealt with following the NCU and Cricket Ireland Child Safeguarding Policy.

2. Use of Mobile Phones

NCU Coaches / Managers / Volunteers should only have an NCU age grade player’s mobile number if the nature of their involvement requires them to phone or text. Parental permission should be sought if, in their role, NCU Coaches / Managers / Volunteers will be contacting children or young people via mobile phone. Texts should be openly shared between NCU age grade players and their parents. If an NCU Coaches / Managers /

   

Volunteers has an NCU age grade player’s mobile phone number it should only be used for the purposes it has been given and will not be shared with anyone.

3. Texting – Communication not Conversation!

NCU Coaches / Managers / Volunteers Texts should only be used for the purposes of reminding NCU age grade players about events which are forthcoming. If texting turns into a conversation, communications should be ended. NCU Coaches / Managers / Volunteers may suggest discussing the subject further at the next event or, if they are concerned about an NCU age grade player, they will follow the Cricket Ireland Child Safeguarding Policy.

https://northerncricketunion.org/database/thencu/Documents/NCU%20Social%20Media%2 0Guidance%20for%20Player%20and%20Parents.pdf

*NB – The above guidelines can be found at the link above.

MCLTC will abide by all the above recommendations regarding photo and will obtain consent from the appropriate responsible person(s) before using any images of children or vulnerable adults on its website or social media platforms. Consent request clauses are included in the registration form which is completed each season and are also held by the club age group administrators.

Sanctions

Any club member failing foul of this policy could face disciplinary action from the Club, which could lead to expulsion from the Club.

Author(s):

Original: Michael Wilson, February 2020. Updated by:

C 2019 MCLTC by www.spiceconsulting.org