Confidential Information - Records which are exempt from public records.
Electronic Devices - Any instrument, appliance, machine, and piece of electronic equipment or contrivance used to scan for, connect to, store, access, or utilize information technology (IT), network, or communications resources. Electronic devices include, but are not limited to, laptop, handheld, tablet, portable, and desktop computers; mobile/portable (cellular and satellite) phones; smart phones; voice over IP equipment; network hubs, switches, routers, extenders, repeaters, bridges, interface units, and access points; radio frequency equipment; two-way pagers; and any similar devices.
CC - Communication Coordinator; the individual assigned by the OM who is responsible for carrying out all directives relating to this policy and directly overseeing all online communication platforms.
HR - Human Resources Department will provide technical support and manage this policy.
OM - Office of the Mayor; the Mayor, or his designee, will be responsible for monitoring support and guidance to the Department Head, the CC’s, and PA’s.
Post - A Facebook status update, or an item on a blog or forum, in any social media platform.
PA – Page Administrator; the individuals assigned by their Department Head to edit, modify, or monitor social media sites on behalf of their respective departments.
Social Media - Forms of electronic communication, such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, and similar sites, through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages and other content.
Spam - Also known as junk email, Spam is the term used when unsolicited, unproductive, and undesirable messages are sent by email. Many email spam messages are commercial in nature but may also contain disguised links that appear to be for familiar websites but in fact purvey computer viruses, malware, or lead to phishing web sites. As used herein, spam shall include “chain letters,” “Ponzi” or other “pyramid” schemes of any type.
Streaming Content - Streaming content includes any video content that is broadcast to an audience in real-time such as Facebook Live, Periscope (from Twitter), or any other such mechanism from a social media outlet.
System Users - All employees, contractors, consultants, temporary, and other workers at the City of Streetsboro who access, interact with, or utilize City of Streetsboro electronic devices, internal networks, and business systems.
Tag - Tagging is a social media functionality commonly used on Facebook and Instagram that allows users to create a link back to the profile of the person shown in the picture or targeted by the update.
Tweet - A Twitter message. Tweets can contain up to 140 characters of text, as well as photos, videos, and other forms of media. They are public by default and will show up in Twitter timelines and searches unless they are sent from Protected Accounts or as Direct Messages.
Tweets can also be embedded in webpages.
Webpage - A document on the World Wide Web, consisting of an HTML file and any related files for scripts and graphics, and often hyperlinked to other documents on the Web.
Website - A group of World Wide Web pages usually containing hyperlinks to each other and made available online by an individual or group, company, educational institution, government, or organization.
This policy provides rules and guidelines for all City of Streetsboro employees when communicating with the public on behalf of the City of Streetsboro via any medium, including, but not limited to websites, webpages, and any social media sites.
Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are social media tools that are used by millions of people daily. These tools have transformed the way people gather information about everything from entertainment to municipal resources. The decision to use these tools is a business decision, not a technology-based decision. It is incumbent upon each department to weigh its mission, objectives, capabilities, risks, and potential benefits when considering use of these tools.
The purpose of the City’s use of social media is to communicate official information, not to create or maintain a general public forum for dissemination of non-employee comments or opinions.
Social Media Account Management
All City of Streetsboro websites, webpages, and social media sites maintained by departments will be subject to approval by the Department Head maintaining the page, site or account.
Mayor’s Office Parks & Rec. Police Department
Fire Department Building Department City Council
HR & Law Dept. Zoning Department Service Department
Finance Department Economic Development
The creation, development, and maintenance of any City website, webpage, or social media site must be coordinated with the Department Head.
The Department Head shall have the discretion to temporarily, permanently disable, terminate a website, webpage, social media forum or account within their scope of authority at any time. Examples of instances when such action might be taken include, but are not limited to the following:
Violation of this policy;
Unprofessional use of the resource;
Lack of use or disinterest by the public;
A department’s failure to maintain a site or forum; and
External or internal hacking or corruption of a site or forum.
The OM shall designate a Communications Coordinator (CC) to carry out all aspects of this policy on the behalf of the City of Streetsboro including but not limited to:
Overseeing online media management including records retention.
Governing the appropriateness, and removal, of internally and externally generated content on our online platforms;
Maintaining incident reports concerning removed social media postings;
Coordinating communication across multiple social media outlets; and
training the Page Administrator (PA) on the applicable policy, standards, or guidelines necessary for their role in the management of the City’s social media forums or accounts.
Applicable Governing Law & Policies
Wherever appropriate, all social media sites shall comply with all appropriate policies and standards, including but not limited to the Telecommunications and Network Policies, found in the employee handbook, and Public Records Retention Schedules.
All websites, webpages, and social media accounts must also adhere to all guidelines and policies regarding internet security, privacy, and accessibility for the disabled as established and maintained by the OM.
All websites, webpages and social media sites must maintain standards regarding the use of logos, trademarks, and other design elements as maintained by the CC.
All requests to deviate from these guidelines must be approved by the appropriate Department Head in consultation with the OM.
