Social Media Policy

Social Media Policy

The South Devon Herd Book Society (SDHBS) uses social media to communicate with its members and with the wider industry and public to inform and to promote the breed.

The SDHBS recognises that its members may also use their own forms of social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, for example) for personal communication and promotion.  However, difficulties can occur when a person, identifiable as a Society member, makes comments that can may be construed as negative or offensive towards individuals or the SDHBS and which might cause harm to individuals or damage the reputation of the breed or the SDHBS itself.  Should a member of the SDHBS have a valid concern or complaint regarding the workings and decisions of the SDHBS, then these should be taken directly to the SDHBS Council, Chairman or Breed Secretary where they can be addressed in a more appropriate forum.

Members are personally responsible for what they communicate in social media (as a member of the SDHBS or on personal sites).  Members should be aware that what they publish might be read by the general public and wider industry, including other members, potential customers and social acquaintances for a long time to come, and they should keep this in mind before posting their content.

What the SDHBS expects of social media site moderators and its members:

  • Contributors will be polite and respectful towards all forum users including the forum moderators and other SDHBS members.
  • That any claimed “facts” are backed up by science/direct experience.
  • Contributors understand that this is an adult and child group so is moderated at that level.
  • Members understand that the views expressed are those of the individuals who post them and do not represent an “official” SDHBS stance unless expressly stated.
  • All views are welcome, but courtesy is key: avoid the use of derogatory language at all times.
  • The site represents all levels of experience so contributors should take every opportunity to educate members.

With reference to anything that pertains to the SDHBS or its members, they do not post anything that:

  • brings the SDHBS or its members into disrepute;
  • breaches confidentiality, data protection or copyright;
  • offends or insults;
  • encourages, supports or promotes illegal activity;
  • uses or encourages derogatory comments;
  • uses the SDHBS brand or visual identity in a damaging way;
  • is likely to cause disagreements and disputes that might damage the reputation of the SDHBS or the breed.

The site moderator will:

  • review, post and may respond to comments;
  • welcome constructive criticism;
  • read all comments posted;
  • moderate (delete) negative views;
  • block users who violate the rules as set out;
  • have the final say in modifying, interpreting, and enforcing this Code of Conduct;
  • act in a professional manner when engaging with users online.

The site moderator will not:

  • respond to every comment because we do not have the resources to do this due to lack of resources to do so,
  • post comments that are spam, inappropriate, defamatory, use profanity, or otherwise violate SDHBS policies

Disciplinary procedure

If any member should be found to be in breach of these guidelines, then the matter will be referred to the Breed Secretary in the first instance, who may ask for the removal of internet postings which are deemed to constitute a breach of this policy.

Should further offensive commentary be posted on social media the Breed Secretary may refer to the Chairman and then to Council if appropriate who may:

  • issue a final written warning, and
  • consider expulsion from the SDHBS

The SDHBS encourages the responsible use of social media.  It is important to remember that all SDHBS members and employees are ambassadors for the breed and that social media is never private.

As agreed by the Council 5th September 2023