Our Social Media and 'House Rules'
Coonamble Shire Council utilises a number of social media platforms/profiles to let you know what is happening throughout the Local Government Area. Council's social media pages supplement the information on this website and are used to ensure as broad a reach with Council’s communications, as quickly as possible.
Where possible, a response will be made to social media comments, questions and feedback, however, our social media channels are monitored in business hours only, except in the cases of emergency.
Council’s use of social media is not considered formal correspondence, and you should contact Coonamble Shire Council by email, phone or in writing if you have a formal request, comment, question or want to offer a compliment or make a complaint. You can also lodge a request online via forms on the relevant pages where available.
Council's social media platforms/profiles and content are guided by Council’s Social Media Policy and 'House Rules' for posts.
We also have a presence on Instagram and LinkedIn.
These House Rules outline the principles and procedures by which Council officials engage with the community and other users on the social media platforms on which Council has a presence and by which such social media platforms/profiles are moderated.
Posting to any of Council's social media profiles implies your conscious and explicit agreement to comply with these rules and the actions to be taken should a post be contrary to them.
These House Rules should be read in conjunction with Coonamble Shire Council’s Social Media Policy.
The principles guiding Council officials’ use and moderation of Council’s social media are:
Openness: Our social media platforms are places where anyone can share and discuss issues that are relevant to our Council and the community we represent and serve.
Relevance: We will ensure our social media platforms are kept up to date with informative content about our Council and community.
Accuracy: The content we upload onto our social media platforms and any other social media platform will be a source of truth for our Council and community and we will prioritise the need to correct inaccuracies when they occur.
Respect: Our social media platforms are safe spaces. We will uphold and promote the behavioural standards contained in this policy and our Council’s code of conduct when using our social media platforms and any other social media platform.
Cohesion: Council officials genuinely work to serve their community, often with limited resourcing and within frameworks dictated by legislation, and plans and policies adopted by Council, that prioritise work and services. While specific lines of actions being pursued by Council may not align with every community member’s priorities, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” Council officials’ use of social media platforms/profiles seeks to build cohesion between Council and the public it serves—for our shared future prosperity—and invite the public to foster this cohesion through the adoption of these principles.
Posts or conduct resulting in removal or hiding of content and/or the blocking or banning of a person
Engagement contrary to the above principles or to the following guidelines may be removed outright or ‘hidden’ from public view, and the person responsible for posting it may be blocked or banned, according to the provisions of Council’s Social Media Policy, whether that person be a Council official or member of the public.
A person or social media entity or profile must not use social media to post or share any comment, photos, video, electronic recording or other information or media that:
a) is defamatory, offensive, humiliating, threatening or intimidating to other Council officials or members of the public
b) contains profane language or is sexual in nature
c) constitutes harassment and/or bullying within the meaning of Council’s Code of Conduct, or is unlawfully discriminatory
e) contains content about the Council, Council officials or members of the public that is misleading or deceptive
f) divulges confidential Council information
g) breaches the privacy of other Council officials or members of the public
h) contains allegations of suspected breaches of the Council’s Code of Conduct or information about the consideration of a matter under the Procedures for the Administration of the Code of Conduct
i) could be perceived to be an official comment on behalf of the Council where they have not been authorised to make such comment
j) commits the Council to any action
k) violates an order made by a Court
l) breaches copyright
m) advertises, endorses or solicits commercial products or business
n) constitutes spam
o) is in breach of the rules of the social media platform
The process of being blocked or banned from Council’s social media platforms/profiles
Where a person uploads content onto a social media platform that, in the reasonable opinion of the moderator, is of a kind contrary to the principles and/or guidelines specified in the House Rules, the moderator may remove or ‘hide’ that content.
Prior to removing or ‘hiding’ the content, the moderator is to make a record of it (for example, a screenshot).
If the moderator removes or ‘hides’ the content under this clause, they must, where practicable, notify the person who uploaded the content that it has been removed and the reason(s) for its removal and their rights of review, specified in the following paragraphs.
