Social Media Policy
Social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) play an important role in everyone’s job whether it be for engagement, promotion, or awareness. It is also an invaluable communications tool. However, if these tools are not used in an appropriate and respectful way, they may give rise to complaints from individuals alleging violations of relevant BC Soccer Rules, Regulations and Policies and the Surrey United Soccer Club Code of Conduct, including complaints that individuals are not acting in the best interest of the game of soccer or are demonstrating unethical conduct and or behavior.
In the case of Surrey United Soccer Club, if complaints or postings are brought to the attention of members of the Executive then disciplinary procedures may include formal warnings to suspensions from all soccer related activities, depending on the severity of the incident.
Examples of actions that Surrey United Soccer Club deems inappropriate include:
Comments that bring the game into disrepute or are unethical
Abuse of individuals by means of racist, sexist or ageist comments
Abuse of individuals by means of insult or threat
Abuse of players or officials in comments that are deemed personally insulting or damaging
Posting of pictures that are age inappropriate, racist or sexist
Therefore, Surrey United Soccer Club has adapted the following policy from BC Soccer to help you to use social media tools in an effective way and to minimize the risk of individuals acting in a manner contrary to BC Soccer Rules and Regulations and Surrey United Soccer Club Code of Conduct.
Social Media Policy
1. Respect your Audience.
Surrey is a multicultural and diverse community and it is important to be aware of and respect this diversity when posting online. Respect all and be conscious of how others will receive your message - remember your message is not bound by borders.
2. Never post or comment on discipline issues, media related issues or game related controversial issues.
Contact your team manager or if you are a coach, your designated VP if such matters arise as they will be aware of the channels to follow to deal with these types of issues.
3. Use your common sense.
If you are at all unsure about your post or comment, please check with your designated VP.
Often, any uncertainty about a post indicates it is best not to do so.
Things to Remember
1. You’re responsible for your actions.
You are responsible for your actions so always think about how your post will affect your community, club and team and those above such as BC Soccer, Canada Soccer or FIFA. Although individuals have a general right of freedom of speech, by virtue of your involvement in BC Soccer you are subject to certain limits on that right where your comments relate to BC Soccer matters. Where comments on a public forum such as Twitter or Facebook are in violation of the Rules and Regulations of BC Soccer and Surrey United Code of Conduct, there can be repercussions for the individual or team, particularly where comments and/or photos could be deemed to be improper, may bring the game into disrepute, or are threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting. In addition, re-tweeting another person’s posting may lead to disciplinary action if the original comment was improper.
This article linked is an example of a number of high profile soccer players that were pursued from a disciplinary perspective for inappropriate comments they made on social media.
2. Content posted on social media channels is permanent.
Whether you’re tweeting, blogging, posting or instagramming, the content you put out on the internet via social media is permanent – even if you quickly remove your post, it could already be too late. In addition, what you say on Twitter may be viewed instantly by many even if you or your organization does not have many ‘followers’. One ‘retweet’ by someone else could mean a comment is suddenly communicated to a far wider audience. Finally, deleting an inappropriate posting does not necessarily prevent disciplinary action being taken.
3. Others will associate you with your organization
Even if you are posting on a personal social media site, the public will associate you with the Club you coach for or represent and therefore you’ll be viewed as speaking on behalf of them. Therefore, be extremely mindful or what you are saying and about whom. This is extremely important to remember especially during time of dealing with disciplinary issues or other controversial issues.