1. Rules for Engagement

Scotland’s environment social media channels are managed by Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

SEPA takes no responsibility if any of the Scotland’s environment web social media services are unavailable at any point for whatever reason.

The following words and phrases in this policy have the following meanings;

 “We”, “Us” and like terms refer to the Partner Bodies involved in Scotland’s Environment Web. It may, where the context requires, refer only to some of the Partner Bodies.

“Website” means the website of Scotland’s Environment and, unless the context otherwise so requires, also includes the website of the Partner Bodies and each of Us.

 “You” means any person who has viewed, liked, followed, posted, commented or otherwise accessed the Scotland’s environment social media channels, “your” shall refer to you. “You” includes any person acting on your behalf.

Employees of SEPA and other Scotland’s environment web partner organisations should ensure they are fully aware of, and use Scotland’s Environment Web social media in accordance with their respective social media guidelines.

2. Facebook

The purpose of Scotland’s environment web Facebook page is to allow You to ‘Like’ our Page and keep up-to-date with what is going on across the website, the wider Scotland’s environment web associated websites and partners.

2.1 Facebook terms for followers

All comments, images, videos and other type of material posted by followers onto the Scotland’s environment web Facebook page do not necessarily reflect the opinions or ideals of Scotland’s environment website and Us.  We do not represent or warrant the accuracy of any statement or claims made on the Page, Scotland’s environment website and Partners are not responsible for any user content on the Page, and do not necessarily endorse any opinions expressed on the fan Page. 

2.2 Rules of posting comments on the Scotland’s environment web Facebook page

We reserve the right to remove messages or posts at our discretion, which are considered to be the following:  

  • Likely to provoke, attack or offend others on the Page
  • Advertise products or services for profit without prior consent
  • Encourage activities which could endanger the safety or well-being of others 
  • Racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable
  • Contain swear words or other language likely to offend 
  • Break the law or condone or encourage unlawful activity (this includes breach of copyright, defamation and contempt of court)
  • Are seen to impersonate someone else 
  • Repeatedly post the same or similar messages ('spam') 
  • Are unrelated to the topic of conversation
  • Include personal/contact details

We reserve the right to delete comments on a post if it is deemed irrelevant or out of date. We are able to block/report any user who chooses to break these rules.

Repeatedly posting personal or offensive comments about individual members of the public, or people who work for SEPA or our partners, may be considered harassment. We reserve the right to remove such messages and take action against those responsible.

The Facebook Page should not be seen as a forum for Scotland’s environment web partner organisations’ employees to post on without prior consent from the dedicated social media team. We reserve the right to remove any posts we deem inappropriate by employees.

Users are required to adhere to the Terms and Conditions of Facebook.

3. Twitter

Twitter is a ‘micro-blogging’ service which allows people and business to quickly communicate via short, sharp text-based updates which are 140 characters or less.

The purpose of Scotland’s environment Twitter account is to allow You to ‘follow’ tweets to remain up-to-date with what is going on across Scotland’s environment website, the wider Scotland’s environment web associated websites and the partnership.

If Scotland’s environment web Twitter follows a Twitter account or refers to existing hashtags it doesn’t imply any kind of endorsement by Us. We also do not use any automation to post Twitter content. Tweets will never contain the following: commercial promotions or spam; plagiarised or copyrighted material; personal attacks, insults, or threatening language.

Users are required to adhere to the Terms and Conditions of Twitter.

4. YouTube

YouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos. We will use YouTube to host and store video content so certain polices must be kept in mind when using YouTube on behalf of Scotland’s environment web. 

Video content related to Scotland’s environment web will adhere to the community rules:

  • Does not contain graphic or gratuitous violence.
  • Respect copyright. Only videos that are made by Us or is authorised to use. We will not use content to which someone else owns the copyright, such as music tracks, snippets of copyrighted programmes or videos made by other users, without the requisite authorisations.
  • YouTube encourages free speech and defends everyone's right to express unpopular points of view. But YouTube does not permit hate speech (speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status and sexual orientation/gender identity).
  • We will not create misleading descriptions, tags, titles or thumbnails in order to increase views.
  • We will not post large amounts of untargeted, unwanted or repetitive content, including comments and private messages.

Users are required to adhere to the Terms and Conditions of YouTube.

5. Instagram

Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that allow users to take pictures, apply digital filters, and share them on a variety of social networking services. We will use Instagram to create an online bank of #ScotEnvironment and images that best represent different aspects Scotland’s environment.  We will show a selection of moderated images on Scotland’s environment website and may encourage interested users to take images of certain environmental topics.

Instagram users who tag their images #ScotEnvironment give permission to repost images on the Scotland’s environment Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages. All reposted photos will be credited to the original Instagram user.

Users are required to adhere to the Terms and Conditions of Instagram

6. Images

If posting images or videos of SEPA/Scotland’s environment web Partner employees and /or third parties on Scotland’s environment web social media channels, such usage needs to be authorised by the individuals concerned prior to release (in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998)

7. Responding to social media questions & queries

Scotland’s environment web and social media channels are monitored during Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (except public holidays).

Questions asked through social media channels will be monitored and identified during these times.

Where a question or query can be answered by providing a link to relevant information on the Scotland’s environment website, Scotland’s environment associated or partner website, the web administrator will respond via the relevant social media channel.

For all other questions or queries submitted via social media, the web administrator will request, via the relevant social media channel, that these are submitted to the ‘contact us’ section of Scotland’s environment website, or relevant Scotland’s environment associated website or partner website.  Thereafter, all queries will be responded to as per the relevant contact us procedure.  

Click here for Scotland’s environment website contact guidelines.

Please note, we reserve the right to publish answers to questions on appropriate Scotland’s environment web social media channels, but will not identify the personal details of the individual that has asked the question.  We also reserve the right not to respond to queries in particular circumstances – for example, if queries are party political, are a commercial endorsement, use offensive language.

8. Contact

If you require clarification on any part of this policy, please contact us


This page was last updated on 11 Apr 2018

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