Digital code of conduct

As an educational charity, we aim to include a wide range of people in our work. Our digital channels help us to do so, including our social media channels, our apps, like the CITiZAN app, and our various websites, like the Thames Discovery Programme.

We post content based on our current understanding of archaeological topics. As new evidence, methods and voices are added, our interpretations may change. We want to foster constructive conversations around archaeological issues.

The views and knowledge of others always inform our thinking, so this code sets out how we will interact with content on social media and other digital channels. It also outlines our expectations of everyone who interacts with us.

A safe and supportive space for sharing

  • We are committed to creating a safe and supportive space for our staff, followers and all social media users. We consider any post that has a negative impact on the wellbeing, equality, security or dignity of a person or persons to be a threat.
  • We may engage with third party content that we feel is interesting, important, or relevant to our audiences. This may take different forms, such as liking, sharing or commenting on posts. We will always be polite and constructive in our interactions with this content. 
  • We openly invite others to engage with our content in thoughtful and constructive ways.
  • Where social media users comment on our posts in constructive ways, we will do our best to like or thank them.
  • Where social media users pose constructive or positive questions to us, we will reply to the best of our knowledge. We may direct them to other sources if we feel those sources would be better placed to respond.
  • If people comment or ask us questions on social media that we interpret as possibly hostile, we will decide whether to engage on a case-by-case basis. We may direct them to this code as a reminder of our commitment to safe and just forms of engagement.
  • We are aware that where we repost or interact with the content of our audiences, we may draw increased attention to them. If users experience problems as a result, we will do our best to provide support and advice.

Zero tolerance for threatening or discriminatory behaviour

  • If we receive comments that we think are threatening or discriminatory, we will direct the user who posted them to this code. We will also hide the post and may report the user.
  • If we receive more than one comment from a social media user that we think is threatening or discriminatory, we will block and report the user.
  • If we are trolled by a social media user, we will not engage with them. We will block and report the user.

Privacy, confidentiality and intellectual property

  • Where social media users try to engage with us about projects that we are not permitted to discuss publicly, owing to client confidentiality, we will make this clear.
  • Where we are aware that social media users, in their engagement with us, are in breach of data protection or copyright laws, we will hide or delete this content, if possible.
  • Where social media users share personal data such as email addresses, phone numbers, addresses or other sensitive personal information in their engagement with us, we will delete this content.
  • We may sometimes screenshot public comments or posts. This is in order to provide feedback and reports to our clients, funders, our Board of Trustees, and for other professional reasons. We will always anonymise these posts before using them, unless we are documenting threatening behaviour.

How will threatening or discriminatory interactions be reported?

Reporting of posts may include:

  • Taking screenshots and archiving comments. We will not anonymise these screenshots. We will capture time, date, written and audio-visual content, name and profile picture of the poster.
  • Reporting via the social media platform’s reporting function.
  • Reporting to the police or to other relevant bodies.

When are we available?

We monitor our main social media platforms 365 days a year. Our office hours are between 09.00 and 17.00 GMT, Monday to Friday, excluding UK national holidays. You can expect to hear from us during these working hours, although sometimes it may take us a little longer to respond.

Questions or concerns?

If you have questions about how we engage on our social or digital platforms, or if you wish to report concerns about activities on these platforms, please contact us at media@mola.org.uk.