Social media acceptable use policy

This page sets out the Council’s social media acceptable use policy across all its social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, You-Tube, LinkedIn, NextDoor).

We understand that people have differing views on many issues, however any form of cyber-bullying is not acceptable on any platform.

Our social media platforms are here to provide information and advice to our residents, and we welcome comments and engagement with our content.

While we will actively monitor our platforms, if you do notice any offensive comments on our sites at any time, please send us a private message and let us know. 

Action

We’ll take immediate action on our accounts if content in any format (such as comments, videos, images, GIFs, attachments, links, emojis) is: 

  • Defamatory, slanderous, misleading or false
  • Abusive or threatening – this includes swearing, adapted spellings with the same meaning, etc
  • Intimidatory towards our staff, elected members or other platform users
  • Inciting hate crime or hate crime words – see Sussex Police
  • Obscene, profane or sexually oriented
  • Discriminatory in any way
  • Promoting illegal activity
  • Promoting individual products or services
  • Completely off topic
  • The same message posted multiple times, otherwise known as ‘spamming’
  • Controversial, irrelevant and off topic, otherwise known as ‘trolling’ 

If your content relates to the list above, we may hide or delete it. We’ll respond publicly to your content and via direct message asking you to remove it immediately. If you do not take action, we may block your access to our social media accounts. We’ll tell you that we’re doing this.

Depending on the content, we will also screenshot the posts and consider legal action or sending them on to the police for investigation. If we think that the content you post is explicit, we will take immediate action to delete the post and block your access to our accounts.

Hate crime

Hate crime is defined as any incident that’s seen by the victim (or any other person) as being motivated by prejudice or hate towards their actual or perceived social identity. Social identities include:

  • Disability
  • Gender identity
  • Race, ethnicity or nationality
  • Religion, faith or belief
  • Sexual orientation

Hate and harassment can take the form of criminal or non-criminal behaviour and can include offensive comments or images on social media or text messages.

Find out more about hate crime, including how to report hate and harassment on the Sussex Police website.

Allegations against council staff and elected members 

We have a zero-tolerance approach toward fraud and corruption in our organisation. If you make an allegation on our social media accounts against the council, a member of staff or an elected member, we’ll ask you to report it (along with your evidence) to Sussex Police, or you can report it to us via our online complaints form.

Safeguarding allegations or disclosures

If you make any safeguarding allegations or disclosures on our social media accounts, these will be passed onto the relevant organisations as part of our duty of care. It is better to raise these concerns directly via the correct channels. See our webpage Safeguarding adults and children

Complaints

We are committed to providing high quality services with our customers at the heart of everything we do. We do our best to make sure your contact with us is professional, courteous and goes beyond your expectations.

However, we do accept that sometimes things can go wrong and at these times we need to listen to your views and put things back on the right track. The Council’s complaints procedure gives more information on what is considered a complaint and how you can raise a complaint.

Pre-election period

Whatever type of election, if you post anything which could be interpreted as supporting a party or candidate during the pre-election period we may have to delete it.