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- Social Media Policy
Social Media Policy
1. POLICY PURPOSE
This policy is to establish guidelines on the use of social media sites by the West Valley Clean Water Program Authority (“Authority”) as an additional means of conveying Authority information to its members and visitors and maximizing the promotion of Authority programs and services.
The intended purpose of establishing social media pages for the Authority is to establish an interactive communication platform and to disseminate information from the Authority and about the Authority to its members and visitors. This policy is also intended to mitigate associated risks from use of social media technology where possible.
The Authority has an overriding interest and expectation in protecting the integrity of information posted on its social media pages and deciding what is “spoken” on behalf of the Authority. This policy applies wholly to the Authority and all Authority employees who use social media sites and/or technology on behalf of the Authority.
All questions relating to this policy should be directed to the Executive Director.
“Social media sites” means content created by individuals, using accessible and interactive publishing technologies through and on the internet. Social media uses many technologies and platforms, including social networking, blogs, wikis, photo and video sharing, and more.
“Authority social media page” means a page on a social media site which the Authority establishes and maintains, and over which it has control over all postings, except for advertisements or hyperlinks by the social media site’s owners, vendors or partners.
“Post” or “Comment” means information, articles, pictures, videos, hyperlinks or any other form of content or communication posted on any Authority social media page.
3. GENERAL POLICY
The Authority’s official website at www.cleancreeks.org will remain the Authority’s primary source and means of internet communication. To the extent possible, a link to the Authority’s official website shall be included on any Authority social media page. Wherever possible, Authority social media pages should link back to the official Authority website for forms, documents, online services and other information necessary to conduct business with the Authority. Information posted by the Authority on social media pages will supplement and not replace required notices and standard methods of communication.
Not all forms of social media may be appropriate for use by the Authority and any social media page established on behalf of the Authority must be approved by the Executive Director. Consideration shall be given to the overall nature, theme and suitability for use for Authority purposes.
Authority social media pages should make clear that they are maintained by the Authority and state that they follow the Authority’s social media policy. To the extent possible, this policy must be displayed to users or made available by hyperlink.
Authority social media pages are subject to the California Public Records Act. Any content maintained in a social media format that is related to Authority business, including posted communication, and communication submitted for posting, may be a public record subject to public disclosure. All such content must be retained with the Public Records Act and the Authority’s document retention policy.
Employees representing the Authority and posting content on behalf of the Authority on its social medial pages must conduct themselves at all times as a representative of the Authority and in accordance with all Authority policies. Employees found in violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
This policy may be revised at any time upon approval by the Executive Director. Every attempt will be made to provide prior notice of any changes. However, when deemed necessary in order to fully protect the Authority’s interests, the interests of the public, and to more fully protect the safety of the public, including employees governed by this policy, then this policy may be changed without notice.
4. SITE MANAGEMENT AND CONTENT
Social media sites approved for official use by the Authority include Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. All approved social media sites must provide a mechanism for the employee to remove posts or prevent the posting of content that violates this policy.
The Authority’s staff shall administer and monitor the Authority’s social media pages and shall maintain all login and password information.
The Authority’s social media pages are to be used for informational purposes and all content must pertain to the Authority and/or Authority business, programs, services or events. The Authority shall have full permission and rights to any content posted by or on behalf of the Authority, including all photographs and videos.
All photos posted by the Authority on its social media pages shall be for use in marketing and promotion of Authority programs and services. Under no circumstances will the Authority use photos of individuals who expressly ask that their photos not be made public.
Individuals posting photos warrant they have taken the photograph and have obtained any necessary permission from any third party if that third party or third party’s intellectual property appears in the photograph. Photos remain your individual property, but by posting a photo, you agree to allow the Authority to display and use your photo on the Authority’s social media sites. By posting a photo, you release and hold the Agency harmless from any and all liability arising from or related to the posting of your photo.
Authority social media pages shall be managed consistent with the Brown Act, the Political Reform Act, and the California Election Code. Members of the Authority’s board of directors, shall not use any Authority social media page to blog or engage in serial meetings, or otherwise discuss, deliberate, or express opinions on any issue within the subject matter jurisdiction of the board of directors or for any political purpose.
Authority staff will be responsible for posting content on the Authority’s social media pages on behalf of the Authority, monitoring content, responding to comments where appropriate, and ensuring adherence to this policy. Staff must review the Authority’s social media pages regularly to ensure compliance with this policy. In addition, staff must immediately alert the Executive Director to any potential content posted on the Authority’s social media pages that violates this policy.
Content posted by staff on the Authority’s social media pages shall be done during normal business hours. After-hours and weekend postings of content shall only be made with approval from the Executive Director.
Any employee authorized to post content on the Authority’s social media pages shall not express his or her own personal views or concerns. Rather, posting of content by any authorized employee shall only reflect the views of the Authority.
Any employee authorized to post on the Authority’s social media pages shall review, be familiar with, and comply with this policy and the social media site’s use policies and terms and conditions.
5. COMMENT AND RESPONSE POLICY
The Authority reserves the right to have any content restricted or removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy or any applicable federal, state or local law. Any such removed content must be retained consistent with the Public Records Act, where applicable, and/or the Authority’s document retention policy, including the date, time and identify of the poster, when available.
The Authority intends for its use of any social media to relate solely to matters of Authority business. A comment or post by a member of the public on any Authority social media page is the opinion of the commenter or poster only and does not imply endorsement of, agreement with, or reflect the opinions or policies of the Authority. Comments may contain links to external sites that are government sites, Agency-related sites, sites with specific ties to the Agency or sites that provide public information that help the Agency fulfill its mission.
The following posts or comments are inappropriate and are subject to removal or restriction by the Authority:
a. Profane, obscene, violent, or pornographic content and/or language;
b. Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation or any other category protected by local, state or federal law;
c. Defamatory, derogatory or personal attacks on any Authority employee or official;
d. Threats to any person or organization or encouragement of illegal activity;
e. Sexual content (including nudity) or links to sexual content;
f. Information that may compromise the safety or security of Authority employees, the public, public systems or the Authority’s technology resources;
g. Private or personal information published without consent;
h. Content that violates any legal ownership interest, such as a copyright or trademark;
i. Content containing personal information such as home addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, dates of birth or driver’s license numbers;
j. Solicitation of commerce, including any advertising or business services or products for sale;
k. Comments in support of, opposition to, any political campaigns or ballot measures;
l. Comments not related to Authority posts, business, information, announcements, events or comments not related to the original topic, including random or unintelligible posts;
m. Comments or posts on topics or issues not within the jurisdictional purview of the Authority;
n. Potentially libelous comments;
o. Personal attacks, insults, or threatening language;
p. Hyperlinks to material that is not directly related to the discussion;
q. Content that violates any federal, state or local laws.
The above list is not necessarily exhaustive and the Authority reserves the right to remove or restrict any post or comment that violates the purpose or spirit of this policy.
Any employee authorized to post on the Authority’s social media pages shall use his or her best judgment in deciding whether or not to respond to a post or comment, and shall avoid engaging any user in an argumentative or offensive manner. Any response by an authorized employee made on behalf of the Authority shall comply with all terms of this policy. Content in any post or response made on behalf of the Authority shall not specifically refer to any Authority vendor, supplier, member, contractor, employee, or official without the approval of the Executive Director.