Social media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

Social media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube

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User content rules - talking to us on social media sites

You are solely responsible for the content you post or make available. We are not and cannot be responsible for the behaviour of users.

We cannot provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or suitability of the information and materials offered by others.

You must only use our social media sites to post, use or send content and messages that are legal (in respect of the law applicable in England and Wales, Scotland and in any country from which it is posted) and appropriate to the page. In addition, you must comply with the standards in these terms.

Where a complaint is received via social media, the complainant will be signposted on how to make a complaint about our services to ensure confidentiality and privacy are maintained. Continuing to post to our channels on the same topic after being signposted will be considered as ‘spam’. Doing this may result in being blocked from our channels.  

We will determine, in our sole discretion, whether a contribution or any other activity breaches the standards in these terms. We will remove any comments posted that are seen to be in breach of this rule without notice. We reserve the right to remove any materials (including comments, pictures and videos) that refer to council employees by name. We reserve the right to block/remove anyone from our social media channels without explanation or notice. This is at our discretion.

You must not do any of the following:

  • defame, abuse, harass, stalk, intimidate, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy or intellectual property rights where applicable) of others; impersonate any other person or entity, whether actual or fictitious or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent yourself, your age or your affiliation with any person or entity or use or attempt to use another user’s account. Using fake social media accounts/profiles i.e., accounts that are found to be impersonating individuals, misrepresenting their identity, or engaging in deceptive behaviour to post content may result in being blocked from our channels
  • upload, post, transmit, share or otherwise make available any content that we deem to be obscene, indecent, unlawful, harmful, threatening, defamatory, infringing, abusive, inflammatory, harassing, vulgar, fraudulent, hateful, or racially, ethnically, sexually or otherwise objectionable
  • upload, post, transmit, share or otherwise make available any material which contains a statement which you know or believe, or have reasonable grounds for believing, that members of the public to whom the statement is, or is to be, published are likely to understand as a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism
  • unauthorised advertising, solicitations, promotional materials, 'junk mail', 'spam' (spam is unnecessary, unwanted, or repetitive content that clutters social media feeds), 'chain letters', 'pyramid schemes', or engage in any other form of solicitation
  • upload, post, share or otherwise make available content unless you are sure there are no restrictions on your ability to do so
  • upload, post, share or otherwise make available any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, corrupted files, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment
  • delete any required author attributions, legal notices or proprietary designations or labels in, or falsify the origin or source of, any material that is uploaded
  • upload, post, share or otherwise make publicly available any private information of any other party, including, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and credit card numbers without first having obtain their consent to this

Monitoring accounts, responding and replying

We try to respond to as many replies or comments we can, however this is not always possible. We do not monitor our social media accounts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is also easy to miss posts in busy social media traffic.

Liking and following

Please do not be offended if we do not 'like' or 'follow' you on social media.

This does not mean we do not like you or are not interested in what you have to say; it's just that the numbers can get too high for us to manage.

We sometimes follow or like people who provide information that is pertinent to our work as a local authority (for example, central government accounts, local media, and our partners) or those whose information we can pass on for the benefit of many local people.

However, just because we like or follow someone, retweet or share their information, does not mean that we endorse them.

Sharing and retweeting

We try and share or retweet information that we think will be of interest or use to residents of Central Bedfordshire, however, please don't be offended if we don't retweet something you want us to.

As a trusted organisation, any sharing of information could be seen as endorsement of a particular view, individual or organisation, and it is important that we remain impartial and protect the council's reputation.

Pre-election period or 'purdah'

In the 6 week run up to an election - local, general or European - councils have to be very careful not to do or say anything that could seen in any way to support any political party or candidate. We will continue to publish important service announcements using social media, but may have to remove responses if they are overtly party political.