Policy concerning the use of Information Technology and Social Media (“Policy”)

Adopted November 2013

About the Policy

Dogs NSW has an obligation to its members to provide a safe environment both physically and emotionally. This obligation is not limited to the confines of the show ring or trial field [or Dogs NSW events], but includes ensuring that Information Technology (IT) is not used by our members in a destructive or counterproductive way.

Dogs NSW acknowledges that IT provides beneficial and important platforms for both business and personal communication which allows the sharing of information in online communities.

However, Dogs NSW has recognised the potential for IT to be used inappropriately and/or in a manner which may be considered to be bullying or even illegal. The Policy has been prepared to promote a healthy environment within which Dogs NSW members can use IT in a constructive manner.

To whom does the Policy apply?

This policy concerns the use of IT by all members of Dogs NSW and applies to any IT services accessed by these parties through Dogs NSW IT systems or through personal IT devices by those to whom the Policy applies, whether at Dogs NSW events or outside of these times.

To what does the Policy apply?

The Policy applies to the use of Information Technology, including but not limited to:

  1. Social Media;
  2. Email services;
  3. Instant messaging services;
  4. Text messages; and
  5. Telephone calls.

What is Social Media?

“Social Media” includes online services and tools used for publishing, sharing and discussing information. Social Media includes, but is not limited to, social networking sites, microblogging sites, weblogs, video and photo sharing sites, online forums or discussion boards, online encyclopaedias, wiki pages and any other websites which allow users to upload and share content on the internet.

Your obligations

In line with the Policy, you must:

  1. abide by the Articles of Association of Dogs NSW (Royal NSW Canine Council Ltd).
  2. act in a manner which would fall within community expectations of good manners;
  3. be courteous and respectful to Dogs NSW, Dogs NSW’s staff members, members, all affiliates of Dogs NSW and others;
  4. not disparage Dogs NSW, its staff members, members or affiliates, either expressly or implicitly;
  5. not engage in Cyber Bullying;
  6. not utilise abusive, profane, obscene or sexually explicit language or material;
  7. obtain written permission from Dogs NSW before posting any content on a Social Media platform or using any IT service to make statements or comments on behalf of Dogs NSW or otherwise or which may be construed to be attributed to Dogs NSW. 

The Articles of Association of Dogs NSW include prohibitions on the engaging of various forms of conduct by Dogs NSW Members including prohibitions on members engaging in any conduct that could reasonably be considered to be:

(a) dishonest, malicious, vexatious or scandalous or contrary to law;

(b) discreditable to the member concerned or any other member;

(c) prejudicial or injurious, or tending to prejudice or injury any person interested in canine affairs;

(d) prejudicial or injurious, or tending to prejudice or injure the interests, image or standing of Dogs NSW;

(e) contrary to the spirit and intent of the articles, regulations, or any code, resolution, policy or direction of Dogs NSW or any committee.

The Articles also contain a prohibition on members conducting themselves in such a way as to bring Dogs NSW into discredit or to bring themselves as a breeder, owner, exhibitor or member into discredit.

Disparaging behaviour includes but is not limited to the use of IT or the posting of any material on any Social Media platform which causes harm to a person, causes a person  (whether a staff member, member or affiliate of Dogs NSW or otherwise) to feel teased, discriminated against, insulted, harassed, offended, embarrassed or humiliated, or causes a person to apprehend that this feeling has been caused to another. Examples can include but are not limited to the posting of derogatory or sarcastic remarks about Dogs NSW, its staff members, members and affiliates on Social Media or by the use of IT generally.

Cyber Bullying means the use of IT or Social Media to act out repeated, unreasonable and unwelcome behaviour which is directed towards an individual or a group, whether Dogs NSW, its staff members, members and affiliates or otherwise, and which creates a risk to the health and safety or otherwise offends, humiliates, threatens or intimates that individual or group.

Disparaging behaviour and Cyber Bullying by Dogs NSW members will not be tolerated by Dogs NSW and may result in disciplinary proceedings.

Use of the Dogs NSW Logo

The Dogs NSW logo must not be used without prior written authorisation from Dogs NSW CEO.

The Dogs NSW logo must not be altered by any person to whom the Policy applies. It must not be used by any person using an IT service, whether Social Media or otherwise, in a manner which may convey Dogs NSW in a negative light or which may cause offence.

Official or Unofficial Dogs NSW Presence on Social Media

A member must not create either an official or unofficial Dogs NSW presence on Social Media using the organisation’s trademarks or name without prior approval from Dogs NSW. Where permission has been granted to create or administer an official social media presence for Dogs NSW, a member must adhere to the policies of Dogs NSW including the Social Media Policy. Posting or sharing material that brings Dogs NSW, its affiliates, its activities, its officials, its staff, its members or sponsors into disrepute is misconduct as defined under the Regulations. (08/16)

No association with Dogs NSW when making personal statements

Dogs NSW members must not attribute personal statements, opinions or beliefs to Dogs NSW when using IT or Social Media, whether expressly or implicitly. If you are expressing your beliefs and/or opinions in posts, you must not, expressly or implicitly, represent yourself as a representative of Dogs NSW. You must assume any and all risk associated with IT and Social Media personally.

Obligations of Dogs NSW

Dogs NSW undertakes to:

  1. develop and maintain rigorous practises to ensure compliance with the Policy;
  2. ensure that effect is given to the Policy, including but not limited to circulation of the Policy to those to whom it applies;
  3. ensure that the benefits of IT and/or Social Media are maximised whilst minimising risk to those to whom this Policy applies, and others; and
  4. take actions as determined appropriate by Dogs NSW, on a case-by-case basis, to manage risks arising from the use of IT and/or Social Media.

Breach of the Policy

Dogs NSW takes its responsibility in developing and monitoring compliance with the Policy seriously. All reports of misuse of IT and/or Social Media by Dogs NSW members will be investigated.

If you breach the Policy, disciplinary action may be taken. Disciplinary action may include:

  1. referral of the matter to a Disciplinary Tribunal [to be convened by Dogs NSW]; and/or
  2. information being provided to NSW Police.

Other disciplinary action that may be taken includes, but is not limited to, issuing a formal warning, education and training as to acceptable uses of IT and/or Social Media and suspension from Dogs NSW.

What to do if you observe breaches of the Policy

Any complaints about breaches of the Policy will be dealt with seriously, confidentially and expediently. In the first instance, advice and assistance can be provided by the Directors, Dogs NSW CEO and the Animal Welfare & Community Liaison Officer.

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