Councillors handed social media rulebook

Southend Standard: Mayor Mo Larkin asked for an apology from councillor Phil Rackley after he posted offensive comments about her on Facebook Mayor Mo Larkin asked for an apology from councillor Phil Rackley after he posted offensive comments about her on Facebook

COUNCILLORS are set to be given a social media rulebook in a bid to prevent outbursts on the likes of Twitter and Facebook.


As more councillors try their hand at posting on the web, Basildon Council will circulate social media guidance to members to help them from being rude to other politicians and residents.
 

Guidance included in the policy includes ‘avoid personal attacks and disrespectful, rude, or offensive comments, ‘treat others with respect’, and ‘you are personally responsible for the content you publish on any form of social media.’
 

Members are also told not to post confidential and personal information.


Last month, Labour councillor Phil Rackley apologised publicly after posting offensive comments about town mayoress Mo Larkin on Facebook.
 

Mr Rackley admitted he had posted comments under a photo of Mrs Larkin which said she looked like “lamb dressed as mutton” on the site.
 

Earlier on in the year, Tory councillor Luke Mackenzie landed himself in trouble after inadvertantly called a group of disabled protestors a ‘bunch of unwashed people.’
 

Several members of Basildon Council have Twitter accounts, including Labour councillor Gavin Callaghan, who represents Pitsea North West.
 

He said: “This guidance is a monumental waste of time and money.


“We’re all in a position of responsibility and quite simply, don’t say something online than you wouldn’t offline. If people need guidance on that then it’s a state state of affairs.
 

“Social media is a fantastic forum for talking to constituents. I wouldn’t have been elected if it wasn’t for Facebook.”
 

Members of the council’s Joint Standards Committee approved plans on Tuesday to give out the guidance to councillors.
 

A council spokesman said: "In recognition of the growth of social media and the ever increasing numbers of councillors using it as a way of communicating with residents and each other, it was appropriate to devise a social media policy.
 

"This is sensible and straight-forward guidance that covers legal considerations as well as the Code of Conduct and will help councillors use social media with the confidence that they are not breaching any guidelines."

Comments (13)

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9:38am Sun 9 Dec 12

Shoebury_Cyclist says...

'Soical' media? Why is the Echo hiring illiterates?
'Soical' media? Why is the Echo hiring illiterates? Shoebury_Cyclist

9:44am Sun 9 Dec 12

Olivia2847 says...

Shoebury_Cyclist wrote:
'Soical' media? Why is the Echo hiring illiterates?
Speaks for itself really. I would not have been elected if it was not for Facebook about sums it up ....
[quote][p][bold]Shoebury_Cyclist[/bold] wrote: 'Soical' media? Why is the Echo hiring illiterates?[/p][/quote]Speaks for itself really. I would not have been elected if it was not for Facebook about sums it up .... Olivia2847

9:47am Sun 9 Dec 12

Olivia2847 says...

Hiring illiterates Shoebury Reg Harris? They have them already ..
Hiring illiterates Shoebury Reg Harris? They have them already .. Olivia2847

9:48am Sun 9 Dec 12

Olivia2847 says...

Not to mention the hat! Move over Phillip Treacy ....
Not to mention the hat! Move over Phillip Treacy .... Olivia2847

11:38am Sun 9 Dec 12

howironic says...

Is that mutton dressed as lamb?
Is that mutton dressed as lamb? howironic

12:06pm Sun 9 Dec 12

Pounder says...

Maybe they should also invest in the 'What not to wear' handbook.
Maybe they should also invest in the 'What not to wear' handbook. Pounder

12:07pm Sun 9 Dec 12

Eric Whim says...

howironic wrote:
Is that mutton dressed as lamb?
don't insult mutton....
[quote][p][bold]howironic[/bold] wrote: Is that mutton dressed as lamb?[/p][/quote]don't insult mutton.... Eric Whim

12:17pm Sun 9 Dec 12

Pounder says...

The hat looks like something that's used as a production prop in a bush-tucker trial in I'm a Celebrity...
The hat looks like something that's used as a production prop in a bush-tucker trial in I'm a Celebrity... Pounder

12:56pm Sun 9 Dec 12

Brunning999 says...

Very worrying if these idiots need advice on how to behave !

Still it's our money they are spending which explains everything during a recession.
Very worrying if these idiots need advice on how to behave ! Still it's our money they are spending which explains everything during a recession. Brunning999

1:45pm Sun 9 Dec 12

Olivia2847 says...

Glad that others wrote what I was thinking myself ......
Glad that others wrote what I was thinking myself ...... Olivia2847

1:46pm Sun 9 Dec 12

Olivia2847 says...

howironic wrote:
Is that mutton dressed as lamb?
Barbara Windsor and i claim my five pounds ....
[quote][p][bold]howironic[/bold] wrote: Is that mutton dressed as lamb?[/p][/quote]Barbara Windsor and i claim my five pounds .... Olivia2847

1:50pm Sun 9 Dec 12

Eric Whim says...

Olivia2847 wrote:
howironic wrote:
Is that mutton dressed as lamb?
Barbara Windsor and i claim my five pounds ....
Ball and Blake as Sid and Bernie in Carry on Camping?
[quote][p][bold]Olivia2847[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]howironic[/bold] wrote: Is that mutton dressed as lamb?[/p][/quote]Barbara Windsor and i claim my five pounds ....[/p][/quote]Ball and Blake as Sid and Bernie in Carry on Camping? Eric Whim

10:42am Mon 10 Dec 12

J_blond says...

Maybe they could extend the advice to former councillors, who need advice when advertising parties at their houses?
Maybe they could extend the advice to former councillors, who need advice when advertising parties at their houses? J_blond

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