A person may request a review of a decision by a moderator to remove or ‘hide’ content under this clause. The request must be made in writing to the General Manager and state the grounds on which the request is being made.
Where a review request is made under this clause, the review is to be undertaken by the General Manager or a member of staff nominated by the General Manager who is suitably qualified and who was not involved in the decision to remove or ‘hide’ the content.
If a person uploads content that is removed or ‘hidden’ under clause 6.5.2 of Coonamble Shire Council’s Social Media Policy on three (3) occasions, that person may be blocked or banned from the social media platform and/or all social media platforms moderated by Council.
A person may only be blocked or banned from a Council social media platform with the approval of the General Manager. This clause does not apply to blocking or banning a person from a Councillor’s social media platform.
Prior to blocking or banning a person from a social media platform, the person must, where practicable, be advised of the intention to block or ban them from the platform/all platforms and be given a chance to respond. Any submission made by the person must be considered prior to a determination being made to block or ban them.
The duration of the block or ban is to be determined by the General Manager, or in the case of a Councillor’s social media platform, the Councillor.
Where a determination is made to block or ban a person from a social media platform/all social media platforms, the person must, where practicable, be notified in writing of the decision and the reasons for it. The written notice must also advise the person which social media platforms they are blocked or banned from and the duration of the block or ban and inform them of their rights of review.
Where a person uploads content of a kind referred to under clause 6.5.1 of Council’s Social Media Policy, and the moderator is reasonably satisfied that the person’s further engagement on the social media platform poses a risk to health and safety or another substantive risk (such as the uploading of defamatory content), an interim block or ban from the platform/all platforms may be imposed on the person immediately for a period no longer than thirty (30) days.
A person who is the subject of an interim block or ban from the platform/all platforms under this clause must, where practicable, be given a chance to respond to the interim block or ban being imposed. Any submission made by the person must be considered when determining whether the interim block or ban is to be removed or retained.
A person may request a review of a decision to block or ban them from a social media platform. The request must be made in writing to the General Manager and state the grounds on which the request is being made.
Where a review request is made, the review is to be undertaken by the General Manager or a member of staff nominated by the General Manager who is suitably qualified and who was not involved in the decision to block or ban the person. Where the decision to block or ban the person was made by the General Manager, the review must be undertaken by another senior and suitably qualified member of staff who was not involved in the decision.
Where a person that is the subject of a block or ban continues to engage on a social media platform(s) using an alternative social media account, profile, avatar, etc., a moderator may block or ban the person from the platform(s) immediately.
Privacy and your personal information
Social media communications are in the public domain. Council officials and members of the public who post to a social media platform/profile should exercise caution about what personal information, if any, they upload onto social media.
The Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 applies to the use of social media platforms by Council officials. To mitigate potential privacy risks, Council officials will:
a) advise people not to provide personal information on social media platforms
b) inform people if any personal information they may provide on social mediaplatforms is to be used for official purposes
c) moderate comments to ensure they do not contain any personal information
d) advise people to contact the Council or Councillors through alternative channels if they have personal information they do not want to disclose in a public forum.
Council officials are to comply with the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 when engaging on and/or moderating social media platforms. In fulfilling their obligations, Council officials should refer to any guidance issued by the Information and Privacy Commission of NSW, such as, but not limited to, the Health Privacy Principles.
Social media monitoring and moderation
Council’s social media platforms and profiles will be monitored and moderated during normal Council business hours, being 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays, and outside these hours in the instance of a significant instance of non-compliance.
Concerns or complaints about the administration of a Council’s social media platform/profile should be made to Council’s General Manager in the first instance, either in writing and posted to the General Manager, PO Box 249, Coonamble NSW 2829; by email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or by using the online submission form on Council’s website to ‘Report an Issue’.
Complaints about the conduct of Council officials (including Councillors) on social media platforms/profiles are to be directed to the General Manager, using any of the above contact points.
Complaints about a General Manager’s conduct on social media platforms may be directed to the mayor, either in writing and posted to The Mayor, Coonamble Shire Council, PO Box 249, Coonamble NSW 2829 or by email to email@example.com.