Last Updated: 1st January 2022
The internet provides a range of social media outlets which allow users to interact with one another and offers real benefits e.g. rediscovering friends, keeping up-to-date with news and information from trusted sources of information, communicating messages widely for no cost.
Whilst Shotokan Connect recognises the importance of social media and the many positive effects it can have, we also recognise that without a code of practice the risks which social media presents can have negative consequences for individuals and for the organisation as a whole.
The principles which are laid out in this policy are intended to ensure that all Shotokan Connect members use social media responsibly so that the confidentiality of members and the reputation of the Shotokan Connect is appropriately safeguarded.
Social media is changing the way we all communicate. This policy has therefore been developed to inform the Shotokan Connect community about the use of social media so people feel engaged to participate whilst being mindful of their responsibilities and obligations that go with being a member of the Shotokan Connect.
The policy also assists in the establishment of a culture of openness, transparency and integrity relating to all online activities associated with Shotokan Connect.
Breaches of the policy are also clearly stipulated within the body of the document.
This policy applies to all Shotokan Connect karateka including:
The policy covers personal use of social media as well as the use of social media for official Shotokan Connect purposes including sites hosted and maintained on behalf of Shotokan Connect.
The policy is applicable to (but not limited to):
The internet is a fast-moving technology and it is impossible to cover all circumstances or emerging media. The principles set out in this policy must be followed irrespective of the medium used.
In circumstances whereby guidance about social media issues has not been documented in this policy, it is advised that you speak with the Shotokan Connect Steering Committee who have ratified this policy and who will adopt a reasoned approach to interpreting the policy to fit the relevant situation.
Whilst this policy does not specifically apply to the personal use of social media by those previously aforementioned, the inappropriate use of social media in matters not pertaining to Shotokan Connect may be regulated by other Shotokan Connect policies and rules. Practices may include bullying which is covered by the Shotokan Connect Safeguarding Policy or Trolling which can be a criminal offence. Furthermore, the sharing of information online which may be deemed by the relevant authorities to be hateful will also be dealt with accordingly by Shotokan Connect and/or the authorities.
3. Legal Framework
Shotokan Connect is committed to ensuring that all staff members provide confidential services that meet the highest standards. All individuals working on behalf of Shotokan Connect are bound by a legal duty of confidence and other laws to protect the confidential information they have access to during the course of their work.
Disclosure of confidential information on social media is likely to be a breach of a number of rules and professional codes of conduct.
Whilst the English Karate Federation Guidance for Associations will advise further, confidential information includes (but is not limited to):
Shotokan Connect karateka should also be aware that other laws relating to libel, defamation, harassment etc. may apply to information posted on social media.
4. Using Social Media in an Official Capacity
Only appointed Shotokan Connect Founders, Directors and Officers may use the official Shotokan Connect social media sites.
You must be authorised by the Shotokan Connect Steering Committee before engaging in social media as a representative of Shotokan Connect.
By utilising the Shotokan Connect social media sites you are an extension of the Shotokan Connect brand. As such, the boundaries between when you are representing yourself and when you are representing the Shotokan Connect can become blurred. This can become more problematic when a user has an increased profile/position within Shotokan Connect or has a conflict of interest with what is being posted. It is therefore imperative that the official users of the Shotokan Connect social media pages do so in a way which appropriately represents both the user and Shotokan Connect online at all times.
Users of official Shotokan Connect social media sites must ensure that the personal use of social media does not interfere with their work commitments or productivity.
When utilising social media you must ensure that the privacy of Shotokan Connect is protected with confidential information not disclosed. This includes any information that is not publicly accessible, widely known, or not expected to be shared outside of the particular forum e.g. sensitive committee matters.
Within the general scope of authorisation, it is acceptable to discuss and have dialogue with the wider Shotokan Connect community about matters affecting Shotokan Connect. However, what is prohibited is the disclosure of any confidential information including details about any litigations and any other unpublished details e.g. financial or trade secrets, contractual particulars etc. Remember, if you are online, you are on the record. Much of the content posted online is public and searchable.
5. Using Social Media in a Personal Capacity
Shotokan Connect karateka are not permitted to present personal opinions in ways that imply endorsement by Shotokan Connect. Any personal statements (including opinions or views on any issue) should be accompanied by a personal disclaimer or explicit statement that the individual is speaking for themselves and not on behalf of Shotokan Connect.
Whilst a prominent disclaimer is encouraged, this should not be relied upon as it rarely has any legal effect.
Whenever you are unsure as to whether or not the content you wish to share is appropriate, seek advice from others before doing so or refrain from sharing the content to be on the safe side. Think before you click
6. Principles to follow
You must adhere to the following principles when using social media related to Shotokan Connect, or its business, products, competitions, teams, participants, services, events, sponsors, karateka or reputation.
Confidentiality and Privacy
When posting content online there is a potential for that content to become publicly available through a variety of means regardless of whether this was the intention or not. Consequently, desist from posting any content on social media platforms that you would not be happy for anyone to see, even if you feel confident that a particular individual would never see it.
