Social Media Policy
Hockey Alberta Policy – Unacceptable Conduct on Social Media
Hockey Alberta is committed to respectful behavior and conduct both on and off the ice, and works to eliminate any disrespectful conduct and discriminatory practices including abuse, neglect and harassment.
Unacceptable Conduct is not condoned by Hockey Alberta on any Hockey Alberta, personal or other social media channel or account. This includes conduct by staff, volunteers, players, officials, Member organizations, stakeholders or any member of the hockey community.
The following examples of unacceptable conduct are considered contrary to Hockey Alberta’s social media guidelines and subject to disciplinary action:
- Bullying, harassment, intimidation or threats of any type.
- Making negative or derogatory comments about, or statements deemed detrimental to the welfare of, any individual or group.
- Divulging confidential information or any other matter of a sensitive nature.
- Posting photographs, video or comments promoting negative influences or criminal behavior, including but not limited to drug use, alcohol abuse, public intoxication, hazing, and sexual harassment.
- Undertaking activity that contradicts the current policies of Hockey Alberta or any of its Member organizations.
- Undertaking activity that is meant to alarm other individuals or to misrepresent fact or truth.
When unacceptable conduct is discovered on social media by staff, volunteers or program areas directly controlled by Hockey Alberta, details of the unacceptable conduct will be provided for review to the appropriate Senior Manager or Manager, as well as Human Resources.
Hockey Alberta’s preference is to educate, inform and help develop positive habits when unacceptable or inappropriate comments or posts occur on its social media channels. When required, disciplinary action or sanction will be assessed toward the individual making the unacceptable posts. Depending on the nature of the infraction, discipline or sanction can include the individual being banned or blocked from Hockey Alberta’s social media channels,
suspension from or being relieved of employment or volunteer status, to the RCMP or other authorities being called.
PROCESS AND PROCEDURE
When a situation of unacceptable conduct on social media is identified involving staff, volunteers or program areas directly controlled by Hockey Alberta, the following process will occur:
- Acknowledgement: the allegation will be acknowledged by Senior Management and Human Resources.
- Investigation: a thorough investigation will be conducted, with findings to Hockey Alberta’s Human Resources department. During the period of the investigation, if the unacceptable conduct occurred on a Hockey Alberta social media channel, the individual will be blocked from having access to post on those channels.
- Hearing: if the investigation determines sufficient evidence to proceed, the individual will be notified and given the opportunity to present evidence in his/her defence.
- Sanctions: based on the evidence presented at the hearing, a determination will be made on whether sanction is required.
- Appeal: the individual may appeal the sanction, using the specified appeal process.
- Document retention: if/when an appeal is heard, all final decisions and other applicable information will be stored according to Hockey Alberta’s document retention policy.
NOTE: Where the unacceptable conduct involves abuse, neglect or harassment of any type, and Hockey Alberta has a reasonable belief such unacceptable conduct has occurred, the matter may be turned over to the RCMP or other appropriate external authorities.
Best Practices in Social Media – General Advice and Tips
Social Media has placed increased pressure on everyone. News, comments and opinions are shared immediately. Your personal reputation, as well as your organization and Hockey Alberta is at stake, with every post. Therefore, before you post, T-H-I-N-K!
T - Is it True?
H – Is it Hurtful?
I – Is it Illegal?
N – Is it Necessary?
K – Is it Kind?
Based on your answers to these five questions, THINK about whether the post should be made. Would you say it to someone in person? If not, it is probably not a suitable post for any medium. If the post is suitable to share, here are some ways to help get maximum readership for your
post, while also representing yourself, your organization, and Hockey Alberta positively:
- Be creative and engaging, positive and professional
- Celebrate achievements
- Spellcheck and use proper grammar
- Choose the social media platform(s) that best suit your targeted audience
- Find the balance between originality and following trends
- Engage follows and make them feel part of the team
- Observe and take part in global social media trends
Dealing with Negative Posts
- Screenshot the post, so you have evidence if it is subsequently deleted.
- Don’t feel obligated to answer EVERY negative tweet, message, etc.
- When responding, always be professional
- Encourage them to email, or even call if they have an issue
- Don’t engage in an argument – social media arguments are a spectator sport
Social Media Guidelines – Hockey Alberta Officials
These guidelines are applicable to all members of the Hockey Alberta’s Officials community, including committee members and staff, on-ice and off-ice officials. The guidelines include communications through all social media channels, electronic messaging (such as texting), Internet media and websites.
When using social media and networking mediums, Hockey Alberta officials should assume at they are representing Hockey Alberta and should conduct themselves in an appropriate and professional manner. Once comments are posted or sent they cannot be retracted. Ultimately, each individual official is solely responsible for his/her comments.
- Use your best judgment – THINK before posting or sending.
- Comments of an inappropriate nature which are detrimental to Hockey Alberta, a team fellow officials or any individual are not tolerated and are subject to disciplinary action.
- Do not divulge confidential information about an individual or team, including business or game strategy that could give someone else a competitive advantage.
- Do not discuss injury information about any player.
- If requested to participate in an online network, as a direct result of your affiliation with or participation in the Hockey Alberta Officials Committee, or Regional Committee, you should request approval from the Provincial Chair of Officials or Regional Coordinator.
- On-ice officials are not to post on social media within two hours of the start of a game and one hour following completion.