Social media acceptable use policy

Our social media platforms are here to provide information and advice to our residents, and we welcome comments and engagement with our content.

We understand that people have differing views on many issues, however any form of cyber-bullying is not acceptable on any platform.

While we will actively monitor our platforms, if you do notice any offensive comments on our sites at any time, please send us a private message and let us know.

We’ll take immediate action on our accounts if content in any format (such as comments, videos, images, GIFs, attachments, links, emojis) is:

  • defamatory, slanderous, misleading or false
  • abusive or threatening – this includes swearing, adapted spellings with the same meaning, etc
  • intimidatory towards our staff, elected members or other platform users
  • inciting hate crime or hate crime words
  • obscene, profane or sexually oriented
  • discriminatory in any way
  • promoting illegal activity
  • promoting individual products or services
  • completely off topic
  • the same message posted multiple times, otherwise known as 'spamming'
  • controversial, irrelevant and off topic, otherwise known as 'trolling' 


If your content relates to the list above, we may hide or delete it.

We’ll respond publicly to your content and via direct message asking you to remove it immediately.

If you do not take action, we may block your access to our social media accounts. We’ll tell you that we’re doing this.

Depending on the content, we will also screenshot the posts and consider legal action or sending them on to the police for investigation.

If we think that the content you post is explicit, we will take immediate action to delete the post and block your access to our accounts.

In an effort to keep our platforms a safe and respectful place, we may decide to stop the ability to comment on posts.


We want our social media channels to be a place to share information, and our followers play a big part in helping achieve that, which is something we greatly value.

We welcome comments on our social media posts, but from time-to-time we may choose to turn off the option to comment if the subject matter could create responses that are likely to offend certain groups in society. An example of this would be LGBT History Month which sadly received a number of homophobic comments that we had to take action to address.

There will be situations where we want to ensure that comments do not distract from the original message. We may choose to turn off comments on posts where we feel this could be an issue. An example of this may be information provided to help keep people safe or pass on specific information about how to access a vital service.

The social media team will only respond to comments that require further information to that which was made available in the original post. Our team will not debate or try and defend decisions made at public meetings.

When comments do not follow our acceptable use policy, we reserve the right to hide or delete them. In rare cases, if a user persistently leaves comments that do not comply with our policy, we may block them from commenting in future. Comments that specifically threaten to harm others or constitute a potential hate crime will be reported to Facebook and possibly the Police.
As the creator and owner of our social media pages, the council upholds the right to choose which comments can be seen, in line with our policy.
We will always uphold our values on social media, and we ask you to be respectful to other followers and the social media team who are working hard to keep you informed.

Hate crime

Hate crime is defined as any incident that's seen by the victim (or any other person) as being motivated by prejudice or hate towards their actual or perceived social identity. Social identities include:

  • disability
  • gender identity
  • race, ethnicity or nationality
  • religion, faith or belief
  • sexual orientation

Hate and harassment can take the form of criminal or non-criminal behaviour and can include offensive comments or images on social media or text messages.

Allegations against council staff and elected members

We have a zero-tolerance approach toward fraud and corruption in our organisation. If you make an allegation on our social media accounts against the council, a member of staff or an elected member, we’ll ask you to report it (along with your evidence) to Northamptonshire Police, or you can tell us directly.

Safeguarding allegations or disclosures

We recommend you don’t make any safeguarding allegations or disclosures on our social media accounts unless you are direct messaging us. If you do, these will be passed onto the relevant organisations as part of our duty of care. It is better to raise these concerns directly to us via our children and adult social care services.


We understand that sometimes you can be unhappy with something we have or have not done, and you just want us to deliver a service to you (such as empty your bin) or to tell us about something (such as where there’s a pothole). You don’t have to use our complaints procedure to do this - you can complete one of our online forms.

Before elections

Whatever type of election, if you post anything which could be interpreted as supporting a party or candidate during the pre-election period we may have to delete it.


Our social media pages are monitored between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Thursday and until 4.45pm on Friday. We will also monitor the pages for coverage during critical and major incidents, adverse weather and events.

We will not be able to respond to questions or complaints outside of these hours, even if we are posting from our accounts. If you have an urgent query please use the council’s contact us page.

Last updated 09 November 2023