Social media guidelines

Using social media means we can reach out to our residents in a more instant, meaningful and targeted way; engaging in conversations and learning more about what matters to you.

You can follow us on Facebook, x (formerly Twitter), Instagram, Next Door, and LinkedIn. We like to be as creative as possible and meet our residents where they are, and so we may create accounts on new social media platforms.

We use our social media channels to link to the latest news stories and report live from events to ensure that you’re kept up to date with what’s happening across the borough. We also use it in an emergency, like during a period of extreme weather, as a tool to keep our residents informed.

Everyone is welcome to participate in our social media channels, but we want to make sure our online community remains a safe and friendly place to be. With that in mind, we've put together some guidelines for you.

House rules

  • We’ll always strive to respond to comments which contain a valid question. Our pages are monitored during working hours but due to the nature of our pages, we receive a lot of comments and might sometimes miss your question. If we do, you can ask it again or private message us and we’ll respond to you privately.
  • We won’t respond to comments that don’t ask a valid question or are abusive, offensive or insulting in their nature.
  • To keep our community safe, we’ll hide a comment if it is abusive, offensive, identifies an individual in a negative manner, and/or contains expletives. If an individual continues to behave in this manner, they may be permanently blocked from our page.
  • Where a comment is sharing false information inadvertently through rumours, insults or pranks (misinformation), we will aim to clarify the issue in our response. However, where this seems to be intentional and malicious (disinformation), we will hide the comment.
  • Users will be banned from our pages when they are abusive, offensive or insult a member of staff or the public on one or more occasions.
  • We encourage kindness. We won’t accept 'trolling' or comments which have nothing to do with the original post. These comments will be hidden and the user may be banned.

Sharing and following

We often share the posts of partner organisations, for example the NHS (Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust), Greater Manchester Combined Authority, libraries, staff, known community groups and sports teams.

We do not share/retweet lost or found posts unless found on council premises. We also do not share/retweet business posts unless they are a member of our Deal for Business, Love Local or are partnering with us on a campaign.

Please don’t be offended if you get in touch with us and we aren’t able to share your content. As a local authority we have a responsibility to be fair in what we share, and we have to do due diligence to make sure that anything we do share is relevant and credible.

We sometimes follow or like the pages of individuals or groups to provide information that helps us with our work as a local authority, or brings a benefit to our local residents. On some occasions, we need to follow an individual or group to engage in conversations with them therefore, a follow from one of our accounts should not be mistaken for endorsement.

Respecting the views of others

The online world is no different to the offline world when it comes to the diversity of people and the views they hold. That’s why it’s vital that we respect each other’s opinions and refrain from using defamatory, racist, abusive, violent or obscene language. To keep our social media channels friendly and welcoming to all, we reserve the right to block or ban a user.

Pre-election period

In the six-week run up to a local or general election (known as the pre-election period), local authorities have to be very careful not to do or say anything that could be seen in any way to support any political party or candidate. We will continue to publish important service announcements using social media but may have to remove responses if they are overtly party political, biased or controversial.

© Wigan Council