Social Media Policy

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CITY OF LITTLETON SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
EFFECTIVE DATE: May, 2010
REVISED: June 28, 2022

14.13 SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY

The City of Littleton will determine how its web-based social media resources will be designed, implemented, and managed as part of its overall communication strategy. Because many City of Littleton residents and stakeholders utilize social media for news and communications, the City of Littleton has developed its own social media accounts, which help the city to inform the public about the city's work and mission.

The City of Littleton has an important interest in assuring the accuracy and consistency of information associated with the city's social media sites. Littleton will respect the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the constitutional right to freedom of speech. These terms and conditions establish guidelines for both the city’s and the public's use of social media that balance these values.

 

DEFINITIONS

Social Media — the digital content created by the city and communicated on platforms that allow sharing, commenting, and engagement from the public. Examples of social media accounts the city may use include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Post — The action by the city or a member of the public to provide content, including text, pictures, videos, or any other type of media on a social media account.

Comments — Any digital content, information, link, image, video, or any other form of communicative content posted in reply or response on a social media account operated by the city.

User — A member of the public who views or interacts with one or more of the city's social media accounts.

The city currently participates in the following social media sites:

POLICIES

  1. These terms and conditions apply to all of the city's social media sites. Where possible, a link to these terms and conditions will be made available as a hyperlink or posted as text on the social media accounts.
  2. The use of city-maintained social media sites shall be in compliance with Colorado’s open meeting and open records laws. Users should know that social media posts, comments, and replies to those posts, and any direct or private messages sent to the city may be public records and subject to applicable public records release.
  3. The city will not link to elected officials' personal websites nor social media accounts, and the city will remove posts or comments from a city-managed social media site that does.
  4. Social media sites are not monitored 24/7 and should not be used when seeking emergency services. Anyone in need of emergency help should call 9-1-1.
  5. The City of Littleton does not guarantee a response to comments or messages sent to the social media accounts.
  6. City of Littleton accounts on social media sites shall clearly state they are maintained by the City of Littleton and shall have city contact information prominently displayed. Sites will be consistently branded in order to communicate a clear association with the city. Branding must include the city logo, and if appropriate, a badge, patch, or other graphic element indicating the identity of the department. The naming and contact conventions used for social media accounts should be City of Littleton-specific and must not contain individual employee names.
  7. The city website, www.littletongov.org, is the official location for content regarding city business, services, and events. Whenever possible, links to more information should direct users back to the city’s official website for more details, documents, forms, or online services necessary to conduct business with the City of Littleton.
  8. City of Littleton staff representing the city via social media accounts, including those not maintained by the city, must conduct themselves at all times as representatives of the City of Littleton. Staff who fail to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner shall be subject to the disciplinary procedures outlined in the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual.
  9. City of Littleton accounts on social media sites may not be used by any city employee for private or personal purposes, for expressing personal views on political or policy issues, or to express personal views or concerns pertaining to city employment or personnel matters. Information about confidential city business shall not be disclosed on either the city's social media accounts or on any employee’s personal social media account.

EXPECTATIONS

  1. The leaders of the City of Littleton believe that honest, civil, and productive discussions provide the best environment for citizens to understand the work of their government and participate in constructive engagement.
  2. The City of Littleton asks users to consider that the social media feeds may be viewed by children and other impressionable people. Therefore, the city asks that users avoid profanity, personal attacks, bullying, or use of incorrect information.

CONTENT MODERATION

  1. Limited Public Forum. The City of Littleton’s social media accounts are created and maintained as limited public forums under the case law pertaining to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. City of Littleton invites members of the public to view and, where possible, provide comments or other engagement on the city’s social media accounts. However, the law permits the city to hide and/or delete comments that are not protected speech under the First Amendment and relevant case law. As a general rule, the city will not hide and/or delete comments solely because such comments are critical of Littleton and its officials.
  2. Prohibited Content. The following will be hidden or deleted:
    • Comments directly advocating violence or illegal activity.
    • Comments containing obscenity, which is defined as sexually explicit and/or pornographic content that is patently offensive, appeals to prurient interest, and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
    • Comments that directly promote or advocate that City of Littleton illegally discriminate based on race, age, religion, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.
    • Comments containing links to malware and/or malicious content that affect the normal functioning of a computer system, server, or browser.
    • Duplicate comments posted repeatedly within a week or less.
    • Comments containing actual defamation against a person, either as determined by a court or comments that are patently defamatory by easily discovered facts.
    • Comments that contain images or other content that violate the intellectual property or copyrights of someone else.
    • Solicitations of commerce.
    • Comments that contain a hyperlink to any website other than those controlled by City of Littleton. This will be done without regard to the viewpoint of the comment containing such a link or the content of the site to which the link redirects.
  3. Retention. When a comment containing any of the above content is posted to the city’s social media accounts, a copy or electronic record of that content may be retained or archived pursuant to our records retention policy, along with a brief description of the reason the specific content was hidden or deleted. Once documented, the content will be removed, where possible, from the city’s social media accounts.
  4. Blocking or Banning a User. When the City of Littleton determines that a user has violated these terms and conditions on three or more occasions within a twelve-month rolling period, the city may block or ban the offending user from the social media account where the violations occurred.

COPYRIGHT AND OTHER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

The city’s posts on its social media accounts must at all times comply with the laws regarding plagiarism and copyright violations.