Chapter 4.70


4.70.005    Computer use policy.

4.70.010    Social media use policy.

4.70.020    Facebook standard policy.

4.70.005 Computer use policy.

The city shall institute a city-wide computer use policy. All employees are required to read and sign the computer use policy. (Ord. 12-001 § 3, 2013)

4.70.010 Social media use policy.

A. Purpose.

1. To address the fast-changing landscape of the Internet and the way residents communicate and obtain information online, city departments may consider using social media tools to reach a broader audience. The city encourages the use of social media to further the goals of the city and the missions of its departments, where appropriate.

2. The city has an overriding interest and expectation in deciding what is “spoken” on behalf of the city on social media sites. This policy establishes guidelines for the use of social media.

B. General.

1. All city social media sites posted by departments will be subject to approval by the city manager.

2. The city’s website will remain the city’s primary and predominant Internet presence.

a. The best, most appropriate city uses of social media tools fall generally into two categories:

i. As channels for disseminating time-sensitive information as quickly as possible (example: emergency information).

ii. As marketing/promotional channels which increase the city’s ability to broadcast its message to the widest possible audience.

b. Wherever possible, content posted to city social media sites will also be available on the city’s website.

c. Wherever possible, content posted to city social media sites should contain links directing users back to the city’s official website for in-depth information, forms, documents or online services necessary to conduct business with the city.

3. As is the case for city’s website, departmental public staff will be responsible for the content and upkeep of any social media sites their department may create.

4. All city social media sites shall comply with all appropriate city policies and standards.

5. City social media sites are subject to the Alaska Public Records Act and Chapter 2.90 PMC.

a. Any content maintained in a social media format that is related to city business, including a list of subscribers and posted communication, is a public record.

b. The department maintaining the site is responsible for responding completely and accurately to any public records request for public records on social media.

c. Content related to city business shall be maintained in an accessible format and so that it can be produced in response to a request (see the city Facebook policy).

d. Wherever possible, such sites shall clearly indicate that any articles and any other content posted or submitted for posting are subject to public disclosure.

e. Users shall be notified that public disclosure requests must be directed to the assigned departmental employee.

6. City records retention schedules apply to social media formats and social media content. Unless otherwise addressed in a specific social media standards document, the department maintaining a site shall preserve records required to be maintained pursuant to a relevant records retention schedule for the required retention period on a city server in a format that preserves the integrity of the original record and is easily accessible.

7. Users and visitors to social media sites shall be notified that the intended purpose of the site is to serve as a mechanism for communication between city departments and members of the public. City social media site articles and comments containing any of the following forms of content shall not be allowed:

a. Comments not topically related to the particular social medium article being commented upon;

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

c. Profane language or content;

d. Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation;

e. Sexual content or links to sexual content;

f. Solicitations of commerce;

g. Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity;

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

i. Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party.

C. The city reserves the right to restrict or remove any content that is deemed in violation of this social media policy or any applicable law.

D. The city will approach the use of social media tools as consistently as possible.

E. All new social media tools proposed for city use will be approved by the city manager.

F. Administration of City of Palmer Social Media Sites.

1. The information technology committee will maintain a list of all city of Palmer social media sites, including login and password information. Assigned department employees will inform the committee of any new social media sites or administrative changes to existing sites.

2. The city must be able to immediately edit or remove content from social media sites.

G. For each social media tool approved for use by the city the following documentation will be developed and adopted:

1. Operational and use guidelines;

2. Standards and processes for managing accounts on social media sites;

3. City and departmental branding standards;

4. Enterprise-wide design standards;

5. Standards for the administration of social media sites. (Ord. 12-001 § 3, 2013)

4.70.020 Facebook standard policy.

A. Purpose. Facebook is a social networking site. Businesses and governments have joined individuals in using Facebook to promote activities, programs, projects and events. This standard is designed for city departments looking to drive traffic to the city’s website and to inform more people about city activities. These standards should be used in conjunction with the city’s social media use policy. As Facebook changes these standards may be updated as needed.

B. Establishing a Page. When a department determines it has a business need for a Facebook account, it will submit a request to the city manager via the information technology committee. Once approved, the information technology committee will create the boilerplate business page for the department. Applications are not to be added to a city Facebook site without approval by the committee. All city provided branding images must meet city branding standards.

C. Content.

1. Type of Pages.

a. The city will create “pages” in Facebook, not “groups.” Facebook pages offer distinct advantages including greater visibility, customization and measurability.

b. For “type” description, choose “government.”

2. Boilerplate.

a. The information technology committee will standardize and provide the Facebook page’s image, consisting of a picture and the city’s logo.

b. Departments will include a mission introduction on the Wall page and send users first to the Wall to connect them to the freshest content. Boilerplate policy text regarding public disclosure and comments will be created using the Facebook Markup Language (FBML) static page application. A city boilerplate sentence should follow the department/program description:

(Insert department) is a department of the city of Palmer, This site is intended to serve as a mechanism for communication between the public and [department] on the listed topics. Any comments submitted to this page and its list of fans are public records subject to disclosure pursuant to the Public Records Act and Palmer Municipal Code 2.90. Public records requests must be directed to the (insert department) public disclosure officer.

3. If comments are turned on, the Wall page should include a link to a comment policy tab with the following disclaimer:

Comments posted to this page will be monitored. The city reserves the right to remove inappropriate comments including those that have obscene language or sexual content, threaten or defame any person or organization, violate the legal ownership interest of another party, support or oppose political candidates or ballot propositions, promote illegal activity, promote commercial services or products or are not topically related to the particular posting.

4. Link to the City.

a. A link to will be included on the Info page.

b. City department and project pages should be page “favorites” of other city Facebook pages.

5. Page Naming.

a. Page name should be descriptive of the department.

b. Departments will choose carefully with consideration for abbreviations, slang iterations, etc.

c. The information technology committee will approve proposed names.

6. Page Administrators.

a. A successful page requires “babysitting” by the designated department employee responsible for monitoring the Facebook page. Posts should be approved by the employee or a designated alternate.

b. The designated employee is responsible for making sure content is not stale. Departments will designate a back-up administrator in the employee’s absence.

7. Comments and Discussion Boards.

a. Comments to the Wall generally will be turned off but may be allowed on a case-by-case basis with request from the department and approval from the city manager.

b. Discussion boards should be turned off.

8. Style.

a. City Facebook pages will be based on a template that includes consistent city branding. The information technology committee will provide departments with the template.

b. Departments will use proper grammar and standard AP style, avoiding jargon and abbreviations. Facebook is more casual than most other communication tools but still represents the city at all times.

9. Applications.

a. There are thousands of Facebook applications. Common applications can allow users to stream video and music, post photos, and view and subscribe to Rich Site Summary (RSS) feeds. While some may be useful to the page’s mission, they can cause clutter and security risks.

b. An application should not be used unless it serves a business purpose, adds to the user experience, comes from a trusted source and is approved by the information technology committee.

c. An application may be removed at any time if there is significant reason to think it is causing a security breach or spreading viruses.

D. Archive.

1. Each Facebook page will be set up in conjunction with an information technology committee designated city email account.

2. Content that cannot be retrieved from Facebook via the Application Programming Interface (API) and needs to be retained as a record must be printed and maintained according to the city records retention policy. (Ord. 12-001 § 3, 2013)