Social Media Guidelines/Advice
PDPA advice #ThinkDARTS Campaign and Social Media guidelines written by Mr Nigel Mawer 'DRA' for you guidance, please make sure you read and take note. The PDPA
Social Media Guidelines:
Social media can be an excellent tool for connecting with fans, staying up to date with the latest news and promoting yourself and your career.
We are, however, aware that professional darts players sometimes experience abuse online. Until social media practices are changed by law or the networks themselves it is almost impossible to prevent online abuse and we can only focus on how we react to this scourge.
As the players association our priorities in this area are the protection and wellbeing of our members. That is why we have released new guidance on dealing with online abuse in the form of our #ThinkDARTS campaign.
#T h i n k D A R T S
We are asking our members to #ThinkDARTS when faced with abuse or integrity issues on social media platforms. This means taking a moment to pause and think about how their reaction or response will reflect on them, their career, and the sport of Darts.
We advise following our five guidelines: –
D – Don’t engage with or respond to abuse.
Perpetrators of online abuse are often seeking to provoke a reaction that could prove to be detrimental to the reputation of their target.
Try not to respond to or engage with abusive, triggering, or contentious posts online – including via private messages.
A – Ask for help
Those who experience online abuse can be affected in various ways and it can often impact mental health and emotional wellbeing.
The PDPA are always available to provide our members with support and advice, including through partnerships through professionals in this area such as Sporting Chance.
R – Report and block
If you experience or witness abuse on social media you should report it to the social media site and, if necessary, the police – then block the culprit’s account.
Integrity issues, such as messages relating to gambling, should be reported to the PDPA or DRA.
T – Take time out
Rashly responding to abuse can often do more harm than good.
Take a breath and follow our suggested #ThinkDARTS guidance.
More generally, short social media holidays can have many positive mental health effects.
S – Screenshot evidence
It is a good idea to take a screenshot of any abusive posts or messages received on social media, especially any that could raise integrity issues.
Rather than responding online, screenshot and send the evidence to the PDPA or DRA.
These guidelines are designed to provide helpful, practical advice on using social media effectively. To set the parameters for these social media guidelines, we should keep in mind three things:
- We live in a society that promotes free speech and freedom of expression; it is generally expected that persons playing sport at a professional level should reflect the values of the society it represents.
- Anything that you post is public and visible so you must be responsible in what you post.
- Social networking is monitored and you may fall foul of the DRA Rules if you act outside these guidelines.
Do’s & Don’ts:
DO…Show your personality.
Being yourself and letting your personality shine is what your fans are looking for. Personality creates stars in our sport. However, try to avoid any humour that might be considered in bad taste.
DON’T…Talk negatively about other competitors, countries, organisations or brands.
Any gossip or slanderous comments can be easily highlighted and taken the wrong way. Remember that you are an ambassador for your sport. This is likely to put you in breach of the DRA Rules.
DO…Remember everyone can see you.
Before you write anything, remember that it’s public and anyone can take your words and put them in a newspaper, on a website or the TV. Media will be monitoring social media and will use your words as quotes. Pause and think carefully before you mention embarrassing stories about you or other sports persons.
Stephanie Rice (an Australian triple Olympic swimming gold medallist) lost a lucrative sponsorship deal after she posted an inappropriate comment on Twitter.
DON’T…Forget your rivals may be reading
Other competitors may gain confidence if they read any comments you make about poor form in practice, feeling tired, upset or low on confidence.
A GB gold medallist rower was given the belief that he could win a medal against one of his American competitors by reading his rival’s blog: “From his blog I got the impression that he was not some untouchable superstar. He had worries and demons like everyone else. He was beatable”.
You are personally responsible for the content you provide and how you behave online. Be careful and if you’re in doubt, don’t post it.
England cricketer Dimitri Mascarenhas was uncomplimentary about national team selector Geoff Miller and was fined £1,000.
Even suggestions of foul or abusive language by replacing letters with symbols e.g. s@£t should be avoided. Similarly, don’t get into disputes with your audience – instead, show that you have listened and be responsive in a positive manner.
The ECB suspended Azeem Rafiq, the captain of England under-19 team, for his use of inappropriate language on Twitter.
DO…Share your performance and achievements on the tour.
Take your fans with you on a journey through the tour. Let them know what it requires to be a professional darts player.
DON’T…Assume anything you delete will completely disappear
It’s almost impossible to completely remove information on social networking sites even if you ‘remove/delete’ it from the original source. There is no way of knowing where it may have been reposted. So think before you post.
DO…Report anything that concerns you.
If you see any comments or photos that concern you or you feel in the course of a conversation that somebody may need help or be in danger, report it to the relevant authority.
DON’T…Be provoked into responding.
There are accounts set up to provoke you into controversial discussions or to respond to abuse.
These accounts are often anonymous or created using false details and the only person who is
identifiable is you.
DON’T…Link to any unsuitable content.
Make sure that any links you give are sending users to appropriate content and following the guidelines stated above.
Important Hints and Tips:
Review privacy settings of the social networking site you are using. Choose social sites and appropriate settings depending on the content you are posting. Any information that you post should be considered public, regardless of your privacy settings since your postings could be reposted elsewhere and may be viewed by people other than your intended audience.
We suggest you create (or keep) a private account to which you only accept and communicate with your close friends and family. This should be separate from a â€œpublicâ€Ÿ account to which you accept members of the public and use to promote yourself effectively.
Twitter – Direct Messaging
Learn the difference between a general tweet and a Direct Message and how to use them appropriately.
England cricketer Kevin Pietersen, believing he was replying to a private message, expressed his anger at being dropped from the Twenty20 and one-day squads against Pakistan, for which he was fined an undisclosed sum by the England and Wales Cricket Board.