Social Media Guidelines

Why we have the guidelines

These guidelines align with and support our Social Media Policy, and Model Code of Conduct. 

They exist to protect users of our social media channels and the staff operating those channels, while setting clear expectations for online behaviour and establishing the actions Willoughby City Council (WCC) may take if these guidelines are breached. 

Why we use social media

WCC maintains a social media presence to share information, news and updates about council activities, to facilitate community engagement, and to promote the City of Willoughby as a great place to live, work, play and invest. 

We value the insights shared by members of our community, and welcome their engagement. We offer our social media platforms as an opportunity for you to have a direct conversation with us. 

It is the responsibility of contributors to familiarise themselves with these guidelines. If you engage with WCC using social media, you will be considered to have accepted these guidelines. 

Our social media platforms are monitored intermittently during business hours between Monday and Friday. 

Where possible and appropriate, WCC will respond to enquiries and direct messages on social media platforms. Social media responses may be relatively informal. If you are seeking a formal response, please send your request to us via the Contact Council page. 

General Guidelines 

Treat us how you would like to be treated 

Our social media platforms are monitored by real people. Please consider that your comments directly impact people’s lives. 

Be polite and respectful 

Our social media platforms are a public space. Please engage in a polite manner and be respectful of all readers and contributors. We are not against debate and freedom of expression, but we are against personal attacks on contributors and WCC employees. 

Do Not: 

  • Breach the terms of use of any social media platform that hosts WCC social media channels  

  • Post content that is insulting, threatening, or hateful towards a certain group of people, including WCC staff 

  • Abuse, harass, stalk, threaten, defame, attack, humiliate, intimidate, or otherwise violate the legal rights of other contributors and/or WCC staff 

  • Post content that is libellous, offensive, obscene, vulgar, or violent 

  • Post any misleading, deceptive, or false information (information that has since been updated, is not supplied, or has not been cleared by WCC) about current services, facilities or projects 

  • Post content that you do not have the legal right to post (for example, material that infringes the copyright or other intellectual property rights of another person or material which is confidential)  

  • Spam your contribution to the site by sending multiple copies or versions of it 

  • Post personal website addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, or any other personally identifiable information of someone other than yourself 

  • Post content to incite hatred on the base of race, religion, gender, nationality, sexuality, socio-economic status, or any other personal characteristics 

  • Advertise or offer to sell any goods or services for any commercial purpose unless you have our written consent to do so 

  • Use an account that obscures your identity 

Rights of Willoughby City Council 

Willoughby City Council staff will, where applicable, remove content and/or block users that ignore, abuse or disregard these guidelines. 

We reserve the right to delete posts and block users that breach these guidelines, at the moderator’s discretion. 

Employees of Willoughby City Council 

Employees of Willoughby City Council are required to adhere to our Social Media Policy, and Model Code of Conduct. Only employees who are authorised officers may use Willoughby City Council social media platforms as official communication tools on behalf of Willoughby City Council. 

Employees with personal profiles/accounts should identify within these that any opinions expressed are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of their employer. Employees can engage with Willoughby City Council on social media as an individual as long as it is something unrelated to their area of responsibility. 

Third Party Content 

From time to time Willoughby City Council may choose to link to, republish, or share third party content, or content that links to third party material. This does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Willoughby City Council.