On Monday the Charity Commission published its first-ever guidance for charities on the use of social media.

Traditional libertarians will no doubt be pleased by the straightforward proclamation from the Commission that:

'Trustees, charity employees and any other individuals have the right to exercise their freedom of expression within the law in their communications, including when using social media'.

This extends to support of a political party or politician, even during purdah, which means trustees and chairs of trustees can come off the fence in a way that charities are not permitted to do. Whilst the Commission states:

'trustees should be aware of the potential for content posted by individuals in their personal capacity being associated with the charity.'

This guidance may provide opportunities for the board of trustees to speak out to the benefit of the charitable causes they care about, during those periods in which the charities themselves cannot speak out.  

There are potentials risk, yes. But perhaps far more gains if this, now plainly expressed, ability is wisely used.