Social media house rules

Thanks for checking out our house rules. It's not the most exciting part of our social media activity, but it's something we feel is important – mainly in explaining why we may sometimes need to remove the odd comment here or there.

We'd like you to feel you can come to us for important information about a whole range of information about the council and our work. And we want you to join in the conversation and to comment on what we and others are saying. But we've got to draw the line somewhere…please have a look at our basic house rules below.

Political comments during the pre-election period

 Any political comments promoting political parties during a pre-election period will be removed.

What you say is public

It might sound obvious but once your comment is online it's public and everyone with internet access can read it. Don't forget that you are legally responsible for what you submit.

Keep it clean

We really don't want swearing or rude comments on our page. If you're rude or offensive we will remove your comments (this includes racist, sexist, sexually explicit, homophobic or otherwise offensive remarks).

We also reserve the right to remove comments that are likely to disrupt, provoke, attack or offend others.

Keep it on track

We want to use this page to tell you about the council, the vital work our staff do and, most importantly, about how we can help you to make Brent a great place to live.

Monitoring the page can take a lot of our time so we need to make sure the discussion stays focused. If we feel that you are trying to detract our message, or dominate it with your own concerns that are not relevant to the majority of other people, we may delete your post. Repeat offenders may be barred from our page. That may sound harsh but we're sure you understand why we need this rule.

Bullies aren’t welcome

We won't tolerate any form of bullying, harassment or victimisation on our page of other users or of Brent Council staff and we take this behaviour extremely seriously. Please let us know if you feel people are using our page to bully or intimidate you and we will remove the offending comments and will kick that person of our site. It's not very nice and we don’t like that kind of thing.

Facebook also offers advice and help to people who feel they are being bullied. Type in the word 'bullying' to Facebook's Help Centre for further information and advice.

What to do if you don't agree with comments by others

The council supports and promotes free speech. Members of the public are encouraged to submit comments on our web pages or blog posts in the spirit of free and open dialogue and debate. If you disagree with, or are aggrieved by, a comment submitted by another member of the public, we always encourage you to continue the conversation by replying with your own comment.

There is nothing to stop you posting a comment expressing your disagreement with a previous comment, provided you conform to our house rules. However, if you do wish to formally complain about material posted on our website, by another member of the public, you can fill in the following form.

We will respond within 48 working hours to let you know what action we will take.

Comments about the council and those who run it

If you're offensive about the council, or anyone who works for us, or runs the organisation, we will remove your comments. Comments that are likely to bring the council into disrepute will be removed.

Grievances from council staff

Social media sites are not the best place for council staff to raise grievances, complaints or internal issues. You should raise the issue with your line manager in the first instance. If you make a complaint about the council, or colleagues, we may remove your comment and refer it on and further action may be taken.

Council staff can find more information about the use of social media by searching for 'Brent Social Media Policy' on our intranet site.

False identities

If it's clear you aren't who you say you are and are impersonating someone else then not only are you breaking Facebook and Twitter's rules but you’re also breaking our house rules and we will remove any content you've posted and may block you from our page.

Spam

In case you don't know what spam is it's any kind of unwanted online communication. If you spam our page we will delete it and may ban persistent spammers. Spam detracts from the messages we, and others who use the page, are trying to communicate and can spoil other peoples’ experiences of using our page.

Confidentiality

We don't want to see any confidential or private information on our sites. For example, you mustn't share the phone number, email address or other contact details of any other person. If you need to share information with us, please send it in a private message.

Report abuse

If you are offended by a user's post please report it to Facebook, Twitter etc. If you would like us to remove it, please contact us at webteam@brent.gov.uk and we will look into the issue.

Removing content – what will we do?

We don't want to have to remove any content so please try and keep in the spirit of our pages.

If you don't stick to our house rules we’ll use the following steps:

  1. If we need to delete posts, we will try to explain why we've done so, pointing to the relevant section of the house rules
  2. We may ban you from using our page – especially if you’ve broken our house rules lots of times
  3. If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact us at any time on webteam@brent.gov.uk.

Comments posted to this page do not necessarily represent the opinions of Brent Council.