Social media has changed the way we communicate, both as individuals and organisations. This includes Manly Warringah District Baseball Association (“the Association”).
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance about Association Officials’ responsibilities and obligations regarding use of social media relating to the Association, so that we can all benefit from use of social media, minimise any risks, and protect those involved.
The policy sets out to:
Establish a culture of openness, trust and integrity in all online and social media activities related to the Association;
Provide guidelines for Association Officials to engage in appropriate use of social media, whether on an individual’s personal social media profile or official Association profile;
Provide guidance on possible actions that may result from breaches of this policy.
As a general rule, any Official who posts or comments on social media must not do so in a way that negatively impacts the Association’s business, products, services, events, sponsors, members or reputation.
This policy applies to all Association Officials, whether they are in a paid or unpaid/voluntary capacity. It specifically covers persons appointed to or elected to the Association’s Board, committees and sub-committees;
Social media refers to any tool or function that allows individuals to communicate and share content via the internet. It includes, but is not limited to, platforms and applications such as:
Social networking (eg: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn);
Video and photo sharing and apps (eg: Instagram, YouTube, Tik Tok, etc);
Blogs, internet forums and discussion boards (eg: reddit);
Any other online technology that allows individual users to upload and share content.
For the purposes of this policy, use of social media falls into the following categories:
A designated individual (“authorised social media spokesperson”) representing the Association on social media, posting in an “authorised capacity” on the Association’s social media platforms and applications; and/or
An authorised social media spokesperson, posting in a “personal capacity” on their personal social media platforms or applications; and/or
Any other non-designated individual (eg: Association Officials) posting on their personal social media platforms or applications
4. Use of social media by designated individual in an “authorised” capacity
Only the Association’s Board may grant authorisation for individuals to become an authorised social media spokesperson for the Association and this authorisation may be denied or withdrawn at the Board’s discretion at any time.
If you are granted such authorisation, you are an extension of the Association’s brand and all social media activity on the Association’s official social media platforms and applications must be conducted in a manner complying with this policy at all times.
5. Use of social media by designated individuals in a “personal” capacity
Authorised social media spokespersons should be aware that even when posting in a “personal” or “unofficial” capacity, the boundary between your official and personal social media activity may become blurred, particularly for others viewing content you post. Content you post can potentially impact the Association either by:
The nature of the content posted; and/or
Your profile as an authorised social media spokesperson for the Association.
Therefore, you should exercise sound judgement when posting on your personal social media platforms and applications. Authorised social media spokespersons are expected to take reasonable steps to ensure their personal social media activity does not negatively impact the Association.
6. Use of social media as an individual
All other Officials covered by this policy who are not authorised social media spokespersons are expected to exercise reasonable judgement when posting on social media to ensure their activity does not negatively impact the Association.
7. Guidelines for use of social media
The following are non-exhaustive guidelines for using social media in relation to the Association:
Use your common sense. When in doubt, refrain from posting anything that might negatively impact the Association, or seek advice before doing so;
Be smart about protecting your privacy and that of others. Refrain from posting content that you (or others) would not be happy for the general public to see, even if you are posting in a “private” group such as WhatsApp;
Be aware that anything you post can become or remain publicly available long after you post it. Remember: the internet is written in permanent marker, not pencil;
You must remove any post containing information about another person if that person asks you to;
You must not post any private or confidential Association information that is not publicly available, unless authorised to do so by the Board. This includes information that is not publicly accessible, widely known, or not expected to be shared outside the Association;
You must not post copyrighted content owned by the Association (eg: logos, images, etc) without permission.
8. Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment
The public in general, and individuals covered by this policy, reflect a broad set of customs, backgrounds, beliefs, values and points of view.
Therefore, you must not post anything that would be reasonably considered by others to be offensive, harassing, discriminatory, intimidating, sexually explicit, racist or otherwise inappropriate.
Social media activity that falls into this category could potentially be a serious breach of this policy (see 9. below).
9. Breaches of the social media policy
The Association does not intend or desire to limit any Official’s individual free speech.
Breaches of this policy may occur when an Official’s use of social media negatively impacts the Association’s business, products, services, events, sponsors, members or reputation, keeping in mind the position held by the Official.
When a complaint regarding a potential breach is received against an Association Official, the Board members will meet to hear the complaint and determine whether an actual breach has occurred.
The Board will handle complaints based on the principles of procedural fairness and ensure that:
all complaints will be taken seriously;
the Official against whom the complaint is being made (“Respondent”) will be given full details of what the alleged breach is and have the opportunity to respond to those allegations;
irrelevant matters will not be taken into account;
decisions will be unbiased;
the verdict must be agreed by a majority of Board members (excluding the Respondent); and
any penalties imposed will be reasonable.
Where the Board finds, on the balance of probabilities, that a breach has occurred and negatively impacted the Association, the Association reserves the right to take action against the Respondent. For serious, deliberate or egregious breaches, the Board will determine what, if any, action will result.
This may include, but is not limited to:
Suspension from Association duties;
Removal/termination from Association positions;
Banning attendance at Association games or events;
Expulsion from the Association or termination of Association membership.
The Respondent may be entitled to lodge an appeal against a decision made in relation to a complaint (including a decision where disciplinary sanctions are imposed by the Association) to Baseball NSW. Appeals must be based on any right of appeal provided for in the relevant constituent documents, rules, regulations or by laws.