Social Media is now a part of daily life for many people. There are benefits for organisations and individuals making use of social media, however there are also potential risks.

This policy lays out an approach to the use of social media by Winchester Photographic Society and its members to make the most of the benefits whilst also laying out best practice to minimise the risks.

For the purpose of this policy, ‘social media’ shall be defined as “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking”.  This includes, but is not limited to, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, MySpace, FourSquare, Pinterest, Reddit, Bebo, Flickr and Instagram.

Winchester Photographic Society (WPS) currently has private social media sites on the following platforms: Facebook. It should be noted that the Facebook sites are not open to the public to view and comment on.

Any new social media accounts in the name of Winchester Photographic Society will only be created with the express written permission of the Winchester Photographic Society Committee.

Social media has the potential for several benefits for the Society and its members, including:

  • Encouraging members to become more actively engaged with the Society, for example, through attending more events and more regularly.
  • Encouraging members to become more actively engaged with other members, for example, through sharing their photographs with Society members.
  • Encouraging members to become more actively engaged with other members, for example, through constructive comments on another member’s photography.
  • Encouraging non-members to become involved with the Society, for example, by attending an event as a visitor or by becoming a member.
  • Social media is a useful medium to impart information about the Society and its current activities such as, for example, information on upcoming events or other newsworthy items.
  • Social media can help to boost the public image of both the Society and individual members.

Usage Intentions

Winchester Photographic Society makes use of the following social media platforms:

1. Facebook Closed Group

  • We have a closed Facebook Group called Winchester Photographic Society Members.
  • Members may join the closed WPS Facebook Group, where these Guidelines and Policies apply; see Joining the WPS Facebook Group page on the WPS website under Membership/Joining.
  • We use the Facebook group to share relevant information (events, news, etc.) with members. Members can use it to share information and discuss photography issues with other members, or to share and comment on photographs.
  • There are also Facebook sub-groups for WPS Special Interest Groups.
  • The online calendar is the main place to check for dates of events, which are also publicised in the weekly members’ email newsletter. We will usually add details of forthcoming events, activities and deadlines to the Facebook page at least a week in advance.
  • Relevant news, such as competition winners, Society notices and relevant external news will be added to the page on at least a weekly basis.
  • If posting images to our Facebook account, please beware of Facebook’s restrictive terms:

“For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

2. Facebook Page

The Society’s public information Facebook page is ‘Winchester Photographic Society’.

This contains brief details about the Society, with pointers to our website and main meeting location. We also use it to promote the Society to non-members and to publicise open events such as the Annual Exhibition and the Winchester National Exhibition.

Usage Guidelines

Winchester Photographic Society members are expected to always be polite, respectful and constructive in their postings on social media sites. Common sense on the part of the member will in most instances ensure that only appropriate posts are uploaded to social media sites.

Posts and comments should be limited to photography related topics. Do not post political or other non-photographic content or comments.

Issues relating to photography are often of interest to the general public and the media. It is therefore important to recognise that anything a member posts on a social media site may be obtained and published elsewhere and may potentially be misreported or misinterpreted, even if the member had intended the content to be uncontroversial.

Members should remember that messages which are intended to be private or for a particular person can be forwarded on or published without their consent. Members should therefore take care with what they post and to whom, and always be confident that if a message were to be published publicly that it could in no way leave the member or the Society open to criticism or potentially civil or criminal liability. Recent legal cases have established that anything posted on a social media site, regardless of the intended recipient, may be considered public information.

Members should avoid being critical of anyone – particularly competition judges, Society officials and members of WPS or other clubs. Instead, members should consider offering constructive suggestions for improvement directly, yet politely and respectfully, to the individual(s) involved and not through social media.

Members are advised to always bear in mind the instant nature of social media and to avoid making any comments in the heat of the moment at times of frustration or anger. Members should assume that once a message, comment, image or other item has been posted it is in the public domain and that even deleting it may not prevent problems arising later.

Members should be careful about divulging personal information on social media sites that could potentially be used in the theft of their identity.

If a member is unsure of whether or not a particular post, comment or message could be considered inappropriate – they should not post it!

Usage Policy

Members must not knowingly or recklessly post anything on a social media site which is likely to bring the Society – or photography in general – into disrepute or cause the Society or the member to be in breach of the Winchester Photographic Society’s Constitution or English law.

Any action judged by WPS or the member to whom the action is directed as discrimination, harassment or bullying and the posting of false or defamatory information will not be subject to immediate WPS actions including those under the Society Constitution. Members should, as far as is reasonably possible, be completely certain of the accuracy and legitimacy of any information before posting it.

Winchester Photographic Society will take action in the event of improper or inappropriate use of social media. Social media moderators, appointed by the Winchester Photographic Society Committee, reserve the right to remove improper and inappropriate posts following which the author will be notified.

Any breach of this policy could make a Society member liable to disciplinary action including dismissal from the Society, in accordance with clause 16 of the Constitution.

See also: