Social Media Policy

Purpose
Social Media including blogs, forums, facebook, twitter, youtube, flickr and other public media is becoming an increasingly popular way for people to communicate with each other in online communities of shared interest and to create, share or consume content.

This Policy provides people who are holders of licences with Racing Victoria and who use social media either as (a) part of their job, or (b) in a personal capacity, with guidance as to the expectations where the social media engagement is about Racing Victoria, the racing industry, its people, and other racing-related individuals, clubs or organisations.

The Policy is designed to protect the interests of the sport of thoroughbred racing, the individual engaging, other licensed persons, employees and officials of Racing Victoria and the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry.

In brief, the Policy requires that when engaging in social media you are clear about who you are representing, you take responsibility for ensuring that any references to Racing Victoria are factually correct and accurate and do not breach confidentiality or integrity requirements, and that you show respect for the individuals and communities with which you interact.

It is important to note that this policy does not apply to the personal use of social media platforms by licensed persons where the user makes no reference to Racing Victoria or racing related issues.
Scope
This Policy applies to all Racing Victoria licensed persons including all categories of trainers and jockeys, apprentice jockeys, stablehands, trainers’ racing managers, riders’ agents, farriers and bookmakers, and to any other person who is notified that this Policy applies to them.

If you are either officially authorised to represent your employer or Racing Victoria in social media, or if you are discussing Racing Victoria or racing related issues in your personal use of social media platforms, you are required to follow this Policy.

If you require clarification about aspects of this policy and how it applies to your own circumstances, please contact the Racing Victoria Integrity Liaison Steward in the first instance or the Racing VictoriaJockey Welfare Officer.

A breach of this policy by a licensed person may result in that person being called before the RacingVictoria Stewards. 
Guidelines
1. Social Media Tools
Social media tools include:
  • social networking sites eg Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster
  • video and photo sharing websites eg Flickr, YouTube• micro-blogging sites eg Twitter
  • weblogs, including corporate blogs, personal blogs or blogs hosted by traditional media publications
  • forums and discussion boards such as Whirlpool, Yahoo! Groups or Google Groups, including racing and sports-related forums (e.g. racingandsports.com.au or forum.thoroughbredvillage.com.au)
  • online encyclopaedias such as Wikipedia
  • any other websites that allow individual users or companies to use simple publishing tools.

2. Use of Social Media on Racedays

f you are directly involved in a competitive capacity as a trainer, jockey, apprentice jockey, strapper or racing manager at a race meeting, you must observe the Australian Rules of Racing when using social media tools to communicate. As you may already be aware, your comments on social media tools can be accessed and seen by the public more broadly, as if you were responding to questions during a live television or radio interview, therefore, your comments must be professional and not of such a nature that realises a breach of an Australian Rule of Racing.

3. Use of Social Media Platforms for Personal Use
This section outlines how this policy on the use of Social Media applies if you choose to make references to Racing Victoria, its officials, other licensed people, and/or other racing-related individuals or organisations when you are using a social media platform in a personal capacity. Racing Victoria Stewards will treat social-networking commentary in the same manner as comments made in person or in the traditional media, which means that any licensed person could face disciplinary action for posts via Twitter, Facebook, etc., that are deemed to be in contravention of the Australian Rules of Racing.

3.1. Representation
When using social media for private use, you are required to:
  • identify yourself as a licensed person if you refer to Racing Victoria, its people, its officials, other licensed persons or competitors and/or other racing-related individuals or organisations;
  • ensure you do not knowingly use the identity of another licensed person or an employee of a racing-related individual (e.g. jockeys, strappers or trainers, including variations of a name);
  • be mindful during your social media engagements of the importance of not damaging, or potentially damaging, the racing industry’s reputation, commercial interests and/or bringing, or potentially bringing, your employer or Racing Victoria into disrepute;
  • disclose only publicly available information. You must not comment on or disclose confidential information (eg matters which are the subject of an ongoing stewards inquiry or investigation).

3.2. Responsibility

You are personally responsible for the content of your posts online. In this context, you have a responsibility to ensure that:
  • any information about racing that you provide is informed and factually accurate and does not breach the Rules of Racing; and
  • if you are offering your personal perspective on a matter related to racing, be mindful that your commentary and opinion does not cause damage to the image of racing.You are required to:
  • ensure you do not post material that is obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, discriminatory or hateful to another person or entity, including about Racing Victoria, its employees, officials, other participants, contractors, partners, competitors and/or other racing-related individuals or organisations; and
  • ensure that you use caution and discretion before joining Facebook groups if such groups are acting against the interests of Racing Victoria, or the racing industry.

3.3. Respect

You are required to:
  • be respectful of all individuals and communities with which you interact online;
  • be polite and respectful of other opinions, even in times of heated discussion and debate;
  • adhere to the Terms Of Use, and seek to conform to the cultural and behavioural norms, of the social media platform being used; and• respect copyright, privacy, financial disclosure and other applicable laws when publishing on social media platforms.