MODERATION GUIDELINES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA
The beXcellent project is about enabling young people to learn about and share experiences of Curriculum for Excellence; Children in Scotland and the Scottish Youth Parliament are keen to engage through social media and have established a range of channels for use related to the beXcellent project. To make sure that everyone is clear about what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of social media, we’ve put together these guidelines – a simple version and one with a bit more detail.
For the avoidance of doubt, the beXcellent website and its associated social media channels will be moderated in accordance with the guidance outlined below. In interpreting the guidelines, the central consideration will always be the extent to which messages reflect the spirit of beXcellent.
Keeping it simple: The Good, The Bad, but not the Ugly
In simple terms, our approach to moderation is that we welcome all comments whether they are positive about Curriculum for Excellence or not, but we won’t accept ‘ugly’ comments. What makes a comment ‘ugly’ is covered more in the detailed guidelines, but generally it’d be anything which could be considered offensive.
We have based our guidelines on those used by the International Olympic Committee (http://www.olympic.org/Documents/Various/MODERATION-GUIDELINES-FOR-SOCIAL-FINAL.pdf). Having researched best practice, these guidelines provided an excellent basis for what we wished to achieve.
We don’t expect to have to apply many of the rules below, but we think it’s important that we make things clear at the very beginning.
Protection of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Groups
Our primary concern is ensuring the safety of children, young people and vulnerable groups and, regardless of any of the following guidelines, we will remove any comments which we feel could place people at risk.
Defamation is the legal term that covers both slander and libel; slander is defamation by word of mouth, and libel is defamation in written form.
A defamatory comment is one that would be likely to damage or undermine the reputation of the relevant person in the eyes of members of the general public. These types of comments are not allowed.
Harassment: Privacy Law
We cannot allow for any messaging which may involve a user or group of users blatantly harassing another user/s or individuals.
Contempt of Court
For the sake of any doubt, ANY messages containing details, comments or any matter whatsoever regarding court proceedings (whether criminal or civil) will not be allowed.
We cannot allow for anything that can be deemed to be racist and offensive towards any group of people.
If there is any doubt we will not permit the message.
Debate about religion and religious groups are considered off topic.
People with Disabilities
Reference to disability should be included only in neutral terms.
Stereotyping messages will not be accepted.
We do not allow any inflammatory messages, but will permit positive, factual, non-confrontational and constructive comments.
It is acceptable for a user to refer to his/her sexuality or gender identity. It is not acceptable for users to use terms associated with sexuality or gender identity in a negative way, comments which do so will be removed.
Obscenity and Indecency
Any obscene material, relating to race, religion and offensive sexual material will be removed (this includes threats, harassment, incitement, abuse, swearing, religious hate, etc…).
If we are made aware of any copyright claims related to any comment or message, we will seek to remove immediately.
Personal Detail Exchange
Any messages submitting or asking for any contact details of any sort; be it mobile, home or any other contact telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, ICQ Numbers, MSN names, surnames, school names or locations or arranging meeting times and places will be removed.
No Geographic / Location References
It is fine for users to mention their town, city or education establishment but any further location details will be removed without exception.
Users Arranging to Meet Up
We do not allow for any discussion which involves users trying to meet or discussing any form of location details.
Criticism of Curriculum for Excellence/beXcellent/Children in Scotland/Scottish Youth Parliament
It is acceptable for people to criticise in general, but content will be removed if it is offensive or if it names people individually.
Criminal or Immoral Activity
As above, any discussions concerning criminal or immoral activity are not acceptable.
We do not allow any messages which advocate or encourage the use of, or selling drugs,
Smoking, Alcohol and Drinking
As outlined above with drugs, we cannot allow for messages which advocate and encourage smoking and/or alcoholic drinking.
Users cannot continually repost messages – repetitive messages will be removed.
Usernames and Profile Images
The rules above apply not only to the content of messages, but also usernames, profile pictures and the like. Anything which is inappropriate will not be permitted.
Interpretation & Future Changes
Though this list is fairly long, we reserve the right to add further guidance at any time or to alter the approach listed above. At all times, the final decision in moderation rests with Children in Scotland and the Scottish Youth Parliament.