Social Media Guidelines

Social Media Guidelines

We live in a society that promotes free speech and freedom of expression, within the standards of what is acceptable, in good taste, non-offensive or abusive, and of course legal. Table Tennis Ulster (TTU) seeks to reflect these values and standards within out sport and encourages the responsible use of social media. Social networking is continuing to grow, and it is in our interest to sensibly and proactively embrace it.

All Players, Coaches, Staff, Board Members, Club Officials and Volunteers should pay particular attention to these guidelines when using or setting up a social media account.  These guidelines are not intended to replace existing TTU Policy, Codes of Conduct and Good Practice or individual responsibility, or the onus placed on those in positions of authority to take action in any particular case.  These guidelines are designed to provide helpful, practical advice for all involved in or associated with our social media.  Everyone should also be aware that negative or critical comments disseminated by any other means (letter, confidential report, telephone call, person to person conversation) can also lead to misinterpretation and dispute. 

TTU social media accounts will be monitored and any issues of concern will be raised directly with the contributing account holder.  If you have any doubt about what you are about to post onto a social media site and its suitability, then do not post it.  If you become aware of any comments which may be deemed to have a negative connotation for TTU, made by yourself, or any other person associated with our organisation, then please contact the TTU Social Media and Web Content Officer, TTU Child Protection Officer or the chairman so that the matter can be resolved. Contact details are available from admin@tabletennisulster.com .

 

SOME DO’S

  • DO…Report anything that concerns you.  If you see any comments or photos that concern you or you feel in the course of a conversation that somebody may need help or be in danger, report it to the relevant authority.
  • DO…Check your privacy settings and who can see your account.  Consider using private or protected accounts. If your content is for your friends and family, use a private account; partner organisations, funding partners, sponsors, etc., don’t need to see this content.  Use public accounts to promote your table tennis career and the sport.
  • DO…Be responsible!  Remember everyone can see you.  Before you write anything, remember that it is public and anyone can take your words and put them in a newspaper, on a website or the TV.  The News Media also monitors the social media and will use your words as a news source.  You are personally responsible for the content you provide and how you behave online.  Be careful and if you are in doubt, don’t post it. e.g. Stephanie Rice, an Australian triple Olympic swimming gold medallist, lost a lucrative sponsorship deal after she posted an inappropriate comment on Twitter.
  • DO…Show your personality.  Being yourself and letting your personality shine will make it more enjoyable for you.  Throwing in a few smiley faces and LOL’s (if you’re that way inclined) will make you seem more approachable and encourage more people to talk and ask you questions.  Use tasteful humour when appropriate in line with the established etiquette.
  • DO…Interact!  The more you interact with and reply to followers, the better relationships you will build with them, and the more frequently they will come back to the site and check out your page.  People want more than just facts about sports – providing them with your personal experiences and emotional stories will be really valuable to them.  Feel free also to talk about your interests and life away from sport if appropriate, while being alert to your own personal privacy and online security.
  • DO…Share your sports performances and achievements.  Take your followers with you on a journey.  Let them know what it takes to be an elite or developing athlete.
  • DO…Be honest.  Always tell the truth and correct any mistakes you make as quickly as possible.  Don’t alter older posts without indicating that you have done so.
  • DO…Consider your post content.  It might be sensible not to tweet or post comments on Facebook immediately before or after a match/tournament.  If your opponents are following your accounts, they may get useful insights into your state of mind, whether you’re confident or not, any weaknesses, injuries, etc. In addition, consider the consequences of posting content immediately after an event.  Whether you’ve won or lost, emotions will be running high and you might not post appropriate content. In addition, the press might be following your content and take something out of context/misinterpret what you are saying; e.g. Commonwealth Games England suggests that athletes don’t post comments within 4 hours of the event/match starting or finishing.
 

