Digital citizenship: support and resources for councillors

The LGA is developing a range of guidance and tools to support councillors and candidates in their online communications. This will be developed over time, in partnership with our colleagues in the Welsh LGA, the Northern Ireland LGA and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.


Infographics

Rules of engagement

This infographic can be pinned to your social media profile to outline the ways in which you intend to engage with people online. These rules are designed to give all users a clear ‘code’ by which they should operate, with a clear statement that users can be blocked, or posts deleted, if they fail to participate in a civil manner.

The images come with ALT text and a 'long description'. If you choose to post the image your social media page please try to use the ALT text as appropriate.

To download and use the image, please click on an image to to visit it on a separate page, then 'save as' and post to your desired location.

Councillors

Social media rules of engagement in English. See below the image for a full description of the text.
Download at www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/images/43.4%20Engagement_Cllr.png

View the Welsh version of the rules of engagement for councillors image

Full text description of 'Rules of engagement for councillors'.

Rules of engagement

Welcome to my page, which aims to communicate my activities as a councillor. If you wish to be a part of this online community, you must agree to abide by this code of digital engagement, which is designed to keep everyone safe.

Rule 1: Debate and disagreement are welcome on this page, but only if expressed with courtesy, respect and politeness.
Rule 2: Posts should not contain abuse, harassment, intimidation or threats of any form.
Rule 3: Posts should not contain any form of discrimination – including racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia or religious intolerance.
Rule 4: Posts should not spread false or unverified information.
Rule 5: For transparency reasons, users should not post anonymously.

If any of these rules are broken, page admins reserve the right to delete posts, block users and report content to the police if necessary.

It may not be possible to respond to all queries on this page due to time constraints - if you have specific enquiries or casework, please send directly to my official email.

Welsh full text description of 'Rules of engagement for councillors'.

Rheolau ymgysylltu
Croeso i’m tudalen, sy’n bwriadu cyfathrebu fy ngweithgareddau fel cynghorydd. Os ydych chi’n dymuno bod yn rhan o’r gymuned hon ar-lein, mae’n rhaid i chi lynu at y cod hwn o ymgysylltiad digidol, sydd wedi’i ddylunio i gadw pawb yn ddiogel.

Rheol 1: Croesewir trafodaeth ac anghytundeb ar y dudalen hon, os yw’n cael ei fynegi â chwrteisi, parch a moesgarwch.
Rheol 2: Ni ddylai negeseuon gynnwys camdriniaeth, aflonyddwch, bethau i godi ofn neu fygythiadau o unrhyw fath.
Rheol 3: Ni ddylai negeseuon gynnwys unrhyw fath o wahaniaethu – gan gynnwys rhagfarn ar sail hil, rhagfarn ar sail rhyw, anabledd, homoffobia, transffobia neu anoddefgarwch o ran crefydd.
Rheol 4: Ni ddylai negeseuon ledaenu gwybodaeth anwir neu wybodaeth heb ei dilysu.
Rheol 5: Er rhesymau tryloywder, ni ddylai defnyddwyr anfon negeseuon dienw.

Os yw unrhyw reol yn cael ei thorri, mae gweinyddwyr y dudalen yn cadw’r hawl i ddileu negeseuon, rhwystro defnyddwyr neu adrodd cynnwys i’r heddlu os oes angen.

Efallai na fyddai'n bosibl ymateb i bob ymholiad ar y dudalen hon oherwydd cyfyngiadau amser – os oes gennych ymholiadau penodol neu waith achos, anfonwch eich neges i fy e-bost swyddogol.


Candidates

Rules of engagement for candidates. See below this image for a detailed description.
Download at www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/images/43.5%20Engagement_Candidate.png

View the Welsh version of the rules of engagement for candidates image

Full text description (candidate version, English)

Rules of engagement

Welcome to my page, which aims to communicate my activities as a candidate in our local elections. If you wish to be a part of this online community, you must agree to abide by this code of digital engagement, which is designed to keep everyone safe.

  • Rule 1: Debate and disagreement are welcome on this page, but only if expressed with courtesy, respect and politeness.
  • Rule 2: Posts should not contain abuse, harassment, intimidation or threats of any form.
  • Rule 3: Posts should not contain any form of discrimination – including racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia or religious intolerance.
  • Rule 4: Posts should not spread false or unverified information.
  • Rule 5: For transparency reasons, users should not post anonymously.

If any of these rules are broken, page admins reserve the right to delete posts, block users and report content to the police if necessary.

It may not be possible to respond to all queries on this page due to time constraints - if you have specific enquiries or casework, please send directly to my official email.

Full text description (candidate version, Welsh)

Rheolau ymgysylltu
Croeso i’m tudalen, sy’n bwriadu cyfathrebu fy ngweithgareddau fel ymgeisydd yn ein etholiadau lleol. Os ydych chi’n dymuno bod yn rhan o’r gymuned hon ar-lein, mae’n rhaid i chi lynu at y cod hwn o ymgysylltiad digidol, sydd wedi’i ddylunio i gadw pawb yn ddiogel.

