Social Media Responsibility Policy As a responsible establishment, employer of staff and a supplier of services to members and general public we have an obligation along with every other club or business to provide social media guidelines to protect the welfare and interests of the society in which we operate.

1.Introduction

Social networking sites (such as, but not exclusively, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc.) are a useful way for keeping in touch with friends, family and club members, and are also a great way to exchange information. However, members must not forget that what they post on social networking sites may be seen across these networks, and are reminded that they must not bring Houghton-le-Spring Golf Club (HLSGC) into disrepute or cause any distress to any other member.

2. Policy

HLSGC recognises that some members will make use of social networking in their own time, using their own equipment. Whilst there is no intention to restrict any proper and sensible exercise of the individual’s rights and freedoms, it is expected that all members will take personal responsibility and conduct themselves in such a way as to avoid bringing HLSGC into disrepute or compromising its effectiveness. This policy has been prepared to protect the privacy, confidentiality and interests of HLSGC. This policy only applies to club related issues and is not meant to infringe upon an individual’s personal interaction or commentary online. However, all members are asked to respect the privacy, confidentiality and propriety of HLSGC and those working on their behalf, and not post anything that might be considered to breach this. Members should take care when discussing information relating to HLSGC affairs as discussions can sometimes be misinterpreted and could potentially put other members or the public at large at risk. All members should be aware that any inappropriate posts made to social media sites could lead to disciplinary action and in extreme cases, civil and criminal liability. All members must take account of the following before posting to the internet, including engaging in blogging or the use of forums, video sharing or social networking sites. Members should be aware that the Committee takes the posting at any time of offensive material, and the harassment, bullying or victimisation of members via the internet and social networking sites very seriously. A breach of any of the following may lead to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. • Members must not divulge any confidential information or information belonging to HLSGC which is not in the public domain or expand upon such information already available in the public domain. • If any member disclose that they are attached to HLSGC then it must be made absolutely clear that any views expressed do not represent the official position of HLSGC but are the views of the individual. • Members cannot write a blog in an official capacity unless sanctioned and minuted by Committee i.e. representing the views of HLSGC. If, however, they give a personal opinion as an experienced person in a particular field, they must state that this is solely their view and not the view of HLSGC. Members must not use any HLSGC logo or other copyright material that infers official endorsement of the photograph, article, document or opinion. • Any photographs of HLSGC staff or members must not be used to harass, intimidate or bring the club into disrepute. • Members must not display offensive images or make offensive comments, or in any way harass, intimidate, bully, victimise or discriminate against other members.

3. Committee Members Responsibilities

All Committee members have a duty to implement this policy and take action if they become aware of any breach of this policy and should explain the club’s policy on the use of social media and networking sites and take steps to promote awareness of this policy.

4. What to do if you believe you are being harassed, bullied or victimised via a social networking site

If you are a member who believes that you are being harassed, bullied or victimised as a result of another member’s post to an internet site, it is open to you to take the necessary action. Staff should contact the Secretary of the Club or another Committee member for support and guidance on the informal and formal action which can be taken.

5 Consequences of not following this policy

Any member found to be in breach of the above may be subject to disciplinary action. If they are also found to be in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 or other relevant legislation or copyright, it could lead to criminal proceedings & prosecution.