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Florida 4-H Policies & Best Practices for Facebook

Andy Thompson, 4-H Youth Development Extension Agent

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Having a Facebook page for your 4-H club is a great idea, but there are a few things to consider. The following are policies and best practices to keep in mind when starting a 4-H oriented Facebook page.

  • First things first- let your county 4-H agent know that you want to start a 4-H Facebook page or any other social media account. Authorization has to come from your 4-H agent. County 4-H agents and Florida 4-H reserve the right to monitor, prohibit, delete, discontinue, block, restrict, filter or terminate an account.
  • Use of Florida 4-H logos and trademarks must be requested of and obtained from Florida 4-H by calling 352-846-4444 or e-mailing fourh@ifas.ufl.edu.
  • Unless authorized to do so by the county 4-H agent(s) and/or Florida 4-H, the user(s) of the account do not speak on behalf of 4-H.
  • Users of the account assume all responsibility related to the security, privacy, and confidentiality risks that are inherent in sending content over the Internet.
  • Users of the account must hold harmless Florida 4-H, its employees, agents, directors and officers against any claims, losses, damages, settlements, costs and liabilities arising from or as a result of any posted content or any claims of breaching Florida 4-H Social Media Policy.
  • Be nice, respectful and professional- Florida 4-H may remove any inappropriate content such as spam or images and language that is profane, lewd, discriminatory, derogatory, threatening, abusive, etc.
  • Be nice, respectful and professional- Florida 4-H may remove any inappropriate content such as spam or images and language that is profane, lewd, discriminatory, derogatory, threatening, abusive, etc.
  • Once content is posted, be aware that Florida 4-H has the right to reproduce, publish, distribute, display, edit or create derivative works from the content for any Florida 4-H purposes.
  • Do not post advertisements for products or services. When recognizing donors/supporters the statement “No endorsement of products or services is implied or intended.” Florida 4-H does not endorse any products or services.
  • Do not post advertisements for products or services or solicit funds that support political candidates, parties, campaigns or issues. No content is to be posted that is, or could be construed as, political lobbying.
  • Comply with age and other requirements when creating and using a Facebook account. Youth under the age of 13 are not permitted on Facebook.
  • If communicating in the public Internet about Florida 4-H you must disclose your role/connection with Florida 4-H. Use good judgment and strive for accuracy in such communications.
  • Being transparent protects you. Keep communications with the public to the wall of your page. Also, inform parents and invite them to join the page. Letting the State 4-H Communications Coordinator know about your page is a good idea as well. This is a good way to be sure your page is in compliance with the policies and even get tips/feedback. Again, the State 4-H Communications Coordinator can be reached at 352-846-4444 or fourh@ifas.ufl.edu.
  • Keep the safety of your 4-H’ers in mind at all times. Never post or tag pictures of youth with their full name or location and never post meeting locations/times on public pages.
  • Secure your Facebook profile so that youth cannot access your personal information. If you have a personal Facebook profile, it would not be a bad idea to keep it protected, too.
  • Last, and very important, ALL Facebook accounts that are 4-H oriented MUST include the following disclaimer in the page description:
    • Posts and other content specifically added by administrators of the [approved name] 4-H Facebook page are official Florida 4-H content. Opinions expressed by other Facebook users do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Brevard County 4-H. User provided content is not screened or evaluated during the submission process. Users are expected to abide by applicable laws, regulations, rules, and policies of Facebook’s Code of Conduct and/or Florida 4-H’s Social Media Policy. If you have any questions or concerns about the content on this Facebook page, please contact the Brevard County 4-H office at 321-633-1702. The full Florida 4-H Social Media Policy can be viewed at http://florida4h.org/policies.

With the benefits of a Facebook page also comes responsibilities, especially when it involves 4-H and youth. These policies and best practices serve as a guide to protect youth, 4-H leaders, the University of Florida, the Extension service and 4-H itself. For more detailed information regarding the social media policies of Florida 4-H, visit http://florida4h.org/policies/#wsa.

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