SOCIAL MEDIA AND ON-LINE COMMUNICATION POLICY WESTS JNRS AFC (2019)
SOCIAL MEDIA AND ON-LINE COMMUNICATION POLICY
WESTS JNRS AFC (2019)
Wests understands that modes of engagement and communications are quickly evolving and changing. In keeping with this the Committee and Club Members wish for their interactions and promotions on social media to mirror the club’s Mission to honour and commit to a high level of community engagement that strives to provide a safe, friendly and engaging environment for young footballers and their families and honours the club’s ethos of respect, friendship and participation.
To this end we have established rules and guidelines around social media and online communication for players, family, coaches, managers and club officials.
Modes of Communication
Email – The club utilises email as the main method of on-line communication. Families will receive newsletters during the season to keep them up to date with events and game day information. This information will be mirrored through the Facebook page and other platforms. Coaches, Managers, club officials, players and parents are encouraged to utilise email as a first point of communication. This respects the fact that not all families and players are on social media platforms and is a fast and easy way to get information out to the players and their families.
Facebook – The Club operates a Facebook page and encourages teams to utilise closed Facebook groups to help transmit information. Team closed groups must operate under the same principles and guidelines as the Wests general Facebook page. The team closed group may be used for; posting photos, training and match information, volunteer engagement and the disbursement of club information and news.
Closed group pages are open to all team members and their parents and/or carers. Players and parents from previous years will not be in the group. Age groups to run these pages are 14’s, U16’s and U18’s only. The club would prefer that U12 boys and the U13 girls do not run a page.
These team pages are to be administered by a limited number of people (for example coach and manager). Members of the club committee and an impartial third party will also be given administration access to help monitor the flow of information.
Twitter and Instagram – the club presently operates an Instagram and twitter account. The same rules will apply for these modes of communication. These platforms are seen as one way communication and will be utilised during specific times of the year, especially in the lead up to and during finals.
The Wests’ Facebook page and the individual team group pages will not be used to:
- Racially abuse and vilify someone
- To bully a parent or team members
- For inappropriate commentary on a players’ performance in a game
- To denigrate other teams, umpires, the league or players.
- There will be no use of discriminatory, defamatory, abusive or other objectional language in the content.
- The page will not spread or propagate images of any implied or sexually explicit nature or be used to promote gambling or gambling websites.
The club will look to further utilise other social media platforms and will further enhance its website. The general rules and principles listed above will apply to all aspects of online communication and promotion.
Communication with parents and players
Due to requirements under child protection the club requires that coaches, managers and other club officials (such as Umpire Coordinator and Youth Football Coordinator) WILL NOT instigate direct contact with players through text, social media or instant messaging. Any messages to players need to be made either at training or through email with the parents/guardians copied into the email. The club understands that players may contact coaches or managers directly on text or instant messaging to alert them to an injury or an inability to attend training or a game. If this occurs the coach/manager need only respond with an acknowledgement – all other communication needs to be copied to the parents (even if through social media). This is to protect the coach/manager and club officials and to ensure that all communication is open and respectful.
If teams wish to utilise communication apps such as Team App or What’s App the club requests that parents/carers are included in the group as well as player. Player participation in these groups should be done with parental knowledge and approval.
The club encourages the use of Team App as a means of communicating with the parent and playing groups.
Game Day and Training Photos
Teams are encouraged to share shots of the team in action. This can be shared on the Wests page or on the team page. The club will share post photos of players in action from all age levels. If parents do not wish for their child’s photo to appear they should contact the Club President to ask that their photo not be displayed. This can be done through email@example.com.
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
Failure to comply with the social media policy or inappropriate use of social media by club members, coaches, managers, parents and players can lead to sanctions such as, but not limited to suspensions. Breaches or complaints should be bought to the Committee’s attention through firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wests Social Media policy further incorporates and follows the Social Media and engagement policies from AFLQ, as detailed below:
AFL QUEENSALND SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE POLICY
AFL Queensland is concerned about the increasing number of complaints being made about the unacceptable use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networking sites by people involved as players or officials with AFL Queensland.
There are examples where the sites have been used to bully footballers, to criticise umpires and to make racist or sexist remarks about other participants. This type of behaviour is totally unacceptable in Australian Football and will not be tolerated.
Many of the remarks are being made by the posters believing that, because those remarks can only be seen by people they have accepted as friends on their pages, they will not be made public. Fortunately, there are enough decent people around who bring this type of behaviour to the attention of AFL clubs, AFL Leagues and AFL Queensland. This occurs even when the posts are made by friends because those people recognise the harm and distress this type of behaviour can generate.
Under AFL Queensland’s, Reports and Tribunals regulations, behaviour which is unacceptable can be brought to a Tribunal even if the behaviour did not occur on the field. As long as an incident is Australian Football related, the Tribunal can deal with it.
AFL Queensland will have no hesitation in referring to the Tribunal the misuse of social networking sites, if the misuse relates to Australian Football that is under the jurisdiction of AFL Queensland.
Inappropriate Social Media Engagement (from AFLQ)
For illustrative purposes, the Football Body is likely to consider the following engagement in Social Media as inappropriate:
a) Using discriminatory, defamatory, abusive or otherwise objectionable language in content;
b) Not to be used to denigrate other teams, the league or players
c) Accessing, downloading or transmitting any kind of sexually explicit material, violent and/or graphic images (without medical purpose);
d) Accessing, downloading or transmitting information on the use and construction of weapons, explosives and/or other tools of violence or terrorism;
e) Accessing, downloading or transmitting any material deemed to be illegal under Australian Commonwealth or state law;
f) Accessing, downloading or transmitting hate speeches and/or racist material;
g) Breaching the reasonable expectation of privacy of a person;
h) Attempting to gain unauthorised access to the computing resources of the AFL, Affiliated State & Territory Bodies or Community Bodies.
Complaints, Investigation & Discipline If a Member holds a good faith belief that content has been published on Social Media in contravention of this Policy, or which is otherwise inappropriate or unlawful and relates to the Football Body, the Member may make a complaint about the content in accordance with the National Complaint Guidelines (if applicable).
The CEO (or General Manager or nominee) of the Football Body may order an investigation into the content in accordance with National Complaint & Investigation Guidelines (if applicable). If a Member is reasonably believed to have breached this policy, the matter may be referred to a Disciplinary Tribunal in accordance with the National Disciplinary Tribunal Guidelines (if applicable).
If the AFL CEO (or nominee) deems the Social Media activity of any Member to be inappropriate, he or she may take whatever action he considers to be reasonably necessary in the circumstances