Charity Commission Consultation on Social Media Use

On 17 January the Charity Commission released a consultation and draft guidance ‘Charities and Social Media’. The guidance makes a number of recommendations:

  1. All charities that make any use of social media should have a social media policy.
  2. A social media policy should make it clear that all social media usage should be within the charity’s objectives, not be harmful or in breach of the law, for example GDPR, defamation and human rights laws.
  3. The charity should consider what actions should be taken in the event of problematic content being posted on its behalf – corrections, public apologies and possibly a serious incident report to the Charity Commission.
  4. The policy should also cover what to do about problematic content posted or shared by anyone connected to the charity, for example a trustee, employee or volunteer – their opinions/content could be linked to the charity. Trustees are responsible for identifying and managing such risks.
  5. Charities should plan on how to deal with third party content on its sites, for example negative comments on forums it hosts.
  6. A charity can engage on emotive or controversial topics if this is a way of achieving its charitable purpose and is in the charity’s best interests, but such engagement must be risk managed.
  7. Campaigning on social media can be effective but is only recommended when the Commission’s rules on political campaigning are followed carefully.

The consultation on the draft guidance closes at 5pm on Tuesday 14th March, with the final guidance due to be published in the summer.

Draft Guidance on Social Media Use

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