Where possible, privacy settings on social media platforms should be set to limit access. You should also be cautious about disclosing your personal details.
When using social media, it is advised that you should be considerate to others and not post any information online specifically where you have not been asked to or without prior consent having been sought.
Permission should be sought when publicising information directly relating to an individual. With regards to children and young people, this is particularly important and parental/guardian consent is mandatory.
When publishing a person’s identifiable image it is mandatory prior to and after taking the photograph or video to obtain the person’s consent to upload this to social media. Furthermore, you should in all circumstances refrain from posting any photographs or videos of a sensitive nature including accidents, incidents or controversial behavior.
In every instance of posting photos/videos, you are also required to have the consent of the owner of copyright.
Honesty and integrity
Do not post anything or say anything which you know to be dishonest, untrue or misleading. Honesty (or apparent lack of) may be quickly noticed within the social media environment. If the source of what you are publishing is either unknown or a known disreputable source then refrain from publishing.
It is best practice to avoid posting anonymously, using pseudonyms or false screen names unless where necessary for legal protections or professional reasons. Where possible you should use your real name, be clear about who you are and identify any affiliations that you have. Social media is not anonymous nor above the law. You should assume that all information that is posted online can and will be trace back to you. You are ultimately accountable for what you post online.
Following on from the previous point (6.2.2) if you have a vested interest or a perceived conflict of interest in a matter which is being discussed throughout the various forums on social media sites, ensure this is pointed out. If, through activity on these forums, endorse or recommend something/someone that you are affiliated with i.e. have a close relationship with then you must disclose that affiliation.
Discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying and other illegal content
Do not under any circumstances post, link or interact with content which contains illegal or indecent content. This includes defamatory, vilifying or deceptive content.
Shotokan Connect reflects the wide diversity that exists within the UK and is inclusive of karateka from differing social and ethnic backgrounds. It encapsulates all genders and sexualities. With that in mind, no material should be posted online that is discriminatory, racist, sexist or hateful.
Intellectual Property Laws
When using social media, you must not use any of Shotokan Connect’s intellectual property or imagery on your own personal sites without first having received approval from the Shotokan Connect Steering Committee. should be posted online that is discriminatory, racist, sexist or hateful.
Relevant Intellectual Property is inclusive of (but not restricted to):
Further actions which are prohibited without prior authorisation include:
Where permission has been granted, you must adhere to the restrictions which were agreed at the time of said authorisation.
It is also imperative that you comply with the laws governing copyright in relation to material owned by others and the Shotokan Connect’s own copyrights and brands.
Copying work and passing it off as your own without referencing the original piece of work will also not be tolerated.
If either through an individual or an official capacity post something which is erroneous then this should be rectified as a matter of priority and once modified this should also be made clear.
7. Breaches of policy
Documented below is a list of examples (and examples only) of what may constitute a breach of this policy. The list is purposefully not exhaustive but is provided as an indication to karateka and officials of what would be found to contravene the policy
8. Reporting breaches
If inappropriate or unlawful content which runs in contradiction to common law or civil law or the guidelines clearly laid out in this policy are identified that it is incumbent on all members to report this immediately to a member of the Shotokan Connect Steering Committee.
If you feel uncomfortable personally reporting this information then this can be raised with somebody you trust on your behalf e.g. club instructor or an anonymous complaint can be sent to Shotokan Connect.
9. Investigations and Appeals
Alleged breaches of the policy will be investigated in accordance with Shotokan Connect disciplinary policies and procedures and, where necessary, in conjunction with the police or relevant statutory agencies.
Employees, volunteers or others acting as an official of Shotokan Connect who breach this policy may face disciplinary action which could include the termination of their employment.
The allegations will be dealt with in a confidential manner and the details of which will be strictly limited to those who are required to be aware of the allegations. This includes the person who is alleged to have breached the policy. Where accusations are made, the person that this accusation is affecting will be contacted formally by a member of Shotokan Connect Steering Committee to outline the accusation and inform them of the next steps of the investigatory procedure.
Once the investigation has been completed the affected party will be able to submit a formal Appeal as part of the pre-existing procedures within Shotokan Connect.
Associated policies which accompany the investigation and appeals process include:
10. Process for posting on Shotokan Connect social media
All postings on Shotokan Connect social media, will be scheduled using an appropriate scheduling tool as determined by Shotokan Connect.
All provisional Shotokan Connect social media posts will be scheduled at least 24 hours prior to posting.
All provisional Shotokan Connect social media posts must be approved by at least two of:
the Communication, Marketing & Website Manager
the chair of the Steering Committee
Provisional Shotokan Connect social media posts that are not approved by at least two of those listed above will be removed from the schedule, and will not be posted.
All Shotokan Connect social media content will, wherever possible, be posted on all Shotokan Connect social media sites.
11. Policy Review
This policy will be reviewed every three years.
There are circumstances in which the policy will be reviewed earlier than the scheduled time period. These include: