Old Rutlishians’ Cricket Club Social Media Policy – key points

– Confidential stuff – don’t post this on social media;

– Let’s keep stuff positive, open, honest and transparent;

– We’re one club, one Old Rutlishians’, let’s keep it that way;

– We want to be highly competitive on the field, online let’s not criticise the opposition;

– Cyber bullying – very simply, it has no place here;

– Don’t get into online arguments – no one wins;

– If you think you’re posting something controversial, you probably are, so don’t.

– Within the Senior section, we run numerous Whatsapp Groups, due to GDPR legislation we are unable to invite anyone under the age of 18 into these groups.


Old Rutlishians’ Cricket Club Social Media Policy – in detail

This policy governs the publication of messages and other material, and commentary, on social media by members of Old Rutlishians’ Cricket Club (“the club”). For the purposes of this policy, social media means any facility for online publication and commentary, including, and without limitation, blogs, wiki’s, and social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. This policy is in addition to and complements any existing or future policies regarding the use of technology, computers, e-mail and the internet.


Other than by way of incidental mention of membership in personal social media on topics unrelated to the club. Club members, whether or not Players, Officials, Coaches, or Officers of the Club are not allowed to publish or comment via social media in any way that suggests they are doing so on behalf of or in connection with the club. Team captains are free – in fact encouraged – to publish or comment via social media subject always to observance of this policy, as long as they identify themselves as a club member or purports to be acting on behalf of the club.


Publication and commentary on social media carries similar obligations to any other kind of publication or commentary (i.e. printed press and broadcast media).


All uses of social media must follow the same standards of conduct, behaviour and ethics that Old Rutlishians’ Cricket Club members must otherwise follow.


  1. Setting up Social Media Channels


Social media identities, logon IDs and user names may not use the club’s name without prior approval from a member of the Club Committee. It is preferable to have 1 official social media channel per type (i.e. 1 Facebook Page, 1 Twitter account), these will be the recognised channels through which the club and its members broadcasts messages to the community, any additional (unofficial) channels will not have the express permission of the Committee and the broadcast of club messages via these unofficial channels will be deemed to be against the terms of the social media policy. Communications then should be clear and consistent and not clash against other messages.


  1. Confidential information


It’s perfectly acceptable to talk about Club exploits and have a dialogue with the community – that’s really what social media is about – but it’s not okay to publish confidential information or gossip.


  1. Protect your own privacy


Privacy settings on social media platforms should be set to allow anyone to see profile information similar to that which may appear on our website. Other privacy settings that might allow others to post information or see information that is personal should be set to limit access. Be mindful of posting information that you would not want the general public to see.


  1. Protect the privacy of others


Club members should not publish personal or confidential details about others on social media.


  1. Transparency


Do not blog or post anonymously, using pseudonyms or false screen names. We believe in transparency, openness and honesty. Use your real name, be clear who you are, and, where appropriate, identify that you are a member of the club. Nothing gains you notice in social media more than honesty – or dishonesty. Do not say anything that is dishonest, untrue, or misleading. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, point it out. Also be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy. What you publish will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully and also be cautious about disclosing personal details.


  1. One Old Rutlishians’


Don’t post anything on social media which potentially pits one part of the club against another. We are all on the same page in wanting the best for the club now and in the future, so let’s keep it that way.


  1. Respect copyright laws


It is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use or fair dealing of copyrighted material owned by others; including the club’s own copyright, trademarks and brands. You should never quote more than short excerpts of someone else’s work, and always attribute such work to the original author/ source. It is recognised good practice to link to others’ work rather than reproduce it.


  1. Respect your audience, the community, the club, opposing players and officials


The public in general, and the club’s members and competitors, reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. Don’t say anything contradictory or in conflict with the club’s ethos. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, but do so respectfully. This includes not only the obvious (no ethnic or racial slurs, nothing of a sexist nature, no offensive or defamatory comments, personal insults, obscenity), but also proper consideration of privacy and of topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory – such as politics and religion. Use your judgment and be sure to make it clear that the views and opinions expressed are yours alone and do not represent the official views of the club.


If you’re ever in doubt as to whether something you’re about to post is inappropriate, it probably is.


We are a big, inclusive club reflective of a very wide community. That is one of our strengths – let’s keep it that way.


  1. Cyber Bullying


Remember that you have the right to block anyone who bullies you and report them to the social network so they can take down anything offensive. In addition any bullying involving club members should be reported to the Committee (or the club’s Welfare Officer if the victim is under 18). Cyber bullying can occur via text messages, using Facebook, chat rooms, Twitter and other media types (pictures, video, audio recordings). Whatever type is used, if the end result is harassment or use of threatening behaviour, then that could be against the law and can result in criminal prosecution. Be aware of this behaviour, if it is happening to you or another club member, report it straight away.


Basically, in no way is this acceptable and the club will not look kindly on any such examples.


  1. Controversial issues


If you see misrepresentations made about the club in the media, you may point that out. Always do so with respect and with the facts. If you speak about others, make sure what you say is factual and that it does not disparage that party. Avoid arguments, online disagreements may earn traffic, but nobody wins in the end. Don’t try to settle scores or goad competitors or others into inflammatory debates. Make sure that what you are saying is factually correct.


Online content should be of interest. Don’t let interest lapse into bad taste or controversy for its own sake.


  1. Be the first to respond to your own mistakes


If you make an error – and we all do – be honest about your mistake and correct it quickly. If you choose to modify an earlier post, make it clear that you have done so. If someone accuses you of posting something improper (such as their copyrighted material or a defamatory comment about them), deal with it quickly, inform the Committee.


Ideally, remove it immediately in order to lessen the possibility of legal action.


  1. Disclaimers


Many social media users include a prominent disclaimer saying what club they are with, but that they’re not speaking officially. This is good practice and is encouraged, but don’t count on it to avoid trouble – it may not have much legal effect.


  1. Social Media tips


The best way to be interesting, stay out of trouble, and have fun is to write about what you know. There is a good chance of being embarrassed by a real expert, or of being boring if you write about topics you are not knowledgeable about. The speed of being able to publish your thoughts is both a great feature and a great downfall of social media. The time to edit or reflect must be self-imposed. If in doubt over a post, or if something does not feel right, review it again before publishing it, or ask someone else to look at it first.


Great, topical online comment is increasingly of importance, pushing Old Rutlishians’ to the fore and creating positive engagement with a range of communities – social media can and should be a force for good.


  1. Enforcement


Wilful violation of this Policy by members will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Club Rules up to and including expulsion from the Club.


Let’s hope everyone exercises common sense and it does not come to that.