Social Media Policy

TOWN OF PERRYVILLE

Social Media Policy

Revised December 5, 2017

 

Purpose

This policy establishes guidelines for the use by the Town of Perryville of social media sites (including but not limited to Facebook and Twitter) as a means of conveying Town of Perryville (“Town”) information to its citizens and other members of the public and for receiving information from its citizens and members of the public, in civil discourse, that may be useful to the Town. The intended purpose behind establishing Town of Perryville social media sites is to disseminate information from the Town, about the Town and its surroundings, and to receive information from its citizens and the public in return. The Town intends and expects that is creating a limited public forum in providing for and allowing use of the Town’s social media sites by its citizens and the public. Town social media sites are not to be used as a political forum to support or oppose candidates or ballot propositions. The Town encourages the use of its social media sites to further the goals of the Town and its departments and agencies, subject to the terms and conditions in this social media policy.

For purposes of this policy, “social media” is understood to be content created by individuals, using accessible, expandable, and upgradable publishing technologies, through and on the Internet. Examples of social media include, but are not limited to, Facebook, blogs, MySpace, RSS, YouTube, Second Life, Twitter, LinkedIn, Delicious, and Flicker. For purposes of this policy, “comments” include information, articles, pictures, videos or any other form of communicative content posted on a Town of Perryville social media site.

General Policy

  1. The establishment and use by any Town department or agency of Town social media sites are subject to approval by the Town Administrator or the Administrator(s) designees.

  2. Town social media sites must make clear that they are maintained by the Town of Perryville and that they follow this Social Media Policy.

  3. Wherever possible, Town social media sites should link back to the official Town of Perryville website for forms, documents, online services and other information necessary to conduct business with the Town of Perryville.

  4. The Town Administrator or the Administrator(s) designees will monitor content on Town social media sites to ensure that use of the sites adhere to this Social Media Policy. Town employees and officials should have no expectation of privacy while using the Town’s social media sites and the internet generally.

  5. The Town reserves the right to restrict or remove any content that the Town reasonably determines to be in violation of this Social Media Policy or any applicable law. Any content that the Town removes from the Town’s social media sites based on this policy should be retained for a reasonable period of time, including the time, date and identity of the poster, when available.

  6. These guidelines must be displayed to users of the Town’s social media sites or made available by hyperlink contained on those sites.

  7. The Town will approach the use of social media tools as consistently as possible, enterprise wide.

  8. The Town of Perryville’s website at http://www.Perryvillemd.org will remain the Town’s primary and predominant internet presence for the conveyance of information to its citizens and the general public. Where practicable, Town social media sites should link back to the Town’s website for forms, documents, online services, and other information necessary to conduct business with the Town.

  9. All Town social media sites shall adhere to applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and policies.

  10. Content posted, delivered to or sent from Town social media sites are public records subject to the Maryland Public Information Act. Any content maintained in a social media format that is related to Town business, including a list of subscribers, posted communication, and communication submitted for posting, may be a public record subject to public disclosure. Wherever possible, Town social media sites shall clearly indicate that content posted or submitted to the Town for posting is subject to public disclosure.

  11. The Town shall retain and maintain social media content in a manner and format that preserve the integrity of the original record and is readily retrievable for compliance with public information act requests and judicial e-discovery rules.

  12. The Town may remove from its social media sites without notice comments on topics or issues not within the jurisdictional purview of the Town of Perryville, not responsive to posts made by the Town or in violation of this social media policy.

  13. Employees and officials representing the Town government through Town social media sites must conduct themselves at all times as a representative of the Town, in a manner respectful to Town citizens and the general public and in accordance with all Town policies.

  14. Town employees may not post any confidential or proprietary Town information without the prior express written permission of the Town Administrator or the Administrator’s designees.

  15. Town employees who hold themselves out as Town employees in Town social media posts or in personal social media posts must take responsibility for conducting their social media activities in a professional manner that does not cast discredit on the Town. If an employee identifies himself or herself as an employee of the Town on any personal social media postings not undertaken in furtherance of Town business, the employee must contain a disclaimer that the posts are solely the opinion of the employee and are not intended to reflect the views or philosophy of the Town, its officials, or other employees.

  16. The Town of Perryville will only accept third-party pages for posting on the Town’s social media sites from organizations and entities that are not political in nature and are intended to provide non-commercial community information to the Town’s citizens. Examples of such organizations and entities include other government entities, libraries, volunteer fire departments, businesses, public activities, newspapers and other media, and emergency management services. The posting of these third-party pages is not an endorsement of the content on those pages by the Town.

  17. The Town may revise this Social Media Policy at any time.

Comment Policy

  1. As a public entity the Town must abide by certain standards to serve all its constituents in a civil and unbiased manner.

  2. The intended purpose behind establishing Town of Perryville social media sites is to disseminate information from the Town, about the Town, to its citizens and members of the public and to receive information, in civil discourse, through a limited public forum from the Town’s citizens and the general public.

  3. Comments containing any of the following inappropriate forms of content may not be permitted on Town of Perryville social media sites and are subject to removal and/or restriction, without notice, by the Town Administrator or the Administrator’s designees:

a.  Comments not related to the original topic, including random or unintelligible comments;

b.  Profane, obscene, violent, or pornographic content and/or language;

c.  Content that promotes, fosters or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, or national origin or any other trait or characteristic protected by federal, State or local law;

d.  Defamatory or personal attacks against any individual or entity;

e.  Threats to any individual or entity;

f.  Comments in support of, or in opposition to, political campaigns or ballot measures;

g.  Solicitation of commerce, including but not limited to advertising of any business or product for sale;

h.  Conduct in violation of any federal, state or local law;

i.  Encouragement of individuals or organizations to engage in illegal activity;

j.  Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems; or

k.  Content that violates a legal ownership interest, such as a copyright, of any party.

4. A comment posted by a member of the public on any Town of Perryville social media site is the opinion of the commentator or poster only, and publication of a comment does not imply endorsement of, or agreement by, the Town of Perryville, nor do such comments necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the Town of Perryville.

5. The Town of Perryville reserves the right to deny access to Town of Perryville social media sites for any individual or entity that violates this Social Media Policy, at any time and without prior notice.

6. Town departments and agencies shall monitor their social media sites for comments requesting responses from the Town and for comments in violation of this policy and promptly shall bring to the attention of the Town Administrator or designees any comments that violate this policy or that require response from the Town.

7. When a Town of Perryville employee responds to a comment, in the individual’s capacity as a Town of Perryville employee, the employee’s name and title should be used, and the employee shall not share personal information about himself or herself, or other Town employees.

8. All comments posted to any Town of Perryville Facebook site are bound by Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, located at http://www.facebook.com/terms.php, and the Town of Perryville reserves the right to report any violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to Facebook with the intent of Facebook taking appropriate and reasonable responsive action.

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