Social media policy

Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube

The Met Office Twitter , Facebook, Google+, Flickr and YouTube accounts are managed by the Met Office Communications team, on behalf of colleagues throughout the Met Office

Content

On Twitter and Facebook we may use some automation such as RSS feeds.

On Twitter and Facebook our followers can expect an average of between 10-30 messages a week, although this may increase during the following:

  • weather updates, such as top temperatures during hot periods or snow levels in the winter;

  • statements or news releases about current issues, such as volcanic ash;

  • popular events, such as Wimbledon.

On Twitter our message may include:

  • Alerts about new content on our digital channels.

  • Re-tweets of information from people we follow.

Following

If you Follow, Like or Join our accounts we will not automatically Follow you back, Like your page(s), add you as a Friend, or join your account. This is to discourage the use of direct messaging, avoid wasting resources on spam handling and so that you can easily identify other key Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Flickr users that we think are relevant and who we Follow or Like. However, being Followed or Liked by the Met Office does not imply endorsement of any kind by the Met Office.

Availability

We will update and monitor our Facebook, Flickr, Google+ and YouTube accounts during office hours, 9am-5pm UK time, Monday to Friday. Our @metoffice Twitter account will be monitored and updated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our Severe Weather Warning Twitter feeds are updated whenever a Severe Weather Warning is issued.

Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Google+ and YouTube may sometimes be unavailable and we accept no responsibility for lack of service due to downtime or other events beyond our control.

Comments policy

1. We welcome feedback and ideas from all, however you must not knowingly transmit:

  • offensive, indecent or obscene material or abusive images and literature;

  • material which can reasonably be considered as harassment of, or insulting to, other people or organisations;

  • material obtained in violation of copyright or used in breach of a licence agreement;

  • spam (electronic junk mail) or chain email;

  • material that could, by their presence on a Met Office-run social media site, reasonably be expected to embarrass or compromise the Met Office (although comments that disagree with the Met Office are allowed);

  • commercial activities which are not connected to Met Office business;

  • any form of gaming, lottery or betting;

  • any form of share dealing;

  • offers of items for sale or bids on commercial auction sites;

  • chain schemes (such as pyramid selling);

  • material designed to mislead people about who originated or authorised it (e.g. through misuse of signatures);

  • attempts to compromise Met Office IT and Telecoms, prevent legitimate access to them, damage them or seek to cause degradation of performance or a denial of service;

  • attempts to gain unauthorized access to Met Office IT and Telecoms or content for which you do not have permission (i.e. Hacking);

  • attempts to access, amend, damage, delete or disseminate another user's files, emails, communications or data without the appropriate authority.

2. We will withhold, edit or remove any comments we judge do not follow these guidelines.

3. Opinions expressed in comments are those of the author not those of the Met Office. The use of comments does not override the existing, official channels by which the Met Office is held accountable to Parliament and to the Public. Nor does it affect your rights under the law, for example your right of access to official information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

4. We will endeavor to read all @replies, Direct Messages and comments and ensure that any emerging themes or helpful suggestions are passed to relevant people in the Met Office. We will endeavour to respond directly to questions and queries online where an answer can be given quickly and simply, although we will not be obliged to do so.  More difficult or detailed questions (for example, questions concerning policy issues) should be referred through existing official channels as detailed in the Contact us section of our website. Press queries should be directed to the Met Office Press Office.

5. We cannot engage on issues of party politics or answer questions that break the rules of our general comments policy. The Met Office reserves the right to ignore, limit or suspend comments or responses to comments, locally or universally and without prior notice, if we judge that these are becoming a waste of official funds or Civil Service time.

6. Our policies also apply to the use of any services hosted on our website, www.metoffice.gov.uk and any associated microsites.

Last updated: 15 May 2012