Council staff sacked and warned for misusing social media

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Image caption All councils have guidelines have over how staff use social media

Three council workers in Wales were sacked and others were warned over 21 cases of misusing social media last year, the BBC has learned.

They included making racially offensive remarks, leaking a confidential memo and posting defamatory comments.

Cardiff, Conwy and Neath Port Talbot councils each sacked a worker, but 11 Welsh councils recorded no instances of social media being misused.

The figures were obtained by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.


The sacking at Conwy was for "sending a confidential memo to a blog".

Seven instances of social media misuse were recorded at Cardiff, five involving posting defamatory comments on Facebook, one case of putting inappropriate comments about customers on Twitter, and one case of using BBM inappropriately.

One employee was dismissed, three were given final written warnings and two received written warnings.

One person was sacked in Neath Port Talbot for "inappropriate use of Facebook", while another received a written warning for bringing the authority into "disrepute through use of eBay".

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Image caption One staff member at Cardiff council posted tweets that were deemed to be inappropriate

There were three cases in Bridgend, with "management holding discussions with the individuals concerned".

Two written warnings were issued in Caerphilly for misuse of Facebook, one for "racially offensive remarks" and another for "alleged communication between a teacher and a pupil".

"Advice" was given to a worker in Denbighshire, following an "inappropriate comment" about another staff member on Facebook.

A final written warning was given to an employee in Gwynedd for publishing "inappropriate material" on Facebook.

In Ceredigion, there was one incident where a member of staff "used information held by the council in an inappropriate manner in a comment on Facebook", and was therefore given a verbal warning.

A verbal warning was given after "inappropriate use of social media" at Merthyr, and there was "management discussion" in Rhondda Cynon Taf following one incident of inappropriate comments on Facebook.

There was one incident in Swansea, which declined to provide any further information "due to data protection".

All councils have social media policy which applies to employees "when they are using any type of social media and where use could be linked to their employment or the council".

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