Guidance and moderation information for the FCO's social media channels, including specific guidance for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Flickr.
FCO social media guidance
In line with our social media guidance, the FCO encourages all staff to make full use of the opportunities provided by social media to help deliver FCO objectives.
The @ForeignOffice Twitter account is managed by the FCO’s digital communications team. We don’t use any automation to post Twitter content. If you follow @ForeignOffice, you can expect regular tweets covering:
- news and press releases
- speeches and statements by the Foreign Secretary and Foreign Office ministers
- retweets of notable announcements by UK government departments and organisations
- live event coverage
The FCO Ministerial team social media accounts are:
- Foreign Secretary @BorisJohnson (Twitter) and @BorisJohnson (Facebook)
- Minister of State for Europe and the Americas @AlanDuncanMP (Twitter) and @AlanDuncanMP (Facebook)
- Minister of State for the Middle East @AlistairBurtUK
- Minister of State for Africa @RoryStewartUK
- Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific @MarkFieldUK
- Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN Lord @tariqahmadbt of Wimbledon
If we follow a Twitter or Facebook account it doesn’t imply any kind of endorsement.
Our other central Twitter accounts include:
- @SMcDonaldFCO, the official Twitter account of Foreign Office Permanent Under Secretary Sir Simon McDonald.
- @JoannaRoperFCO, Special Envoy for Gender Equality
- @FCOTravel, run by the FCO’s consular team
- @FCOArabic, the official Foreign Office Twitter channel in Arabic
- @FCOHumanRights, run by the Human Rights and Communications team
- @UKagainstDaesh Updates on UK government and Global Coalition actions to defeat to daesh
- @end_svc, focused on ending sexual violence in conflict
- @FCOFLAGG The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) staff association of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- @FCOResearch The official account of the FCO Research Analysts
@replies, mentions and direct messages
For @FCOTravel our consular staff monitor and respond to relevant enquiries. For our other central accounts, we review @replies and mentions but don’t generally reply to them.
We also won’t normally reply to direct messages. The limitations of Twitter’s format mean that we wouldn’t be able to give you a full and useful reply. We can’t engage on issues of party politics.
Twitter and FOI
For Freedom of Information (FOI) requests we will usually ask for an email address to reply to. If we can reply in a single tweet we may do so.
They are used to highlight speeches, announcements and activity from across the FCO. Comments posted on and messages received on our Facebook pages are views of individuals and don’t represent the views of the government.
Our Facebook moderation policy
We look forward to receiving your comments and participation in the discussions on this page and would like to publish as many as possible. However we do ask that our followers adhere to certain good practices and conventions of polite and constructive discourse.
Therefore we will not publish and will remove comments that:
- contain abusive, obscene, indecent or offensive language
- contain swear words or other sorts of profanity
- contain abusive language towards an individual involved in the thread, other organisations or the page administrator
- are completely removed from the topic of conversation or non-relevant to the item posted on the wall
- constitute spam or promote or advertise products except where it is for an event, publication or similar item that has direct relevance to the subject of discussion. Information about locating and sharing knowledge and expertise is welcomed, but within the specific discussion provided
- are designed to cause nuisance to the page administrator or other users
We encourage open, lively debate but the decision to publish comments received via this site remains at the admin’s discretion. Comments that violate any of the above rules will be removed or not be published. We will not edit any of your comments.
We make no commitment to respond to individual and repeat offenders may be blocked from using the Facebook page indefinitely.
We may at any time, without notice to you, revise this policy and any other information contained in this page.
Flickr and Instagram
On Flickr we tag images so you can see where they were taken, and create sets of pictures for each month and major visit. We don’t allow comments on images. Photos are subject to copyright and not normally available for re-use without permission.
On Instagram we share images from our embassies round the world, and encourage you to comment and like our images.