Social Media

British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

Social Media Policy


The British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies uses social media in pursuit of its goal of promoting the study of the eighteenth century. Social media has a utility in sharing information, and in connecting with our members, the scholarly community and the general public. This policy sets out how the Society will use social media, who is responsible for it, and the standards that we seek to uphold.


1. Scope of the policy

For the purposes of this policy, social media is defined as any online interactive communication tool or platform which encourages participation and exchange. Currently, BSECS uses Twitter, Facebook and Bluesky: the policy applies to activities on these forums and any that the Society may use in future.

This policy applies to officers of the Society. It also applies to anyone using social media in relation to the Society-affiliated events and activities, including event organisers, grant recipients and prize winners.

BSECS understands that officers and members use social media forums in their private lives. That said, professional responsibilities apply regardless of the medium being used. Any communications likely to have a negative impact on the Society’s reputation are within the scope of this policy, and may contravene other BSECS policies (such as EDI).


2. Roles and responsibilities

 There are clear lines of responsibility for social media use within BSECS.

Communications Officers are responsible for:

  • Posting material on our social media channels.
  • Responding to those who interact with our communications.
  • Keeping up to date with developments in the field of social media.
  • Taking a lead in responding to and reporting on incidents. These should be reported to the President and/or the Executive Committee where appropriate.
  • Taking down material where necessary.
  • Report on social media activity to the Communications Working Group and the BSECS Council.

With the agreement of the Communications Officers, other BSECS officers may have access to the Society’s social media channels, and may post material directly.

The BSECS Council is responsible for approving and reviewing this policy.


3. Guidelines for using social media

BSECS asks that anyone using social media in relation to the society (see ‘Scope of the Policy’, above) should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Material from third party organisations may be shared where appropriate to the goals and ethos of the Society.
  • Use an appropriate tone in communications. Posts should be positive in tone and reflect well on the Society and its constituency.
  • Respect individual or group identities and use appropriate terminology and pronouns.
  • Images should be accompanied by ‘alt text’ descriptors where possible, to aid accessibility.
  • If any material published on our social media channels subsequently proves to be problematic, it should be taken down promptly.

Anyone using social media in relation to the society should NOT do the following:

  • Breach copyright, data protection or other relevant legislation. While it is easy to share material such as images or videos on social media, this should not infringe the rights of others. Material should not be shared without the appropriate permissions or acknowledgements.
  • Present personal views as being those of the Society.
  • Post sensitive or confidential material.
  • Post, share, like or link to content that is derogatory, defamatory, harassing or discriminatory.
  • Make informal, flippant or polemical interventions in discussions that are sensitive or emotive.
  • Make comments that will bring the Society into disrepute.


4. Security and online safety

BSECS will do everything that it reasonably can to ensure that working environments, including online spaces, will be safe for officers, members and those participating in our events.

Communications Officers are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that passwords are sufficiently strong, kept secure and changed regularly.
  • Ensuring that passwords are only shared via private media, and not in the same communication as the username.
  • Changing passwords should any officer leave BSECS.
  • Being familiar with privacy settings and using them in such a way that is appropriate to the communication in question.


Approved by the BSECS Council on 12 May 2024.