  • Rheol 1: Croesewir trafodaeth ac anghytundeb ar y dudalen hon, os yw’n cael ei fynegi â chwrteisi, parch a moesgarwch.
  • Rheol 2: Ni ddylai negeseuon gynnwys camdriniaeth, aflonyddwch, bethau i godi ofn neu fygythiadau o unrhyw fath.
  • Rheol 3: Ni ddylai negeseuon gynnwys unrhyw fath o wahaniaethu – gan gynnwys rhagfarn ar sail hil, rhagfarn ar sail rhyw, anabledd, homoffobia, transffobia neu anoddefgarwch o ran crefydd.
  • Rheol 4: Ni ddylai negeseuon ledaenu gwybodaeth anwir neu wybodaeth heb ei dilysu.
  • Rheol 5: Er rhesymau tryloywder, ni ddylai defnyddwyr anfon negeseuon dienw.

Os yw unrhyw reol yn cael ei thorri, mae gweinyddwyr y dudalen yn cadw’r hawl i ddileu negeseuon, rhwystro defnyddwyr neu adrodd cynnwys i’r heddlu os oes angen.

Efallai na fyddai'n bosibl ymateb i bob ymholiad ar y dudalen hon oherwydd cyfyngiadau amser – os oes gennych ymholiadau penodol neu waith achos, anfonwch eich neges i fy e-bost swyddogol.


Handling online abuse

This infographic gives councillors a quick reference guide to help them to understand the steps they can take to protect themselves online, how to respond to abusive messages, and encourages councillors to seek support where needed.

Handling online abuse, the rules of engagement. Below this image are further details of the text.
Download at www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/images/43.5%20Online%20abuse.png

View the Welsh version of the handling online abuse image

Full text description (English)

Handling online abuse

  • Set expectations – point people to your rules of engagement and apply these consistently.
  • Lead by example – do not post comments that could be considered abusive, and avoid posting false or unverified information.
  • Consider content – some content will be more controversial than others. Consider before posting how you will manage engagement with this, for example only engaging in comments on the policy itself or directing people to consultation documents.
  • Defuse conflict – waiting to respond can take the heat out of situations, as can reframing your own language.
  • Know when to step back  Remember you do not have to engage with abusive or threatening behaviour. You can set the record straight with factual information if you wish, but you can step away when you want to.
  • Protect your privacy – set different passwords for different accounts, and do not post information that can allow people to identify your whereabouts outside of official council business.
  • Understand privacy settings – there is a range of settings to help you manage who can see or comment on your posts.
  • Get and give support – where you feel able, provide support to fellow councillors online, and reach out to colleagues and your council for support where needed.
  • Record abuse –screenshot comments and keep a record of abusive or threatening communications.
  • Report serious issues – if you feel unable to deal with online abuse yourself or have any concerns about your safety, report this to your council or the police
Full text description (Welsh)

Mynd i’r afael â cham-drin ar-lein

  • Gosod disgwyliadau – cyfeirio pobl at eich rheolau wrth ymgysylltu, a chymhwyso’r rhain yn gyson.
  • Arwain drwy esiampl – peidiwch â phostio sylwadau y byddant yn cael eu hystyried yn sarhaus, ac osgowch bostio gwybodaeth ffug neu heb ei gwirio.
  • Ystyried cynnwys – bydd rhai negeseuon yn fwy dadleuon nag eraill. Ystyriwch cyn postio sut byddwch yn trin ymgysylltiad gyda hyn, er enghraifft, ymateb i negeseuon ar y polisi ei hun yn unig, neu gyfeirio pobl at ddogfennau ymgynghori.
  • Lleihau gwrthdaro - gall aros i ymateb leihau gwrthdaro, yn ogystal ag ail-fframio eich iaith eich hun.
  • Gwybod pryd i gamu nôl – Cofiwch nid oes angen i chi ymgysylltu gydag ymddygiad sarhaus neu ymddygiad bygythiol. Gallwch esbonio’r sefyllfa gyda gwybodaeth ffeithiol os ydych chi'n dymuno, ond gallwch gamu nôl pan rydych yn dymuno.
  • Gwarchod eich preifatrwydd – gosodwch gyfrineiriau gwahanol ar gyfer cyfrifon gwahanol, a pheidiwch â phostio gwybodaeth a fyddai’n caniatáu i bobl nodi eich lleoliad tu allan i fusnes swyddogol y cyngor.
  • Deall gosodiadau preifatrwydd – mae ystod eang o osodiadau i’ch helpu chi reoli pwy sy’n gweld neu’n postio sylwadau ar eich negeseuon.
  • Cymerwch a rhowch gefnogaeth - pan rydych yn gallu, rhowch gefnogaeth i gyd gynghorwyr ar-lein, ac estynnwch allan i'ch cydweithwyr a'ch cyngor am gefnogaeth pan fo'r angen.
  • Cofnodwch gamdriniaeth ­- cymerwch gipluniau o sylwadau a chadwch gofnod o ohebiaeth gamdriniol neu fygythiol.
  • Adroddwch faterion difrifol – os nad ydych yn teimlo fel gallwch drin camdriniaeth ar-lein eich hun, os oes gennych bryderon am eich diogelwch, adroddwch hyn i'r cyngor neu i'r heddlu

Further resources

Glitch is a UK charity committed to ending the abuse of women and marginalised people online. Through workshops, training, reports and programmes, they equip their intersectional community to become the digital citizens we need in the world today. From grassroots to systemic change, they advocate for an online world that is a safe space for all and you can follow Glitch on Twitter.

Below is a video of Glitch founder Seyi Akiwowo talking about being an active online bystander at the 2019 LGA Annual Conference.