A few weeks ago, this website and it’s associated social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter adopted a Social Media Policy.
The following article is by Richard Cooper, the Whitchurch Association Trustee responsible for the charity’s policies, in which he explains how it works in practice. It should be read alongside the Social Media Policy (which is HERE).


The Whitchurch Association’s Social Media Policy is deliberately ‘light touch’, as can be seen by this extract:

• Be professional; remember that others will judge you by what you publish.

• Be responsible; be honest at all times and when you gain insight; share it with others where appropriate.

• Be credible, be accurate and fair.

As ‘owner’ of this policy I would like to add some clarification for those that may think this is not in itself a policy, or is simply not robust enough.  I’d also like to remind people that participation in Whitchurch Association moderated social media is entirely of your own choosing.  If you don’t like the way the Whitchurch Association conducts its on-line activities then you are at liberty to stop looking at its content at any time.

So, please remember, you set the tone of your postings;  if you post a ‘controversial’ comment then expect ‘controversial’ replies.  Other people are entitled to disagree with your point of view; learn to deal with this.

All contributors are requested to test their post for politeness.  It is simple:

  • Ask yourself if you would speak to a loved one in the same manner or tone of your post  –  If the answer is ‘no’, then please don’t post your comment;
  • Ask yourself if you would be upset if you read a post aimed at your loved ones, written in the manner or tone of your post – If the answer is ‘yes’, then please don’t post your comment.

As ‘owner’ of the Whitchurch Association social media policy, I have been questioned as to why our policy does not include any form of discipline or redress for offenders or complainants.

My answer is simple; our online activities are set up to be self governing.

How would you feel if our moderators deleted your post without giving you the chance to amend it?  Or if you were banned from posting altogether?  Is that really the way to run a community facility such as this?

As stated in the principles above; “others will judge you by what you publish”.  The Whitchurch Association has no desire to stifle free speech; we like and encourage lively, respectful discussion.

Our moderators are part time volunteers; please respect this.  We take complaints seriously, but expect all contributors to treat everyone as they would like to be treated; i.e. with respect and dignity.

If your post fails to meet the ‘politeness test’ outlined above, you can expect to be asked to change or delete your post.  In extreme cases posts may be removed my me or my moderating team. There will be no discussion; just a referral back to this post.

Remember everyone on Facebook is a ‘friend’; so be friendly!

Happy posting.

Whitchurch Association Trustee

Comments (2)

  • Julia

    Well written guys, well done. You do a fab job and I wonder how many times you are told this vs how many times you are criticised. Keep up the good work 🙂

    Editors’ note
    Your thanks are very much appreciated.

  • Claire Isester

    Dear Team,

    This is a really sensible explanation of the policy and I especially like the politeness test. I have stopped participating in some Whitchurch facebook discussions about which I have an opinion, or even some knowledge, because of the aggressive tone of other participants. If other people are opting out through a sense of self preservation, then debate has been stifled not by the moderators but by the participants. Thanks very much for this splendid encouragement to be friendly – as well as improving our well-being, I am sure it will improve the quality of debate. And thank you for your excellent work.


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