SOME DON’T’S

  • DON’T…Forget your rivals may be reading Other competitors may gain confidence if they read any comments you make about poor form in training, feeling tired, upset or low on confidence; e.g. A GB gold medallist rower was given the belief that he could win a medal against one of his American competitors by reading his rival’s blog: “From his blog I got the impression that he was not some untouchable superstar. He had worries and demons like everyone else. He was beatable.”
  • DON’T… Use inappropriate or offensive language in text or video content. Even suggestions of foul or abusive language by replacing letters with symbols; e.g. s@£t should be avoided.  Similarly, don’t get into disputes with your audience – instead, show that you have listened and be responsive in a positive manner; e.g. English Cricket suspended the captain of England under -19 team for his use of inappropriate language on Twitter.
  • DON’T—abuse, harass, threaten, impersonate or intimidate other users.
  • DON’T…Talk negatively about the TTU / ITTA, other competitors, countries, organisations (such as funding partners, sponsors or competitors) or brands.  Gossip or slanderous comments can be easily taken the wrong way and get out of control.  Remember that you are an ambassador for your sport.
  • DON’T…Assume anything you delete will completely disappear.  It’s almost impossible to completely remove information on social networking sites even if you “remove/delete” it from the original source.  There is no way of knowing where it may have been reposted. So, think before you post.
  • DON’T…Give out any personal information or encourage a user to do so.  It’s OK to share broad information; e.g. what town people live in.  However exact locations, names of schools, etc., should not be encouraged.  Be alert to online security issues.
  • DON’T…Forget about spelling or grammar.  While it’s good to talk like a normal Facebook user, you should try to use correct spelling and grammar where possible; most of your interactions will be with young people so you should look to set a good example.
  • DON’T…Link to any unsuitable content.  Make sure that any links you give are sending users to appropriate content and following the guidelines stated above.
  • DON’T…Openly discuss or engage in discussions about inflammatory subjects such as religion or politics.  Be careful not to make any comments that may offend others.  First think before you post any comments; how will your comment/view be interpreted?  Will it be considered controversial?  Don’t just think about how the person you are replying to will react…. comments on the internet are available for everyone to see including parents!
  • DON’T…Engage in or promote any illegal activities.  Make sure that under no circumstances do you link to or promote anything that could be considered illegal.  If in doubt don’t do it!
  • DON’T…Publish photographs of under-age competitors without the permission of them and their parents.  In particular, be very careful, even if you have obtained permission, of publishing names or any other details of under-age competitors.
 

Twitter/Facebook – Guidelines for use

TTU has online groups which will allow participants, volunteers, supporters and family to keep up to date with news and debate.

  • Facebook – become a fan and interact with the latest news, images and videos.
  • Twitter – become a follower of TTU and blog/comment about the sport.

As well as complying with Twitter and Facebook’s Terms and Conditions, please follow the guidelines below.  You are responsible for any activity that occurs under your screen name in these groups.

  • DON’T…Transmit any worms or viruses or any code of a destructive nature.
  • DON’T…Modify, adapt or hack any of the groups.
  • DON’T…Use any group for any illegal or unauthorised purposes.

You must be 13 years or older to use any of the groups.  You are solely responsible for your conduct and any date, text, information, screen names, profiles, graphics, audio and video clips, URL addresses that you submit.

We [Table Tennis Ulster] reserve the right to

  • modify or terminate the service for any reason, without notice at any time.
  • delete any unwanted messages or members on any of the sites.
  • refuse initial membership to any of the groups to anyone for any reason at any time.
  • report any criminal behaviour to the appropriate authorities.

Violation of any of these guidelines will result in the termination of your membership to the

Table Tennis Ulster groups and may result in disciplinary action.

If you have any queries, please email us at admin@tabletennisulster.com or if you want to report anything directly to the Child Exploitation & Online Protection centre please visit  http://www.ceop.gov.uk/

COACHES

Coaches are reminded that if they work on behalf of TTU or its members they must at all times uphold the highest standards of the sport. Failure to do this may lead to suspension.

Important Hints and Tips…

Privacy Settings

Review the privacy settings of the social networking site you are using.  Choose social sites and appropriate settings depending on the content you are posting.  Any information that you post should be considered public, regardless of your privacy settings since your postings could be reposted elsewhere and may be viewed by people other than your intended audience.  Everyone must ensure that the TTU Safeguarding policy in relation to contact with younger players is complied with in relation to their use of social media.

Facebook Accounts

We suggest you create (or keep) a private account to which you only accept and communicate with your close friends and family.  This should be separate from a “public” account to which you accept members of the public and use to promote yourself effectively.  Under-age players should not be friends on your private account, and you should only communicate with them through a public or club account.

Twitter – Direct Messaging

Learn the difference between a general tweet and a Direct Message and how to use them appropriately;  e.g. England cricketer Kevin Pietersen, believing he was replying to a private message, expressed his anger at being dropped from the Twenty20 and one-day squads against Pakistan, for which he was fined an undisclosed sum by the Cricket Board.

Other relevant policies are available on the ITTA website www.irishtabletennis.com.  In particular

  • P1        Anti-bullying Policy
  • P3        Child Protection Policy
  • P5        Codes of Conduct
  • P9        Physical Contact
  • P11      Recognising Concerns relating to Child Abuse
  • P13      Overnight Stays
  • P14      Hosting Young people
  • P15      Transport Policy
  • P19      Dealing with Reported Cases of Child Abuse
  • P100    Safeguarding Young People
  • P101    Using Social Media Responsibly – folding version

Parents seeking help with safeguarding internet usage can find it at http://www.netnanny.com/

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