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Terms and conditions

Find out more about our website terms and conditions and social media house rules.

Social Media House Rules

Westminster City Council's social media channels provide a variety of news, information and alerts from our services and partners across Westminster. Our social media channels include: X (formerly known as Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, Threads, LinkedIn, Nextdoor, YouTube and TikTok.

We are here to help and expect the same level of courtesy and respect that we offer our residents and wider audience.

We want our social media channels to be safe spaces where we welcome feedback and engagement on our posts and where everyone can connect with us and each other in a friendly and informative manner. However, we have a zero-tolerance policy towards hate speech and any form of discrimination.

Here we state our house rules aimed at keeping our Website and social media channels positive, kind, inclusive and engaging:

  • all users must comply with the social media platform's Terms of Use and our Website Terms and Conditions.
  • we reserve the right to remove, in whole or in part, posts that are inappropriate, abusive, or discriminatory against any individual or group.
  • we will remove messages/replies/comments on our social media channels (where the function allows) and report those users. We will block from our channels those who continue to breach our social media house rules. This includes those who post messages to us and other users which we reasonably believe are:
    • abusive or threatening, including intimidating towards our staff, councillors, or other platform users
    • deceptive or misleading, including misinformation and disinformation
    • obscene, profanity, or sexually explicit
    • defamatory or slanderous
    • discriminatory
    • in violation of any intellectual property rights, including copyright
    • in violation of any law or regulation or promoting illegal activity
    • the same message (or small variations of it) is posted multiple times by individuals or groups, otherwise known as spamming or spam.
    • controversial, irrelevant, off-topic, or baiting, otherwise known as trolling
    • promotional material, including links to external websites and promotions
    • anyone engaging with us using content or language that falls into the above categories may be blocked and reported to the associated social media platform. We will not tolerate or respond to abusive messages.
    • if your content relates to any of the list above, it may be hidden or deleted without warning. We may publicly respond to your content and direct message you to ask you to remove it immediately. If you do not act, you may lose access to our social media accounts.

If you see a post on our channels from a member of the public that you think breaches our house rules or the terms and conditions of the social media channel, please report it to the social media channel directly. You can also raise this with us by emailing [email protected].

Depending upon the content, we may also screenshot the posts and consider legal action or send them to the police for investigation.

We must always remain politically neutral on social media, which is why council officers are unable to reply to, endorse or engage with any content that is of a party-political nature on our channels. If you wish to discuss political issues, please contact your local councillor.

Hate crime and incidents

A hate incident is any incident that the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone's prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity.

A hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.

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. Find out more about hate crime, including how to report hate and harassment on our Safety Information for Local Communities page.

Complaints and allegations

If you wish to make a complaint about a council service, councillor, or member of staff, you can find more details on our Complaints page.

Safeguarding allegations or disclosures

If you make any safeguarding allegations or disclosures on our social media channels, these will be passed on to the relevant organisations as part of our duty of care.

Pre-election period

Whatever the type of election, if you post anything on council social media platforms which could be interpreted as politically controversial, we may delete it. The pre-election period is 25 working days before polling day for elections (28 calendar days before polling day for referenda).

Contacting us on social media

We're here to help as much as we can and are normally available on our social media channels from 9am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday, except for Bank Holidays, and we aim to get back to first messages and respond to direct post queries within five working days.

Lastly, our social media and customer service teams who manage our social media channels are humans too, and we may occasionally make mistakes. We will not tolerate intimidation or abusive messages towards our staff. Please communicate with us with courtesy, consideration, and patience while we try our utmost to make our website and social media channels the best place for information and support for all our residents across Westminster.


The failure by the City Council to enforce any term or condition hereof shall not be deemed as a waiver of the right to enforce such term or condition.


All Social Media House Rules shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and subject to the jurisdiction of the Courts in London only.

Published: 19 December 2023

Last updated: 22 December 2023