Club Social Media Guidelines

Published on 4 April 2024 at 17:07

Online safety and social media policy


This policy has been developed to inform our club members about using social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tik Tok, Instagram and all other social networking sites and forums) so people feel enabled to participate, while being mindful of their responsibilities and obligations. In particular, this policy provides practical guidance allowing all parties to benefit from the use of social media, while minimising potential risks and protecting those involved.


Managing online presence

Our online presence through our website or social media platforms will adhere to the following guidelines:

• all social media accounts will be password-protected, and at least 2 members of the club will have access to each account and password

• the account will be monitored by at least two designated volunteers in order to provide transparency, who will have been appointed by the organisations committee

• the designated volunteers managing our online presence will seek advice from our designated welfare officer to advise on safeguarding requirements

• designated volunteers will remove inappropriate posts by club members, explaining why, and informing anyone who may be affected (as well as the parents of any children involved)

• clubs should decline requests from children under 13 to join the club’s social media accounts (under 16s for whatsapp)

• we’ll make sure all club members are aware of who manages our social media accounts and who to contact if they have any concerns about something that’s happened online

• our account, page and event settings will be set to ‘private’ so that only invited members can see their content

• identifying details such as a club members home address, school name or telephone number shouldn’t be posted on social media platforms

• any posts or correspondence will be consistent with our aims and tone as a club

• parents will be asked to give their approval for us to communicate with their children through social media, via video conferencing platforms or by any other means of communication

• any members not wishing for their photo to be included in any social media posting should opt out of social media inclusion when signing up to Spond. Any member wish to change their consent may do so by contacting the membership secretary.

• video conferencing sessions will be password protected in order to maintain children’s privacy and prevent exposure to inappropriate or harmful content by third parties


Online behaviours

The code of conducts state the expected behavioural stanadrds, this includes behaviour on social media.  Here is some specific does and donts to consider before posting on social media:

• Pause and think about what you are saying and the impact it might have

• Be careful, respectful and positive. You are personally responsible for what you post. If in doubt, don’t post it.

• Think about your image – ‘what do I want people to think about me or my club?’

• Consider who you are interacting with - you will likely come into contact online with under 18s. Familiarise yourself with safeguarding regulations in relation to engaging with under 18s.

• Respect confidentiality within the team e.g. tactics, squad information, announcements, coaching advice, training sessions.

• Remember many different audiences will see your posts including Club members, potential members, children, member's relatives, and friends.

• Be smart about protecting yourself, your privacy, and confidential information. What you publish is widely accessible and will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully and your privacy settings.

• Don’t post content that discriminates against individuals or groups on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage & civil partnership, pregnancy & maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation.

• Don’t write anything on social media channels that you wouldn’t feel comfortable seeing in a newspaper or hearing on TV. Everything you write is treated as a direct quote i.e. ‘Don’t tweet what you wouldn’t say to your mum/gran’ or ‘Think before you tweet’ or ‘Would I say this face to face with someone?

• Don’t speak negatively about other club members, competitors, officials or governing bodies. Never use slurs, personal insults or obscenity. Be professional and respectful.

• Be in the right state of mind when you make a post. Don't post when you're angry, upset, or your judgement is impaired in any way. Be very careful what you say, do and post because once it’s on a social media channel, it can go viral very quickly. 

• Don’t engage in on-line disputes and don’t allow family or friends to argue on your behalf.


What we expect from our club volunteers

• volunteers should be aware of this policy and behave in accordance with it

• volunteers should seek the advice of the designated welfare officer if they have any concerns about the use of the internet or social media

• volunteers should communicate any messages they wish to send out to children to the designated staff responsible for the organisation’s online presence

• volunteers should not communicate with children via personal accounts

• volunteers should not ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ children from personal accounts on social media and maintain the same professional boundaries online as they would in person when using club accounts

• volunteers should make sure any content posted on public personal accounts is accurate and appropriate as club members may ‘follow’ them on social media

• rather than communicating with parents through personal social media accounts, volunteers should choose a more formal means of communication, such as face-to-face, in an email or in writing, or use a club account or website

• emails or messages should maintain the clubs tone and be written in a professional manner, e.g. in the same way you would communicate in a professional setting, avoiding kisses (X’s) or using slang or inappropriate language

• volunteers should not delete any messages or communications sent to or from club accounts

• volunteers should undertake all online safety training offered and gain a basic knowledge of the platforms and how to report or remove inappropriate content online

• any concerns reported through social media should be dealt with in the same way as a face-to-face disclosure, according to our safeguarding procedure

• at least one parent must be present during the delivery of any activities via video conferencing platforms at home

• any delivery of activities to children via video conferencing platforms will be supported by an additional member of staff (even if they’re not actively delivering) to ensure transparency

• club members must not engage in ‘sexting’4 or send pictures to anyone that are obscene


What we expect of club members

• members should be aware of this online safety and social media policy and the behaviours set out

• we expect members behaviour online to be consistent with the guidelines set out in the code of conducts and anti bullying statement

• members should take the necessary steps to protect themselves online.  Children follow the age restructions set out by social media companies


What we expect of parents and carers

• parents should be aware of this online safety policy and agree to its terms

• parents should protect all children’s privacy online and think carefully about what content they share about our sport online, where they share it and who they’re sharing it with

• we expect behaviour online to be consistent with the guidelines set out in the code of conduct for parents and carers


Policy breach

Club members who breach this policy (and other related policies) will face a warning in the first instance, perisistant breaches will be dealt with through the clubs grievance and displinary policy.  

Any breaches of a safeguarding nature will be addressed through the clubs safeguarding policy and procedure and where appropraite will be reported British Rowing.


Whilst the club will try to moderate social media posts, if you do have any concerns or would like to make a complaint please contact the club welfare officer or club social media officer.