Responsible Use of Social Media

We all like to talk about football, whether it’s on the pitch, on the sidelines, in the car on the way home or over a celebratory pint in the clubhouse. Social media is another way for people to have a conversation about football. It can be daunting to kick-off your presence, but it can be an incredibly useful way for your club to communicate if it’s used in the right way.

The internet and social networking sites can be a very powerful tool and can be used in a very positive and rewarding way. However, it can also be open to misuse and abuse...

The FA has issued clarification to participants relating to the use of social networking sites, including, but not limited to Twitter, Facebook and internet blogs.

Clubs and leagues should appoint appropriate adults to monitor the content of their websites. They should have an understanding of both the technology used and of safeguarding. Clubs and leagues are responsible for ensuring all content hosted on their websites, social network areas and any associated message boards or blogs abide by the Rules and Regulations of The Football Association.

Participants should be aware that comments made on such sites may be considered public comment, and that further to FA Rule E3, any comments which are deemed improper, bring the game into disrepute, or are threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting may lead to disciplinary action.

It is against FA rules to post comments that are or maybe conceived as;

  • Offensive
  • Insulting
  • Abusive
  • Threatening
  • Racist
  • Discriminatory
  • Any other reference that may cause offense or harm to others

Any such comment made on club or league websites and/or social networking sites regarding officials may result in disciplinary action being taken in line with The FA’s Disciplinary policies and procedures. 

Comments made on websites that are threatening abusive or racist could lead to legal action being taken against those responsible for posting or hosting them. Comments made may attract libel claims and legal action through the civil courts if they are untrue or defamatory.

Comments about match officials which imply bias, attack the officials' integrity or are overly personal in nature are considered improper.

An individual is strictly responsible for any posting on his/her account. Participants should take every care to ensure that others do not access their account, as the fact that a posting or comment may have been made by a third party will not prevent disciplinary action being taken against the account holder.

The FA have developed a series of best practice guidelines for using social networking and electronic communications with adults and children alike. Please find these attached below.

If you need to report any misuse of social networks or internet blogs, please contact:

Craig Lee
Football Services Manager
0115 9837404

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