The FA has issued further guidance on the use of social websites by participants in football following an increase in the number of complaints and referrals it has received in relation to postings on sites such as Twitter.
Everyone involved in the game is reminded of the following key points.
- All comments on social networking sites may be considered public comment by The FA and county FA
- Any comments which are improper, bring the game into disrepute or are threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting may lead to disciplinary action
- Comments about match officials which imply bias, attack official's' integrity or are overly personal in nature are considered improper
- Comments which include a reference to a person's ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability may be considered aggravated and attract a higher disciplinary sanction
- Re-tweeting another person's post may lead to disciplinary action if the original comment was improper
- Deleting or apologising publicly for an improper posting, whilst advisable, does not prevent disciplinary action being taken
- An individual is strictly responsible for any posting on his/her account. Participants should take every care to ensure that others do not access their account, as the fact that a posting or comment may have been by a third party will not prevent disciplinary action being taken against the account holder
All Participants, especially those involved in the professional game, are required to act in the best interests of the game at all times and should be aware that their postings on social networking sites are likely to be subject to public and media scrutiny.
The FA recognises that the use of social networking sites can be positive but asks that caution is exercised with the content of postings.