Coun­cil­lors ad­vised on how to deal with trolls

The Chronicle - - News -

AD­VICE on tack­ling on­line ‘trolls’ will be cir­cu­lated to coun­cil­lors across County Durham as part of a new so­cial me­dia drive.

On Oc­to­ber 5, Durham County Coun­cil’s Stan­dards Com­mit­tee heard up­dates on changes to a so­cial me­dia guid­ance doc­u­ment for county, parish and town coun­cil­lors. The aim, a re­port states, is to help tackle the num­ber of ‘code of con­duct’ com­plaints by re­mind­ing coun­cil­lors of their pub­lic du­ties in on­line spa­ces.

The orig­i­nal doc­u­ment, de­vel­oped ear­lier this year, re­minded coun­cil­lors not to share con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion and to re­move defam­a­tory or of­fen­sive com­ments from their own sites.

Fol­low­ing con­sul­ta­tion, sev­eral changes were added to the guid­ance doc­u­ment, in­clud­ing shar­ing or re-tweet­ing com­ments on­line and deal­ing with on­line ‘trolls’. The re­port reads: “If ‘trolling’ be­comes un­ac­cept­ably ha­rass­ing then re­port it to the po­lice and seek ad­vice from, as ap­pro­pri­ate, mem­ber sup­port or your parish clerk.”

Other ad­vice in­cluded cau­tion around friend re­quests and the use of so­cial me­dia on coun­cil equip­ment for elec­tion­eer­ing pur­poses.

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