Social Media Guidelines
Version control ref: 28 May 2021
Reply and responding to messages
We aim to respond to as many replies or comments where a response is required. This isn’t always possible, and we can sometimes miss posts, particularly when there is heavy social media traffic.
We will sometimes need to forward your questions to other colleagues to get the information you require. This means that we may not be able to provide an answer right away, but we will give you an indication of when you are likely to get it.
It should be noted that our social media accounts are not monitored 24/7. If your query is urgent, serious or involves personal details, please use Contact Us where you will also find links to our Complaints and Feedback pages.
Where online communities have their own rules and guidelines, we’ll normally follow those.
Where possible, we will rely on the measure of protection and intervention which the social networking site already has in place (e.g. against illegal, harmful or offensive content), for example by flagging comments or alerting them to breaches of the site’s terms and conditions.
We also have some of our own rules.
We reserve the right to remove any contributions that break the rules of the relevant community, or any of the following guidelines:
- Don’t post messages that are unlawful, defamatory or libellous, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, racially offensive or discriminatory.
- Don’t bully, harass or intimidate any individual or organisation.
- Don’t impersonate someone else.
- Don’t swear.
- Be civil, tasteful and relevant.
- Don’t post content copied from elsewhere, which you don’t own the copyright for.
- Don’t post the same message, or very similar messages, repeatedly (also called 'spamming').
- Don’t publicise your, or anyone else’s, personal information.
- Don’t advertise products or services.
- Don’t post political comments.
Please take care not to make defamatory statements when posting on our pages. By publishing such a statement we can both get into serious trouble. We will therefore take down any statement that we consider could be deemed to be defamatory.
We encourage you not to share private or sensitive information via social media. This is because, depending on the social media involved, other people may be able to see your information. If you want to share personal information with us, please use Contact Us to find out the most appropriate way to get in touch.
Blocking and unfollowing
If we block your account, this will probably be because you’ve contravened the rules of a particular social media space or that you’ve followed or liked the council purely to promote a product or service. If for some reason we unfollow, or unlike you, it may be that we’re going through a review of accounts or simply cutting down on numbers. If you see that we’ve unfollowed or unliked you, please don’t take this as a sign of personal rejection.
Liking and following
We can’t like or follow everyone as sometimes the numbers of accounts are just too high for us to manage. So, please don’t be offended if we don’t.
We frequently follow or like people who provide information that is pertinent to our work as a Scottish Local Authority (for example Scottish or UK government agencies, local media, and our other public sector partners) or those whose information we can pass on for the benefit of local citizens.
There will also be times we’ll need to like or follow an account in order to take part in conversations.
Please remember that while we may like or follow someone, retweet or share their information, it doesn’t mean that we endorse them.
Sharing and retweeting
We try to share or retweet information that we think will be of interest or use to North Ayrshire citizens and businesses. However please don’t be offended if we don’t share or retweet something you ask us to – it’s important that we remain impartial at all times.
Posts of a political nature
The council must remain politically neutral at all times and we will, therefore, not retweet, favourite, @mention, like and share any local / national politicians, people aligned to political parties or people whose avatars have a clear political bias such as a party political logos. This is because the council is barred from either producing political publicity or assisting others to do so.