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Social media policy

Middlesbrough Council uses social media profiles in a number of ways, including for the promotion of:

  • relevant local news stories and events
  • the town to a local and wider audience
  • council-owned leisure and entertainment venues
  • the work of specific council departments.

Social media pages are only updated Monday to Friday, during office hours (generally 9am-5pm, but the exact times may vary), except when they are used to cover specific events or the service runs outside of standard hours.

Representing the council

  • Only council employees, or those under temporary paid or unpaid contract to the council, such as work experience students, are authorised to update social media pages representing Middlesbrough Council or any council venue or service.
  • Social media pages representing public-private partnerships, such as events, may be updated by both council employees and responsible private citizens.
  • The creation of social media accounts representing council venues and services is only permitted with express consent from the Marketing and Communications team.
  • The council shares and retweets relevant content from local partners and sources, but this does not imply endorsement or that any views expressed are the views of Middlesbrough Council.

Responsibilities

  • Middlesbrough Council is responsible for ensuring that posts on social media pages representing the council are neutral in tone and do not promote the personal views of employees.
  • Middlesbrough Council is not responsible for content posted by council employees on their personal social media pages or to any other social media pages.
  • Middlesbrough Council is not responsible for content posted on, or otherwise directed to, its social media pages by private citizens.

Accountability

  • The Marketing and Communications team does not personally investigate any complaints or comments received via social media. Complaints and comments should be submitted using the council’s standard compliments, complaints and comments procedure. Any feedback received via social media is forwarded to the relevant department, and the Marketing and Communications team is not responsible for ensuring it is dealt with.
  • All information on social media pages is provided in good faith. The council’s standard terms of use apply.
  • Any complaints or concerns about material posted on Middlesbrough Council social media pages should be reported using the council’s standard compliments, complaints and comments procedure.

Acceptable use policy (guidelines for interaction)

Middlesbrough Council reserves the right to remove from its social media pages, or refuse to interact with, any content posted by private citizens which:

  • is sexist, racist, ageist, homophobic, ableist, or in any other way discriminates against or negatively targets a specific group of people
  • is of a sexual nature, or uses offensive language or profanities
  • is illegal, threatening, or promotes illegal activities
  • discloses personal details of the user or another user
  • advertises products, services or events not relevant to the page on which the advert is posted
  • defames or personally targets any council employee

Any user posting such content will be removed or blocked from the social media page in question. Threats or details of illegal activities or behaviour will be reported to the police.

Facebook house rules

We welcome conversation and feedback on our social media pages, however we take the wellbeing of our staff very seriously. Middlesbrough Council reserves the right to delete negative comments that refer directly to council staff or teams, or that name council staff.

Commenters who repeatedly use profane language or refer to council staff in a negative or threatening way will be blocked from council social media pages without warning. Comments containing profane or offensive language will also be deleted without warning.

There is an official process for registering complaints against Middlesbrough Council. If you wish to raise a complaint against a team or member of staff, please contact our Complaints department.

Email: complaints@middlesbrough.gov.uk
Phone: 01642 729814

For any queries or issues, please visit our website for more information, or call the Customer Centre on 01642 726001, Monday to Friday, between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm.