These guidelines are not to replace any existing policies regarding social media use or conduct within clubs. They were developed to assist people who are involved with sporting organisations use social media in a positive and constructive manner. Each user maintains responsibility for their actions on social media sites and unfortunately, any consequences of misuse. These guidelines address a number of issues that may arise but does not replace the users need to adhere to local policy or government laws.
What, when and how
Firstly, decide what type of social media you want to use. Familiarise yourself with system, tools, and functioning of the site. Who do you want to follow your posts? Adjust your privacy settings accordingly.
Decide on a user name. Is this intended to be a self-promotion site to further education, job prospects or career? Is it for close personal friends and family, can you have a different user name?
What are you going to use it for? How often will you use it, regular posts of movements, thoughts and opinions. Updates regarding training, upcoming matches. What do you need to maintain an online presence? Will social media interfere with other aspects of your life ie family, work, sport, training?
How will you access your sites? Via computers within the sport, at home, mobile phone. Consider how any breaches may affect your access and others around you.
Have a standard
Your social media life should represent your real life. If you have certain standards when interacting with others then maintain the same for social media, if not higher. Remember your posts will be accessible by many other people and at a later time. Set yourself a moral standard and stick to it. Consider the language you use, the type of photographs you show, what other comments are on your site.
Stick to the rules
Remember there are criminal laws which govern material online. Your sport also has policy regarding certain behaviours both on and offline. Inappropriate social media will be a breach of the policy within your sport and can be dealt with by the governing body.
Remember, your social media needs to be under your control. Do not create an online identity you cannot maintain. Consider using the tools available on the site to block or limit your exposure.
Consider all actions
Nothing appears on your social media by you until you hit the send button. If frustrated, angry or annoyed hold off and post when you are feeling better. If you are concerned your post may offend, have a trusted friend or a senior person read it first.
Will your post embarrass you or others around you, do you have permission to post comments or photographs of others?
Consider any legal actions, either criminal or civil. Are you posting something threatening or defaming?
No expectation of privacy
Do not expect anything you post to be private. By posting photographs or making comments you are giving away those pictures or thoughts. They can be reused, published or promoted at any time by anyone. Consider your posts as comments to the media. Are they acceptable to be broadcast?
Who are you representing?
While you are maintaining a social media presence, you need to consider yourself first but in doing so you are representing your club, state and sport. Do your actions on social media align with the integrity of your sport? Do they endorse the same code of ethics?
Protect your personal space
Be vigilant on your social media. Consider what you are revealing about yourself. What details are your photographs showing, personal details about your address, car registration etc.
Secondly what is being posted on your site. Are there inappropriate comments from others, do you need to block or report them? Don’t be the subject of abusive or threatening behaviour. Report it to your coach or someone in authority.
You hold the responsibility for your actions. Do not post material that might offend others such as comments about their race, abilities, gender, sexual orientation or beliefs. Do not comment about others actions in an adverse manner, this may lead to retaliation comments on your sites or theirs.