The RFL recognise that social media can be a positive way for players, officials and clubs to engage with supporters and other stakeholders to grow the online presence of the game of Rugby
However persons who are subject to the RFL Operational Rules must use social media responsibly and must also remember that social media is public and available for anyone to see or read and retweet or share.
The RFL do not wish to unduly restrict your use of social media but you must be aware that you are accountable for your actions and what you communicate via social media.
This Social Media Policy Code of Conduct includes, but is not limited to, the use of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, blogs, websites and any other public online forum and encompasses the guidance set out below. A Breach of this Code of Conduct may lead to the RFL charging you with misconduct under the Operational Rules or the police charging you with a criminal offence or an individual or company taking out a private prosecution against you.
The Social Media Policy Code of Conduct should not be seen as being unduly prescriptive: it exists to help you.
1 Don’t put offensive photos online – this includes nude photos of you or friends, including body parts;
2 Don’t use offensive language online – this includes anything which could be considered racist, homophobic, ageist or sexist; anything which shows prejudice or disrespect to anyone with a disability; or anything which shows prejudice against someone’s religion; and also includes foul language;
3 Don’t insult or criticise RFL or club sponsors or commercial partners
4 Remember that ‘banter’ can be misconstrued in open forums – be careful of using insulting or critical terminology towards fellow professional player or other people in Rugby League or other sports. Even if you consider a comment to be ‘banter’ anything that suggests someone has broken the law, cheated, lied or is dishonest or incompetent could be libellous;
5 Don’t suggest that match officials, club officials, RFL officials or the RFL are biased or corrupt – such suggestions are legally actionable;
6 Don’t give out inside information about your club or team-mates which may be used for the purposes of gambling or betting;
7 Don’t post material that infringes the intellectual property rights of other parties;
8 Don’t make physical threats of violence or say that you are going to commit a criminal offence (such as bombing an airport or rioting) or say anything which might be considered to incite someone else to do any of the above;
9 Don’t engage in any sexualised messages particularly with anyone under the age of 18 – if in doubt assume they are under 18 – and never PM anyone under the age of 18;
10 Don’t respond to offensive messages from the public – no matter how tempting. Don’t get drawn - use the block button to keep the trolls at bay.
Don’t retweet, like or share messages featuring any of the above – you are as much responsible for the contents of retweets, likes or shares as original tweets or postings
Please note that the list of guidelines set out in the Social Media Code of Conduct above is not exhaustive in regards to the nature of content which may be deemed to be inappropriate and in no way supersedes, changes or replaces the existing RFL Operational Rules.