Social Media Policy

It’s important to remember that as volunteers when you discuss anything relating to Girlguiding or wider issues on social media, you are representing our charity, and what you say can reflect on Girlguiding.

Statement of purpose

Most of us use social media in our lives.

For our members and volunteers, social media is a great way to spread the word about Girlguiding. You can use it to talk with other members and volunteers; to share stories and inspire each other; to communicate important news and information or to shout out about our events.

There are loads of fantastic ways social media benefits us but best of all, it can help give girls a voice - which is what Girlguiding is all about.

It’s important to remember that when you discuss anything relating to Girlguiding or wider issues on social media, you are representing our charity, and what you say can reflect on Girlguiding.

This Social Media policy explains Girlguiding’s expectations of our volunteers in terms of what you post on social media. It relates to all social media including:

  • Where it is specifically identified as a Girlguiding channel, for example, a unit or county Facebook page or Twitter account
  • Where it is an adult volunteer’s personal account and they are identifying themselves as a volunteer or member of Girlguiding for example, referring to themselves as a leader or to an activity they have been involved in; or the content amounts to a crime, for example comments which are racist
  • A closed or private group

Of course, common sense is often the best way of deciding whether your post is a good idea to share online. Would you share it with your Grandma for instance? Or with the girls in a Guide unit? Does your post reflect Girlguiding’s values: to be caring, challenging, empowering, fun, inclusive and inspiring? 

The Social Media policy will guide your decisions and you must make sure you follow it. Ultimately you must follow the Girlguiding Code of Conduct online as well as offline and communicate with others in an open and respectful way.

Ultimately you must follow the Girlguiding Code of Conduct online as well as offline and communicate with others in an open and respectful way.

Definitions

Adult volunteers 

Anyone over 18 years of age who gives their time to Girlguiding without being paid. This covers all volunteering roles within Girlguiding, including volunteers who have a leadership role; or who work directly with girls or who are supporting members with no direct contact with girls. An adult volunteer may also be a member of Girlguiding.

Social Media 

A type of interactive online media that allows people to communicate instantly with each other or to share data in a public forum. This includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat and WhatsApp but adult volunteers and young leaders should be aware that there are many more examples of social media than can be listed here and this is a constantly changing area.

Relevant Girlguiding officer or volunteer 

A member of staff of Girlguiding HQ or Country/Region office or a Commissioner.

HQ 

The headquarters of Girlguiding.

Administrator 

A person who has administrative rights such as editing of group, members, content.

Young member 

Anyone who is under 18 years of age and is a member of Girlguiding.

Breach 

Not following or meeting expectations set out in our Code of Conduct or Policies or Procedures.

Defamatory 

Written statements that damage the good reputation of someone else.

Bullying 

Using your position of influence to intimidate someone.

Our expectations

All adult volunteers using social media must meet the following expectations.

1. Follow the Girlguiding Code of Conduct, our policies and procedures. Our Code of Conduct expects that you follow UK legislation. For example, you must not:

  • Place a child or adult at risk
  • Post content which is illegal
  • Use the social media channel to commit a crime

2. Social media provides a great platform for positive debate and constructive feedback, including about Girlguiding.  We work together to promote Girlguiding’s mission and values.  Therefore, you must not:

  • Make statements that may damage the reputation of Girlguiding
  • Be disrespectful of parents or girls, staff colleagues, volunteers, partners, suppliers or competitors in a social media space.
  • Publicly engage in debate where there are alternative, more appropriate channels or spaces to be used eg for complaints follow the complaints process; where a discussion is sensitive or becomes acrimonious this should happen privately.

3. Keep Girlguiding confidentiality, respect others’ privacy and follow Data Protection. For example do not:

  • Reveal confidential intellectual property or information owned by Girlguiding, or future business plans/partnerships that have not been publically communicated
  • Give away confidential information about an individual (such as a volunteer or young member contact) or organisation (such as a partner institution or supplier)
  • Post or threaten to post images of someone without their consent; for young members, you must comply with permissions given on the starting form 

4. Be respectful of others, treating them fairly and with dignity. For example, do not:

  • Make offensive or derogatory comments about sex, gender reassignment, race (including nationality), disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief or age
  • Use social media to bully or harass another person

5. Comply with copyright, making sure that you acknowledge where permission has been given to reproduce something. For example do not:

  • Use someone else's images or written content without permission
  • Share publicly a photo that has been shared with you by email or in a closed group

6. Maintain Girlguiding’s political neutrality. For example you must not:

  • Express a political opinion on behalf of Girlguiding; you must not post party political opinions from a Girlguiding account, and must be clear on personal accounts that any party political opinions are your own
  • Use your position in Girlguiding to influence others to vote for or against one or more political parties

7.  Keep yourself safe online, especially when sharing personal information or photos of your children. For example, be careful about inadvertently sharing personal details, such as photos that would show someone is in a particular location. If you are a parent as well as a volunteer, remember that when you’re sharing photos of your daughter taken when you are volunteering, you still need to comply with this policy.

What happens if I breach this policy?

If you do not follow this policy you may be considered to be in breach. This means Girlguiding will investigate according to the relevant policy and procedures.

If, in the reasonable opinion of a relevant Girlguiding officer or volunteer, an adult volunteer has not met our Expectations it may result in sanctions being applied. This can include withdrawal of membership or dismissal where the adult volunteer is not a member.

Where in the reasonable opinion of a relevant Girlguiding officer or volunteer it is considered that content is illegal or may pose a risk to children or adults, the matter will be reported to the police.

What should I do if I think someone has breached this policy?

If you are concerned that a volunteer has breached this policy you can report the matter by following the relevant reporting procedure, for example, Safeguarding or Complaints.

Always take a screen shot of the relevant posts so that they can be reviewed during the investigation.

What if the comment or content is made by someone who is not a volunteer?

Contributors to social media may include parents, young members and the public. These people are not accountable to this policy. However, they must abide by UK law so, for example, they must not threaten or harass or place a child or young person at risk of harm. Such matters must be reported to the police

In addition, Girlguiding has a duty of care to its volunteers and young members. So if in the reasonable opinion of a relevant Girlguiding officer or volunteer it is considered that content is harmful, upsetting or otherwise inappropriate, where possible (eg Facebook) the administrator may remove the content.

The leader or administrator should then contact their local commissioner for advice, who may contact HQ for support and guidance.

NOTE: Where you have concerns about the threat of immediate or serious harm to a child or adult you must contact the police and report to the Safeguarding team immediately

Members and volunteers should refer to Girlguiding’s A Safe Cyber Space and A Safe Space