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Social Media Policy

Social Media Policy

San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District Social Media Guidelines

15 August 2012 (approved June 2013)

1.  Purpose

The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District intends to augment traditional methods of communication by using social media. Public demand and the rapidly increasing number of government entities that use social media illustrates that it is an effective means to enhance communication.

This document establishes guidelines for using social media and is intended to mitigate where possible the risks associated with using this technology. These guidelines may change as the use of social media and technology changes.

2. Definitions

Social media sites: Content created by using accessible, expandable, and upgradable publishing technologies through and on the internet. Examples include but are not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, RSS, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Flicker.

District social media sites: Social media sites which the District establishes and maintains, which it controls all postings except advertisements or hyperlinks by the social media site’s owners, vendors or partners.  District social media sites shall supplement but not replace required notices and standard methods of communication.

Posts or postings: Information, articles, pictures, videos or any other form of communication placed on a District social media site.

3. Applicability

These guidelines apply to all employees and approved volunteers, consultants, service providers, and contractors performing work on behalf of the District.

4. Responsibility

The District Manager oversees public information staffs who facilitate the District’s presence in the social media and comply with all established District policies and protocols.

The Public Information Officer is responsible for all aspects of the District’s presence in the social media and for determining who is authorized to use social media on behalf of the District, and of appropriate access levels. (See Records Management below)

5. General Guidelines

5.1.     The District’s official website at will remain the District’s primary means of communication on the internet.

5.2.     The District’s social media sites shall bear the name and logo of the District.

5.3.     The District’s social media sites shall link back to the District’s official website for forms, documents, online services and other information necessary to conduct business with the District.

5.4.     Public Information staff shall only utilize social media networks approved by the District.

5.5.     Public Information staff, directed and supervised by the District Manager, is responsible for establishing and maintaining content posted to social media sites and ensuring it complies with the District’s Social Media Guidelines and its interests and goals.

5.6.     District social media sites shall clearly state that they are maintained by the District and that the sites comply with the District’s Social Media Guidelines.

5.7.     The District shall use social media sites as consistently as possible and in conjunction with other established tools for communication.

5.8.     Employees representing the District on District social media sites shall conduct themselves at all times as professional representatives of the District and comply with all District policies.

5.9.     District social media sites shall comply with usage rules and regulations required by the site provider, including privacy policies.

5.10.   All District social media sites shall utilize authorized District contact information for account set-up, monitoring, and access. District employees shall not use personal email accounts or phone numbers to set-up, monitor, or access a District social media site.

5.11.   All District social media sites shall obey applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, and policies.

5.12.   District social media sites shall comply with the provisions of the Brown Act.  Members of the District’s Board of Trustees shall not respond to any published postings or use the site or any form of electronic communication to respond to, blog, or engage in serial meetings or otherwise discuss, deliberate, or express opinions on any issue within the subject matter jurisdiction of the body.

5.13.   The use of social media by Public Information staff shall be documented and maintained in an easily accessible format that tracks account information and preserves items that may be considered a record subject to disclosure under the California’s Public Records Act or required to be retained pursuant to the Government Code.

5.14.   The District’s social media sites shall be monitored regularly and prompt corrective action shall be taken when an issue arises that places, or has potential to place, the District at risk.

5.15.   District social media sites may contain content including but not limited to advertisements or hyperlinks over which the District has no control. The District does not endorse any hyperlink or advertisement place on District social media sites by the social media site’s owners, vendors, or partners.

5.16.   The District reserves the right to change, modify, or amend all or part of these guidelines at any time.

5.17.   The District reserves the right to terminate any District social media site at any time without notice.

6. Content Guidelines

6.1.     The content of District social media sites shall only pertain to District-sponsored or District-endorsed programs, services, and events. Content includes, but is not limited to, information, photographs, videos, and hyperlinks.

6.2.     The District shall have full permission or rights to any content posted by the District, including photographs and videos.

6.3.     Postings shall be made during normal business hours. After-hours or weekend postings shall only be made if approved by the District’s Public Information Officer.

6.4.     Any employee authorized to post items on any of the District’s social media sites shall review, be familiar with, and comply with the social media site’s use policies and terms and conditions.

6.5.     Any employee authorized to post items on any of the District’s social media sites shall not express his or her own personal views or concerns through such postings.  Postings on any of the District’s social media sites by an authorized District employee shall only reflect the views of the District.

6.6.     Postings must contain information that is freely available to the public and not be confidential as defined by any District policy or state or federal law.

6.7.     Postings may NOT contain any personal information except for the names of employees whose job duties include being available for contact by the public.

6.8.     Postings to District social media sites shall NOT contain any of the following:

6.8.1        Comments that are not topically related to the particular posting being commented upon;

6.8.2        Comments supporting or opposing, political campaigns, candidates, or ballot measures;

6.8.3        Profane language or content;

6.8.4        Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination based on any category protected by federal, state, or local laws;

6.8.5        Sexual content or links to sexual content;

6.8.6        Solicitations of commerce;

6.8.7        Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity;

6.8.8        Information that compromises the safety or security of the public or public systems; or

6.8.9        Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party, including but not limited to quotes, images, documents, links, etc.

6.9      These guidelines shall be displayed to users or made available by hyperlink on all District social media sites. Any content which is removed based on these guidelines must be retained, including the time, date and identity of the poster.

6.10    The District reserves the right to implement or remove any functionality of its social media site when deemed appropriate by the Public Information Officer. This includes but is not limited to information, articles, pictures, videos, or any other form of communication that is posted on a District social media site.

6.11    Except as expressly provided in these guidelines, accessing any social media site shall comply with all applicable District policies pertaining to communications and the use of the internet by employees, including e-mail content.

6.12    All of the content on District social media sites must be provided to the District’s Public Information Officer for review, approval and subsequent posting to the social media site.

7. Records Management

7.1.     Account passwords shall be reset promptly when an employee is removed as an account administrator.

7.2.     Public Information staff shall maintain a record of social media sites created for District use, including, but not limited to:

7.2.1.  A log file containing the name of the social network, account ID, password, registered email address, date established, authorizing representative and name of person who created the account and agreed to the site terms of use agreement and/or policy.

7.2.2.  A record of the site’s usage agreement at the time the site was created and any updated versions.