Social Media sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, YouTube, as well as Forums and Blogs are exciting new avenues expressing creativity, and sharing interests and knowledge. Participation in these online communities is therefore supported. However, over a number of years there have been incidents where online discussions and posting of online content have caused distress to individuals or groups of members and has detracted from the community’s overall enjoyment of equestrian events.
The RASDEG social media policy is guided by the Equestrian Australia (EA) Social Media Policy which includes:
- Defamatory, disrespectful and hateful comments about individuals or organisations will not be tolerated.
- Representatives must not bring EA or the sport of equestrian into disrepute.
- The use of obscene language and threatening comments targeted at an individual or organisation will not be tolerated.
- Comments which are contrary to the spirit and integrity of sport will not be tolerated.
- EA representatives should ensure that comments made on social media abide by EA’s Code of Conduct and are in line with EA’s Member Protection Policy, specifically
- Respect the rights, dignity and worth of others
- Refrain from any form of harassment of others
- Retrain from any behaviour that may bring EA, its member associations or affiliated clubs into disrepute.
RASDEG wishes to operate in a non-discriminatory environment where people show respect for others and their property. Respect is defined as consideration for another’s physical and emotional well being and possessions, to ensure no damage or deprivation is caused to either.
RASDEG promotes responsible use of social media and requires its members, when posting about the Club, its members or EA or club endorsed, promoted or conducted events or activities, to observe the following guidelines for responsible social media use.
- Members must take responsibility for their own words and for the comments allowed on their sites or forums. RASDEG members will not post unacceptable content, and will delete comments that contain it. Unacceptable content is defined as anything included or linked to that:
- is being used to abuse, harass, stalk or threaten others
- is libelous, knowingly false, or misrepresents another person
- infringes upon a copyright or trademark
- violates an obligation of confidentiality
- violates the privacy of others
- RASDEG members don’t post anything online that they wouldn’t say in person.
- Unless it is a positive comment, RASDEG members should connect privately before they respond publicly. When members encounter conflicts and misrepresentation in social networking sites, they make every effort to talk privately and directly to the person(s) involved– or find an intermediary who can do so–before publishing any posts or comments about the issue.
- RASDEG will not tolerate personal attacks. When someone who is publishing comments that are offensive, members will tell them so (privately, if possible–see above).
- Anonymous comments are discouraged. Authorized posters may identify themselves with an alias, rather than their real name. All content posters should be required to supply a valid email address before they can post.
- If there is a link attached to the post, does the link work, ensure you have read the information it links to and judged it to be an appropriate source. If reposting information, check the original poster is an individual or organisation that RASDEG would be happy to associate itself with.
- RASDEG prefers members not to respond to nasty comments about them, their group, event or site. If posts veer into abuse or libel, RASDEG members should advise a member of the Executive Committee. RASDEG will use informal discussion and then disciplinary and grievance procedures if required to resolve issues.
RASDEG encourages all members to “think before posting”. Members should recognize that even if posting to a private section of a social networking site, comments can appear in public areas through a variety of means and can easily be found. Members should avoid posting something they will regret now or later.
If you are at all uncertain about whether the post is suitable, do not post it until you have discussed it with a member of RASDEG’s Executive Committee. A few moments spent checking can save big problems in the future.
RASDEG reserves the right to remove posts or content on official RASDEG groups, forums or where RASDEG Inc or its committee is mentioned or as described here in without consent or consultation if the content is obviously as described above.
If a member fails to follow these guidelines RASDEG has the right to issue the member with a take- down notice. Members who are found to not comply with a take-down notice will face disciplinary action. Serious and/or repeated breaches of this policy could lead to disciplinary action. If any disciplinary action is taken, persons directly affected shall be given the opportunity to participate in those proceedings and the right to appeal against any decision against them.