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British Eventing keeping eye on social media

Mike Etherington-Smith

Mike Etherington-Smith. © John Hipkiss

New guidelines have been introduced by British Eventing in an effort to rein in the misuse of social media by members.

British Eventing added the new rule on May 29, following a similar move by British Showjumping.

It said it recognised that the internet provided unique opportunities for interactive discussions and information sharing, but that members’ use of social media could pose risks to BE’s confidential and proprietary information, and reputation, “and can jeopardise its compliance with legal obligations”.

BE Chief Executive Mike Etherington-Smith said most people used social media very well and responsibly for all the right reasons. “However, there are occasions where some inappropriate, unfair, and unacceptable comments are posted which can be considered to be bringing the sport in to disrepute and so the new regulations have been brought in to address this issue.”

Failure by a Member to comply with the new rule may result in disciplinary action, and civil and/or criminal proceedings could also be brought against members for breach of this Rule where applicable, BE says.

Members of BE may be required to remove “postings, comments or any other submissions made using social media that are deemed to constitute a breach of this Rule. Failure to comply with such a request may in itself result in disciplinary action.”

If members have queries relating to this new ruling please email press@britisheventing.com

British Eventing’s Social Media Rule
1. British Eventing recognises that the internet provides unique opportunities to participate in interactive discussions and share information on particular topics using a wide variety of social media. However, Members’ use of social media can pose risks to British Eventing’s confidential and proprietary information, and reputation, and can jeopardise its compliance with legal obligations.
2. As such, all Members must comply with the requirements of this Rule at all times, including whenever they use any form of social networking websites that now exist or may exist in the future, including but not limited to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Wikipedia, Flickr, MySpace, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube, and whenever they participate in, submit or respond to any internet postings, including blogs and wikis (together, “Social Media”), however the same are accessed, in each case using any device existing now or in the future.
3. Failure by a Member to comply with the provisions of this Rule may result in British Eventing taking disciplinary action against that Member in accordance with these Rules. Civil and/or criminal proceedings could also be brought against members for breach of this Rule where applicable.
4. British Eventing may require Members to remove postings, comments or any other submissions made using social media that are deemed to constitute a breach of this Rule. Failure to comply with such a request may in itself result in disciplinary action.
5. British Eventing reserves the right to monitor, intercept and review, without further notice, social media postings and activities that include references to it and/or its Members, to ensure that its Rules are being complied with and for legitimate business purposes. All Members consent to such monitoring by their agreeing to abide by these Rules.
6. In their use of the internet and all social media, Members of British Eventing must do the following:-
a) Not post any threatening, derogatory, obscene, indecent, seditious, offensive, pornographic, abusive, disparaging, racist, discriminatory, menacing, inflammatory, blasphemous, or defamatory statements or material, including, but not limited to, statements or material concerning:
I. British Eventing;
II. Members or former members of British Eventing;
III. Sponsors of British Eventing; and
IV. Affiliates and stakeholders of British Eventing;
b) Not make any statements that could directly or indirectly damage the name or reputation of British Eventing;
c) Make it clear in social media postings that they are speaking on their own behalf and that, where they disclose their membership of British Eventing, their views do not represent those of British Eventing; and
d) Not use British Eventing logos, brand names, slogans or other trademarks, or post any of its confidential or proprietary information without the prior written permission of British Eventing.

British Eventing will fully comply with any:
1. Law;
2. Request by any governmental or other regulatory authority; or
3. Order by a court or other authority of competent jurisdiction that requires British Eventing to disclose the identity or location of any Member posting any material in breach of the requirements of this Rule. British Eventing may share a Member’s personal information with the police or any other governmental authority if it is asked to do so in connection with the investigation of suspected illegal activities.

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