Online Media Administration
OM will maintain a list of social media tools, approved by the Department Head, for use by City departments and staff.
All new social media tools proposed for City use will be approved by the Department Head in consultation with OM, and upon such approval notification will be given to City Council.
The CC will maintain a list of all Department social media sites, including login and password information. Departmental heads will inform the CC of any administrative changes to existing sites.
All PA, must be able to immediately edit or remove content from social media sites.
The removal process is as follows:
If any doubt exists regarding whether a post should be removed, PA should consult with either another PA, the CC, OM, or the Department Head prior to deleting an offending post;
The post removal should be documented in a written incident report that includes only the following information:
A copy of the offending post including all comments (printed);
A reference to the specific rule violated as cause for the post’s removal (see Annex A);
The date/time when the post was removed; and
The name(s) of those involved in removing the post.
Online Media Management
PA will be responsible for the content and upkeep of any social media sites their department may create.
Department Head shall notify the OM upon commissioning of PA with social media responsibilities.
PA shall coordinate postings on social media accounts with the CC and various departments to ensure that content is posted in a relevant, accurate, and timely manner.
Public Records & Retention
All Department social media sites are subject to State of Ohio public records laws. Any content maintained in a social media format that documents the activities of the department and posted communication, is a public record.
The department maintaining a site shall preserve records required to be maintained pursuant to a relevant records retention schedule for the required retention period in a format that preserves the integrity of the original record and is easily accessible.
All public records requests, and all questions related to public records, must be forwarded to the Law Director. Documents related to the activities of the department shall be maintained in an accessible format and so that it can be produced in response to a request.
Wherever possible, such sites shall clearly indicate that articles and other content posted or submitted for posting may be subject to public disclosure.
Employee Access and Conduct
Authorized personnel will be granted limited or full access to the City’s social media platforms at the discretion of the OM.
Authorized personnel should have no expectation of privacy when using Social media tools for City authorized, professional purposes.
Authorized personnel, prior to gaining access to his/her respective social media site, shall be trained how to appropriately manage the site. Such training shall include:
Social Media Policy training; and
Any other training deemed necessary by the Department Head or OM;
A non-exempt employee responsible for maintaining social media sites for the City of Streetsboro shall not manage their department’s site outside of work hours unless directed to do so by their Department Head or direct supervisor.
The Department Head, in conjunction with CC and OM, will monitor content posted by PA to ensure that it complies with this policy.
The following conduct is prohibited:
Posts on Department page/account about matters of public concern that have not been authorized by proper authority;
Posts on Department page/account about any unauthorized government communication;
Posts on Department page/account confidential information or any other government intellectual property;
Posts on Department page/account acting on behalf of the City as one’s self. All correspondence shall be done only through verified pages acting as the City of Streetsboro.
Posts on Department page/account containing pictures of minors will require a release from the parent, or legal guardian, unless the photo was taken in a public space at a newsworthy event.
Posts that tag an individual’s “personal account” within a post on Department page/account. If an individual has a verified “public figure” account, then it is acceptable to tag the individual for business purposes only;
Posts that include Streaming Content unless given prior approval from the Department Head;
Posts that solicit for money or support on behalf of charities, religious institutions, political causes, or other for-profit or not-for-profit organizations including City bargaining unit activities.
Post on Department page/account for personal gain unless given prior approval from the Department Head;
Linking and Sharing content from other sources is permissible under certain conditions:
The content linked to must be vetted by PA answering the following questions in the affirmative:
Does the content originate from the source linked and not originate elsewhere OR does the source linked to properly cite the originating source?
Does the content add value to our social media outlet and enhance the mission our site is trying to accomplish? i.e. City Business.
Public Access and Conduct
Posts and Comments
The City of Streetsboro will make all digital communications accessible to as many users as possible, which includes making sure any content posted is available on multiple platforms.
The City’s use of social media is to communicate official information, not to create or maintain a general public forum for dissemination of non-employee comments or opinions. We will not allow visitors post and Public comments must remain relevant to the original post (on topic) Authorized personal will follow all accessibility standards set forth in this policy.
Each PA, in consultation with the Department Head and with assistance from OM and CC, will monitor social media sites to determine if public conduct violates acceptable use.
PA will review and become familiar with the prohibited uses of social media described in Annex A.
PA shall remove content that meets any of the described criteria in Annex A according to the procedure described in the Online Media Administration section of this policy.
Social media sites allow for publicly available disclosure of personal information.
PA will be mindful of this when communicating with the public.
PA will not request sensitive information regarding personally identifiable details over a public channel. Sensitive information may include but is not limited to:
Contact Information: Name, Phone Number, Address, etc.
Complaint information: Specific complaint details, especially if those complaints involve neighbors or other specifically identifiable persons;
Legal Requests; and
Medical history or issues that can be associated with a specific individual.
Creating a Social Media Site or Account
Establishing a presence
Any department desiring to establish a Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ or any other Social Media platform presence will first consult with, and gain approval from, the Department Head.
Upon approval, the Department Head shall contact the CC who, with support from OM, will create the social media page or account.
