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Social media policies

Where does ONS have a social media presence?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) currently has a social media presence on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+Storify, ThingLink, and Slideshare. These accounts are managed by the Digital Publishing Division and you can contact the team through the social networks and we welcome your thoughts, comments and questions. You can also contact the team by emailing info@ons.gsi.gov.uk or phoning: (0) 845 601 3034 / Overseas +44 (0) 1633 653 599 / Minicom (for the deaf or hearing impaired) - +44 (0) 1633 815044.

ONS content

ONS looks to post content several times a day announcing the release of new data and analysis, as well as discussion about topical content. How often you receive that content is dependent on how often you log into your account and how much you interact with it (Facebook’s algorithm for example may think you’re less interested in our content if you do not click, like, comment or share.)

Following

We encourage users to follow us though because of the volume, we will not automatically follow you back. Being followed by us is not an endorsement of any kind.

Availability

We will monitor accounts regularly throughout the working week. We cannot take responsibility for any periods when this service is unavailable.

Your posts, @mentions and direct messages

We welcome all feedback and comments and we want to keep discussion as open as possible so will not attempt to exclude critical opinions. However, to protect this service from abuse, comments must satisfy some basic conditions.

Moderation

In order for this dialogue to comply with the law and with the Civil Service Code, you must not include:

  • party political material. ONS is the executive office of the independent UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to Parliament. We cannot publish party political content under the normal rules governing the Civil Service.

  • potentially libellous, false, or defamatory statements.

  • any commercial endorsement, promotion of any product, service or publication.

  • language which is offensive, intemperate, or provocative. This not only includes obvious swear words and insults, but any language to which people reading it could reasonably take offence.

  • comments which breach our social network’s own standard terms and conditions.

Please also ensure that your comments:

  • are respectful of others – comments should not be malicious or offensive in nature, and should not constitute a personal attack on a person’s character.

  • do not incite hatred on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality or sexuality or other personal characteristics.

  • do not reveal personal details, such as private addresses, phone numbers, email addresses or other online contact details.

  • do not break the law – this includes libel, condoning illegal activity, and breaking copyright.

  • are reasonably concise, and do not constitute spamming of the site.

  • are in English or Welsh – unfortunately, we do not currently have the resource to moderate comments in other languages.

  • are relevant – please do not post messages unrelated to the subject under discussion.

ONS reserves the right to remove, or not approve, comments which breach our guidelines and to suspend the ability to comment at any time.

We strive to respond to as many of the messages we receive as possible though cannot reply to all of them. We do read all messages and direct them to the appropriate part of ONS.

Freedom of Information

We welcome Freedom of Information requests through our social media channels, though in line with the Information Commissioner’s Office guidelines your username and / or profile name should be your real name in order to be a valid request. We require your email address to allow us to respond and when that cannot be supplied, we will publish the response elsewhere and reply to your query with a link to alert you.

For further information, please refer to the guidance on submitting an FOI request on our website.

Purdah

ONS reserves the right to impose further terms and conditions during any period of purdah.

 

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