SFAR Lanarkshire

**** SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDANCE REMINDER ****

 

Social Media Guidance

Ladies and Gents here is the SFA guidance notes on Social Media use, please read it carefully and follow the contents as indicated.

Introduction

The internet provides a range of unique opportunities to participate in interactive discussions and to share information using a wide variety of social media.

The Scottish FA’s Referee Committee recognises that social media is a recent development in modern life and that it exists in a rapidly changing and ever developing landscape.

It appreciates that the use of social media across various platforms can be embraced to help promote refereeing in Scotland provided that it is used appropriately.

The use of social media, however, can pose risks to referees and refereeing and, in this respect, the following guidance applies to its use by referees and Referees’ Associations:

Referees

 Referees fulfil a particularly important role in football. Maintaining integrity and neutrality is a crucial aspect of the role.  Social media requires to be used responsibly.  When making use of any social media platform, its terms of use must be read and complied with  Referees are responsible for what they communicate in social media. It should be remembered that published material can remain public for many years. This should be kept in mind before content is posted on any social media platform  Personal views should not conflict with your role as a referee  Be mindful of the impact any contributions on social media might have on people’s perceptions of referees and of the Scottish FA  Do not engage with others (such as players, club officials, coaches) on a public forum in regard to any aspect of refereeing performances (whether it be your own or any other referee) or any football related matter such as commenting on a player or club  Referees may participate in groupings on social media platforms (e.g. WhatsApp) but such groups should remain private to the members  Referees should be mindful of the Scottish FA’s Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy and not indulge in any online behaviour which impacts on a child or children e.g. sending inappropriate material, “grooming” of children etc.  Should any content be seen on social media that has been posted by a referee and disparages another referee or participant in football, the matter should be reported to your Referees’ Association Secretary for onward raising to the Scottish FA.
Referees’ Associations

 Referees’ Associations may utilise social media platforms to promote their activities and to communicate with members.  Designated administrators should be appointed to be responsible for uploading content and monitoring posts on the platforms.  The identity of the administrators should be made known to all members of the Association.  Each administrator should be familiar with the privacy and safety settings on their social media platforms to ensure that it is for use by that Referees’ Association only and to avoid the posting of any inappropriate material.  Should any inappropriate material be posted, it should be removed as quickly as possible.  Any user under the age of 18 seeking to contribute to an Association’s social media platforms should provide written parental/guardian consent in advance.  No images or personal information of persons under 18 years of age should be posted online without prior written consent from each parent/guardian

Email addresses

Referees are advised not use personal email addresses which:

 contain any form of reference to being a referee, or  give rise to an association with any club – by use of an club name, club nickname, club initials, or by a year (either with 2 or 4 digits) or any combination of these elements

The Compliance Officer

The Scottish FA’s Compliance Officer has jurisdiction over all match officials. He has responsibility for ensuring that the Disciplinary Rules of the Scottish FA are adhered to. This includes those Disciplinary Rules which address social media directly, and those which encompass social media posting. The Disciplinary Rules are contained in Annex A to the Judicial Panel Protocol. The Protocol is available as a free resource on the Scottish FA website and on the Scottish FA Referee Extranet. At all times match officials should ensure that their postings do not breach the terms of Disciplinary Rules 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75 or 77. Any postings that are deemed by the Compliance Officer to have breached any of these Rules may result in a Notice of Complaint being served and a case being brought before the Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal. In the event that the Tribunal makes a Determination that a Disciplinary Rule has been breached sanctions will be imposed by the Tribunal. Such sanctions may include suspension from officiating for a stated period.

If the Compliance Officer deems that a case does not meet the standards to be brought before the Judicial Panel, he may either communicate with the referee, advising him or her of the outcome of his deliberations, or refer the case to the referee’s Referees’ Association for investigation.

Amendment to Guidance

The guidance set out in this document may be amended by the Referee Committee at its discretion at any time.

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