Public Health Agency Facebook Policy

The following policy sets out the purpose of the Public Health Agency’s Facebook Pages, provides guidance on posting comments and content and how the organisation will moderate and administer the Pages.


The Public Health Agency (PHA) Page (www.facebook.com/publichealthagency) is administered by the PHA (the regional organisation for health protection and health and social wellbeing improvement in Northern Ireland).

The Page is designed to help provide advice and information on health issues. Our aim is to provide an online social community where people can freely access information, share their thoughts, engage with others and ask questions relating to public health matters.

By following us (‘liking’ our Facebook Page’) you can find up-to-date information on current health issues. You can also post relevant comments and questions about public health related matters to us and we will help address these issues and provide helpful information as required.

However, it is important to note that the Public Health Agency Facebook Page is not a facility for the diagnosis of illnesses.

Social Media Posting

Posted comments and images do not necessarily represent the views of the Public Health Agency. We do not agree with or necessarily endorse all comments posted by individuals on our Page.

We want people to have an informative and enjoyable time while using the Page and we ask that people post comments in a respectful manner.

Below we have outlined our policy for removing comments and banning users in certain circumstances.

The following activity and comments will be deleted:

  • Offensive, bullying, threatening in nature
  • Sectarian, racist or sexist
  • Libellous or defamatory
  • Attacks, intimidation or threats against our employers or other users and individuals
  • Off-topic or irrelevant posts and those posted under the wrong thread 
  • Designed to unduly promote a commercial organisation, product or brand
  • Disruptive
  • Lewd or pornographic in nature
  • Infringement on copyrights
  • Other comments that our social media team deem inappropriate.

Our social media team will also, in serious cases, remove users or block from the site those who continue to regularly post content and comments described above.


Our social media accounts are not monitored 24 hours a day. Please understand that we may not be able to reply immediately to comments and questions, particularly outside of normal office hours (9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday) and during public holidays.

On occasions there may be inappropriate comments or posts which require a quick response that we do not spot right away, but we are committed to dealing with these posts as soon as possible. 

Data Protection

The PHA abides by the Data Protection Act. The Information Commissioner's Office's guide - Social networking and online forums – when does the DPA apply? - is available here.