West Lancs logo

Acceptable use guidance

Responding to messages

The council’s social media accounts are generally monitored during working hours, Monday to Friday, except on public holidays.

The council will aim to respond to as many replies or comments as possible. This isn't always possible, particularly when there is heavy social media traffic.

If you send a query, council staff who run the social media accounts will sometimes send your questions off to customer services or other colleagues to find information for you. This means that it might sometimes take a while before the council can get back to you.

The council will generally respond to customers who wish to request services, or make complaints, by directing you to use the  website or to contact customer services, as social media is not really the appropriate channel for dealing with these issues.

If your query is urgent, serious or involves personal details, please visit  Contact Us  where you will also find links to feedback and complaints pages.


Where online communities have their own rules and guidelines, the council will normally follow those.

Where possible, the council will rely on the measures of protection and intervention which the social networking site already has in place (e.g. against illegal, harmful or offensive content), for example by flagging comments or alerting them to any breaches of the site's terms and conditions.

The council also  has its own rules and reserves the right to remove any contributions that break these guidelines:

  • Don't post messages that are unlawful, defamatory or libellous, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented or racially offensive
  • Don't bully, harass or intimidate any individual or organisation
  • Don't impersonate someone else
  • Don't swear
  • Be civil, tasteful and relevant
  • Don't post content copied from elsewhere, for which you do not own the copyright
  • Don't post the same message, or very similar messages, repeatedly (also called "spamming")
  • Don't publicise your, or anyone else's, personal information, such as contact details
  • Don't advertise products or services
  • Don't post any political comments

Defamatory comments

Please take care not to make defamatory statements when posting on council pages. Any statement that could be deemed to be defamatory will be removed.

Blocking and unfollowing

If the council blocks your account, this will probably be because you've broken guidelines.  If for some reason the council ‘unfollows’ you, it might just be that there is a review of accounts.

Liking and following

It is not possible for the council to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ everyone as sometimes the numbers of accounts is too high. So, please don't be offended; it doesn't mean the council is not interested in what you have to say.

The council will frequently ‘follow’ or ‘like’ organisations or people who provide information that is pertinent to the  work of a local authority or who have information that can be passed on for the benefit of local people.

Please remember that while the council may ‘like’ or ‘follow’ someone, re-tweet or share their information, it doesn't mean that the council endorses them.

Sharing and re-tweeting

The council will try to share or re-tweet information that may be of interest or use to West Lancashire residents and businesses. However please don't be offended if we don't re-tweet on request. Sometimes, sharing information can be seen as endorsement of a particular view, individual or organisation, and it's important that the council remains impartial.