Information about The Executive Office and Head of the Civil Service (HOCS) social media policy
We are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. By using our social media channels you agree to our Social Media Policy.
The Executive Office’s and HOCS’ presence on social media is managed by the press office on behalf of the department and HOCS.
Tweets and other posts on social media on behalf of the department will include alerts about the following:
- ministerial announcements
- press releases
- new content published on the website
- marketing campaigns
- invitations to input to consultations
- departmental initiatives/programmes
- any other issues the department considers appropriate
Tweets and other posts on social media on behalf of HOCS will include alerts and comments about the following:
- the work of the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS)
- news or information relating to the Northern Ireland government departments and the wider public sector
- issues affecting the NICS workforce
- public statements made by HOCS
- engagement with stakeholders
- any other issue the department or HOCS considers appropriate
If you follow any of our social media accounts, we do not automatically follow back. We will use hashtags and mention other social media accounts where appropriate. Being followed, using hashtags or mentioning other accounts does not imply endorsement of any kind.
We will retweet, like and share where we think it is useful or interesting but, again, this is not an endorsement. We will update and monitor our social media accounts during normal office hours, Monday to Friday. Our social media accounts may occasionally be unavailable and we accept no responsibility for our lack of service due to any downtime. When making announcements, we will communicate first via social media when we think that this is the right approach.
We welcome feedback, ideas and engagement and will try to join the conversation where possible, and where it is right to do so. Where we can, we will point you to additional information already in the public domain.
We are not able to reply individually to all messages we receive via Twitter or Facebook. Emerging themes or helpful suggestions are routinely passed on to policy colleagues in the department.
When you like, share or comment on one of our posts, you should be aware that this will be publicly available. We may use your contact information/usernames to respond to messages/comments you send to us. If you post publicly on social media, we may share/retweet your post with our followers. Usernames of our followers are publicly available on our social media channels.
We may also receive information about you from third parties such as other social media users if they mention you, tag you or share a photo of you. When we upload content to social media we may also tag, share photos and content.
We may use analytics or third parties to analyse our social media channels for trends, insights and engagement.
You may unsubscribe/unfollow us at any stage.
We expect our users to offer us the same level of courtesy that we offer them, so we have a short set of 'house rules':
- you are wholly responsible for any content you post, including content that you choose to share
- on Facebook we will remove, in whole or in part, or ignore posts that we feel are inappropriate
- we will report and seek to remove any social media profiles that are set up using departmental imagery without permission
We will remove, block, ban and, if necessary, report users to the associated social media platform who direct messages at us which we believe:
- bully, harass or intimidate any individual or organisation
- are unlawful, libellous, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene,
- profane, sexually oriented or racially offensive
- are deceptive or misleading
- infringe or violate someone else's rights
- violate the law
- violate any intellectual property rights
- discuss ongoing legal proceedings
- are spam (persistent negative and/ or abusive tweeting in which the aim is to
- provoke a response)
- advertise products or services
- are irrelevant or off-topic
- are disruptive
- are repetitive
We will also remove, block, report or ban any user who:
- encourages others to post such messages
- uses offensive images as their profile picture
- has an offensive user name
We do not engage in party politics.
Social media accounts are not a point of contact for media enquiries, which should be directed to the press office in the first instance. We do, however, reserve the right to comment on inaccurate coverage or comment.
Departmental and HOCS social media accounts are not a point of contact for requesting meetings or comment on any issue. The usual way of contacting The Executive Office for official correspondence can be found on the contacts page on this website.
We reserve the right to modify or change these conditions at any time.