Social media acceptable use policy

The Council has a number of social media outlets, which we invite the public to follow us on.

Most online communities have their own rules and guidelines, which we will always follow. We reserve the right to remove any contributions that break the rules or guidelines of the relevant community, or any of the following:

  • Be civil, tasteful and relevant.
  • Do not post messages that are unlawful, libellous, harassing, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented or racially offensive.
  • Do not swear.
  • Do not post content copied from elsewhere, for which you do not own the copyright.
  • Do not post the same message, or very similar messages, more than once (also called "spamming").
  • Do not publicise your, or anyone else's, personal information, such as contact details.
  • Do not advertise products or services.
  • Do not impersonate someone else.

Defamation

Please take care not to make defamatory statements. In law this means a statement that lowers the reputation of a person or organisation in the eyes of a reasonable person. By publishing such a statement we can both get into serious trouble. We will therefore take down any statement that could be deemed to be defamatory.

Pre-election period

The Council itself, as opposed to its political administration, must be politically neutral in its communications. Therefore, please do not use any of our pages to promote party political messages or other content.

The Council will remove any comments that, in its view, may compromise its obligation to maintain political neutrality.

Our approach to connections on social media

The Council may choose to 'follow', 'like' or otherwise establish connections with other organisations and individuals using social media. This is so that the Council can maintain contact with what other social media users are saying and, where appropriate, share their content. Sometimes we also need to establish a connection so that we can engage with users, e.g. via direct messages or posting. This is an emerging area of communications and as such the Council will review and amend its practice continuously.

Endorsement

The Council does not implicitly or explicitly endorse any individual or organisation merely by virtue of creating a social media connection, regardless of the terms used by social media providers such as 'follow' or 'like'. Indeed, the Council will maintain social media connections with organisations that are critical of it and/or have opposing views. Nor does the Council hold any responsibility for the content of such profiles.

Removal

Once connected, the Council will not remove a profile from its network unless there is some over-riding reason to do so, e.g. because it poses a significant and material risk to the Council's reputation and credibility, or a significant and material breach of the Council's obligations to maintain political neutrality.

It is not possible to be prescriptive on what would pose such a threat and each case will need to be consider on its own merits.

Contacting us via social media

Our responses to replies, comments and direct messages depend on the individual service. Even if we do not reply, we are listening and will act on or pass on your comments as appropriate. You may also like to contact the service directly.

Please note that unless stated otherwise the views/comments given on any of our social media sites may not necessarily reflect the views of Plymouth City Council.

Our social media platforms are not intended to be used by the media or politicians to contact us.