This policy covers anything relating to social media usage by clubs and societies at SBSU. It applies to any student group committee member and anyone who has responsibility for the social media account of an SBSU student group.
For all student groups, this policy also relates to the complaints and disciplinary procedure within the Union bye laws . Any breach of this policy may leave individuals or a student group collectively at risk of disciplinary action.
Student groups also need to take into account any legislation that relates to social media usage within SBSU.
If you are unsure about anything at all, please SBSU who will be able to offer advice and guidance to help protect student leaders, group members and the Union.
Definition of Social Media
For this policy, social media is defined as any platform that allows for instant communication between a student group and it’s members or the wider public, and any platform that allows for data to be shared between it.
This includes platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Tik Tok, Discord and any other platforms that include sharing of videos, blogs, text and any other form of communication.
This list is not exhaustive and with new social media platforms that start up on a regular basis, this policy will continue to cover any social media platform used by an SBSU affiliated student group.
Social media provides excellent opportunities for student groups to recruit members, promote their society and communicate effectively with their members to promote upcoming events and activities. By doing this, it will ensure that the student group grows and develops it’s membership.
However you should be mindful that social media can be used in the wrong way and can be extremely damaging to individuals and to the student group if misused. You should always consider your social media platforms as an extension of your student groups and it’s values and aims, and make sure that you use the platforms to further these aims.
You should make sure that you engage with your members in a friendly and respectful way. You must make sure that you do not do the following when using your social media platforms:
Breach GDPR laws. This includes the sharing and posting of any personal information or data without following the appropriate GDPR guidance. This includes information such as; name; student number; address; email address; phone numbers etc, but also includes things like photos; videos and IP addresses. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) regulates data privacy for individuals in the UK and provide guidance on ‘personal data’ which you can see here.
Do anything that will be considered discriminatory or do anything that can be considered bullying or harassment. This includes making offensive or derogatory comments about an individual’s protected characteristics, using social media to bully an individual or posting content designed to harass or intimidate an individual or group. This includes any responses to any issues that have been legitimately raised by members of SBSU.
Responsibilities of Student Groups
Any social media account which is set up by the student group leaders, will be managed by the student group. Login details should be made available to more than one committee member and SBSU.
It is the responsibility for the outgoing committee every year to ensure the smooth handover of all social media accounts and logins to the new committee.
Please note that any social media posts that are put out in the name of the student group, whether that be public or privately messaged, is the responsibility of the committee and it is the committee’s role to make sure that any post does not breach acceptable usage guidelines.
Where any content is put out that breaches what is deemed to be acceptable, the committee will be expected to remove this when it is identified or when they are notified and failure to do this may result in disciplinary action being taken against the committee and/or it’s members. In extreme circumstances, where urgent action is needed to reduce risk to the Union, SBSU may remove content, or take corrective action if the committee are unable to do so.
Breaking this policy
It is the responsibility of the committee of any student group to make sure that their social media use is in keeping with the standards outlined here, and that the interaction with their accounts from their members, also does not breach these standards.
If content is posted by an individual which is deemed to be unacceptable for any reason, and the committee does not address this directly, or flag with SBSU as a concern, this could be seen as contributing to the harm or risk caused and could result in one of the Union’s disciplinary processes being instigated, or in the most serious of cases, subject to legal proceedings.
SBSU acknowledges that monitoring the interactions and conduct of others, especially via social media can be complex, therefore, committee members are advised to notify SBSU for advice and guidance if they have any doubt at all about the acceptability of content. SBSU will also support student leaders with any action they may need to take.