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Social Media Policy

The Bodywhys Social Media Policy provides guidance and applies to Bodywhys staff members for when they are communicating through social networking and social media websites on behalf of the organisation.


This policy applies to all Bodywhys staff and volunteers.


In recent years, technology, and in particular, the internet, have become popular methods of communicating and disseminating information. One clear example is social media and online social networking websites, which form part of the lives of many individuals and organisations.

Social media and social networks are internet based platforms where individuals and organisations can post their views, create content and share information. Social media lends itself to, and is contingent upon, the creation of social and human connections in an online environment. The power of social media lies in its speed, ability and potential to reach a large and diverse audience. Social media websites can be accessed from a range of devices including desktop computers, mobile phones and tablet computers. Social media websites include: online journals or diaries, blogs, discussion forums, along with sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube and Vimeo.


The existence and popularity of social media websites has implications for how Bodywhys, as an organisation, interacts online. Using social media allows Bodywhys, as an organisation, to engage with its community of online based supporters.

Bodywhys’s postings on its social media accounts are solely for the purposes of sharing information about the organisation’s events, campaigns, activities and resources, alerts to content on the organisation’s website and information about the organisation’s support services.

Bodywhys does not provide personal or individual support to service users through its social media accounts.

Considerations and risk management:

All social media websites and platforms have the potential for misuse and abuse. Poor judgement and behaviour on social media websites can damage, and negatively affect, both individual users and organisations. Social media sites are highly public and active spaces. Inappropriate comments are rapidly noticed by other users and can be replicated and reproduced even when the original content has been removed.

For Bodywhys, the risks associated with the use of social media include: inappropriate messaging, damage to the organisation’s reputation, inappropriate engagement with users, breaches of confidentiality, and its social media accounts being hacked or breached.

At all times Bodywhys staff and volunteers must ensure that their interactions and engagement on social media, on behalf of the organisation, are consistent, professional, and not a matter of personal opinion.

Procedures and lines of communication:

Technical and administrative account level access to all of Bodywhys’s social media accounts must be managed by dedicated Bodywhys staff only.

Primary responsibility for the use of Bodywhys’s social media websites is that of the Communications Officer. The Communications Officer is responsible for the quality and content of material and information posted on Bodywhys’s social media websites. Internal and external queries regarding the organisation’s use of social media must be directed to the Communications Officer, and if required, brought to the attention of the organisation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This includes comments and criticisms received on the organisation’s social media websites.

Exploring the possibility of using new social media platforms is the responsibility of the Communications Officer. Any developments and new accounts must be agreed by the CEO prior to implementation. Where practical, registration on social media websites must be associated with the Communications Officer’s email address:, and not the personal email address of a staff member.

Boundaries, comments and moderation:

Typically, Bodywhys’s postings on its social media occur during normal office hours, Monday to Friday. Bodywhys’s social media accounts may occasionally be unavailable and the organisation accepts no responsibility for a lack of service during downtime.

Bodywhys will read all of the messages received on its social media pages, however due to resource constraints, it will be not in a position to respond to all messages.

Bodywhys is not obliged to follow or like the activities of any of its followers. A follow or like from Bodywhys does not imply an endorsement on behalf of the organisation.

Where possible, account profile information pages must state explicitly that Bodywhys does not provide support services via the organisation’s social media sites.

Support requests, from people with eating disorders, family and friends or other individuals, must not be facilitated through Bodywhys’s social media websites. Those at risk must be signposted to the organisation’s support services, or appropriate external resources and agencies. In the event of contact involving child protection concerns, the issue will be directed to Bodywhys’s Designated Person.

Comments or complaints about Bodywhys’s organisational support services will be directed to the organisation’s Services Manager and brought to the attention of the CEO.

All other complaints about the organisation received through social media will be directed to the Communications Officer, and in turn, to the CEO.

All postings and commentary on behalf of Bodywhys’s social media websites will be made within the boundaries of the organisation’s ethos, beliefs, aims, and media policy.

Postings made on Bodywhys’s social media accounts will be respectful and honest at all times. When using the organisation’s social media websites, Bodywhys staff will refrain from posting personal attacks, slurs, or comments that are racist, obscene or offensive and slanderous against any other organisation or individual.

While every effort should be made to ensure open communication, in certain circumstances, comments and posts made by other users may be moderated by Bodywhys staff. Examples include, but are not limited to: inappropriate and offensive language, postings that are unlawful, obscene, threatening, defamatory, abusive and hateful and seeking to promote and advertise business or a website. Bodywhys reserves the right to remove a user’s access to its social media accounts at any time without prior warning.

Triggering images or comments that could impact negatively on other users will be removed. Examples include, but are not limited to ‘thinspiration’ and pro-eating disorder behaviour, imagery, comments and internet links, as well as details of diets and weight related behaviours.

Bodywhys will not engage with user accounts that are deemed to be inappropriate, offensive or potentially triggering.

Bodywhys’s use of copyrighted material will be made in accordance with appropriate licensing conditions.

Photographs from Bodywhys events, activities, campaigns, and launches may only be posted with appropriate permission and consent.

Bodywhys will not use social media to comment on individual cases of those affected by eating disorders.

Bodywhys will not use social media to comment on individual treatment facilities, either to criticise or endorse.

Where Bodywhys retweets or likes third party accounts, this does not indicate an endorsement of the party’s support services, information services or website. Retweets must be undertaken with respect to content that is suited to the Bodywhys social media audience. This typically involves a mixture of individual users, other non-profit organisations based in Ireland and groups Bodywhys works in partnership with.

Abusive or spam tweets and comments directed at Bodywhys may result in followers being blocked and reported to the relevant social networking provider.

Failure to engage should not be viewed as a refusal to comment on a particular issue.

Confidentiality and information security:

Confidential information about Bodywhys, its staff and volunteers, or those who contact the organisation’s support services, should not be shared on the organisation’s social media websites.

Internal and technical access to Bodywhys’s social media accounts must be carried out by dedicated Bodywhys staff only. Passwords must not be simplistic and must be stored securely.

The Communications Officer is responsible for the security and integrity of social media accounts and passwords. The Communications Officer is responsible for make arrangements to permit the CEO access to password protected social media accounts and systems. In the event of an account breach, any spam or unintentional posts made under the organisation’s name must be deleted. Passwords must be changed immediately. A note of any breaches should be recorded and alerted to the Bodywhys CEO.

Breaches of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Bodywhys retains the right to make variations or amendments to this policy and give reasonable notice of any such variation or amendment.

Version 1.5 Last updated 08/12/2015

Social Media Policy – PO Box 105, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. Admin Tel: 01 2834963

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