Creating a Facebook Page
The City will create 'pages' in Facebook not ‘groups.’ Facebook ‘pages’ offer distinct advantages including greater visibility, customization and measurability.
For ‘type’ description, choose ‘government.’
A City of Streetsboro Distribution Email should be used as the Email address for the site and not a personal Email address or individual’s Streetsboro Email address.
The page name should be descriptive of the Department Head and appropriate department.
The CC, with approval of the Department Head and assistance from OM, will standardize each Facebook site and provide the Facebook page’s image, consisting of a picture and the appropriate logo.
The CC will consult with the Department Head in completing the ‘About’
Section. This section should be filled out accurately and completely.
In the General Information section, the following statements should be included: (Insert department) is a department of the City of Streetsboro. This site is intended to serve as a mechanism for communicating official information between the public and [department] not to create or maintain a general public forum for dissemination of non-employee comments or opinions.
The following notice must be included on all pages regarding 24-hour monitoring and emergencies.
This site is not monitored on a 24-hour basis. Please call 911 for emergencies.
A link to the appropriate City website or website redirect will be listed in the Page Info section. After site creation, the CC with assistance from OM will put the following finishing touches on the account:
Create a Facebook Username, consistent with any attached Twitter account;
Link the page to an existing Twitter account if applicable;
Merge duplicate pages;
Verify the site with Facebook;
Creating a Twitter Feed
The Department can create 'feeds' in Twitter not assigned to an individual user but to a whole department which has an already established Facebook page’.
The feed will be connected to a Streetsboro Distribution Email and not a personal Email address or individual’s Streetsboro Email address.
The feed name should be descriptive of the department.
The CC, with approval of the Department Head, and with assistance from OM, will standardize each Twitter feed and provide the Twitter feed’s image, consisting of a header photo and the appropriate logo.
The CC will consult with the appropriate Department Head in completing the profile. This section should be filled out accurately and completely.
A link to the appropriate City website or website redirect will be listed as part of the Twitter feed profile.
The Twitter feed should be followed by all other Twitter feeds. After site creation, the CC with assistance from OM will put the following finishing touches on the account:
Add the Twitter feed to the Tweetdeck management console;
Disable direct messaging to the Twitter feed;
Disable location tracking of Tweets
Enable tweets to redirect to the appropriate Facebook page.
Creating a Google My Business Account
The Departments can create ‘brand accounts’ in Google+ not assigned to an individual user but to a whole department or physical location.
The brand account name should be descriptive of the department.
The CC, with approval of the Department Head, and with assistance from OM will standardize each brand account and provide the brand account’s image, consisting of a banner image and the appropriate logo.
The CC will consult with the appropriate authorized individual(s) in completing the profile. This section should be filled out accurately and completely.
A link to the appropriate City website or website redirect will be listed as part of the brand account profile.
After site creation, the CC with assistance from OM will put the following finishing touches on the account:
Add the brand account to the City’s primary Google+ account management console;
Acquire any competing Google My Business pages;
Verify the Google My Business page.
Creating a You Tube Channel
The Department can create 'channels' in YouTube not assigned to an individual user but to a whole department which has an already established Google+ Brand Account.
The channel name should be descriptive of the department.
The CC, with approval of the Department Head, and with assistance from IT will standardize each You Tube channel and provide the You Tube channel’s image, consisting of a header photo and the appropriate logo.
The CC will consult with the Department Head in completing the profile. This section should be filled out accurately and completely.
A link to the appropriate City website or website redirect will be listed as part of the You Tube channel profile.
Department sponsored You Tube Channel should be followed by all other Department You Tube channels.
In the channel information section, the following should be included:
The purpose of the City’s use of social media is to communicate official information, not to create or maintain a general public forum for dissemination of non-employee comments or opinions.
This site is not monitored on a 24-hour basis, please call 911 for emergencies. The City of Streetsboro Social Media Use Policy is available here:
CITY OF STREETSBORO website: WWW.CITYOFSTREETSBORO.COM
After site creation, the CC with assistance from OM will put the
following finishing touches on the account:
Add the brand account to the City’s primary Google+ account management console; Setup appropriate channel keywords;
Disable the display of advertisements alongside videos; and
Verify the You Tube channel.
Operating a Social Media Site or Account
The CC, with approval of the Department Head, will add at least one PA for each to monitor the newly established Facebook page, Twitter feed, or Google+ brand channel.
The PA monitoring the page or account will remove content consistent with the rules set forth in this policy.
PA are responsible for keeping all content fresh, relevant, and accurate.
PA must refer to this policy for appropriate posting rules including linking to and sharing external content.
PA will, if applicable, redirect tweets from the Twitter feed to an applicable Facebook account.
Compliance Measurement: the Department Head, with assistance from the CC, will verify compliance to this policy through various methods, including but not limited to, periodic surveys, video monitoring, business reports, internal and external audits, and feedback to the Department Head.
Exceptions: Any exception to the policy must be approved by the Department Head in advance.
Non-Compliance: An employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
Substantive changes to this policy will be communicated to City Council.
Related Standards, Policies and Processes
Public Record Retention Schedules