Social Media Policy
To establish a Social Media Policy for the Town of Lantana.
The goals of the Town of Lantana’s Social Media Policy are:
- To increase public awareness of the Town’s programs, policies, and services.
- To promote the value and importance of the Town’s programs, policies and services among government officials, civic leaders, residents, and the public.
- To operate as a Government Communication platform to inform members of the public and the news media of the Town’s programs, policies, and services.
The Town intends to use its social media accounts as a means of disseminating and distributing information to the public at large consistent with its Goals.
The Town does not intend for its social media accounts to be interactive or to otherwise serve as a Public Forum or Limited Public Forum and in that regard does not intend to enable its social media accounts to allow for the reception and posting of comments by the public.
PUBLIC RECORDS LAWS:
All social media communications, messages, comments, and content are subject to public records law. The Town’s usage of its social media platforms shall comply with Chapter 119, Florida Statutes. The Information Technology (IT) Division will retain all social media communications, messages, comments, and content in relation to the Town’s social media accounts as required by Chapter 119, Florida Statutes.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES:
While it is the Town’s intent that its social media accounts be non-interactive and used for informational purposes only and not be enabled to receive and post public comments, in the event the owner of the social media platform prevents the Town from disabling public comments from being received and posted, the following policies and procedures will apply to any comments received and posted to the account.
- Social Media Usage
- While social media provides an effective forum for building relationships and for conveying small “bites” of information, these platforms do not serve as the Town’s sole or even primary means of communication to residents, businesses, and others. The Town’s social media accounts are intended to be used for informational purposes only.
- If comments are offered, they must be related to the Town’s programs, policies, and services in question and addressed to the Town as the responsible party and not attack the character of or disparage or demean any individual by name or title. Public comments shall not be removed or altered except as provided for in this policy.
- The Town reserves the right to remove any content that is deemed in violation of this policy or any applicable law. The Town’s social media articles, posts or comments containing any of the following shall not be allowed and shall be removed within a reasonable amount of time:
- Profane language or content.
- Comments not topically related to the site being commented on.
- Personal or character attacks.
- Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination.
- Sexual content or links to sexual content.
- Advertisements not authorized by the Town.
- Hyperlinks to third party websites unless posted by the Town’s approved authorized users for links to partnered/sponsored organizations and bona-fide governmental agencies, or other legitimate organizations as the Town deems appropriate.
- Illegal conduct or encouragement of illegal activity.
- Information that may compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems.
- Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party.
- Content related to a political campaign including, but not limited to content pertaining to fundraising activities promoting or opposing any person campaigning for election to a political office.
- General Procedures and Maintenance of Town-owned Accounts
- Management of social media accounts will be coordinated by the IT Manager.
- Postings are to be approved by the Town Manager (or designee), however, Town sponsored postings (e.g., employment opportunities and Town events) as well as governmental information and postings are approved to be posted without Town Manager (or designee) approval.
- Each Department Director will designate staff that will be responsible for posting new social media content and responding to comments and questions on the respective postings. IT staff will remove social media content that is in violation of this policy upon notification of the violation by the department staff member that is managing the post with the violating content.
- The Town shall not post inaccurate information. If there is an inadvertent post, a correction will be published as soon as possible. Employees who find posts or any social media content that violates this policy are to email IT staff or email@example.com and link the social media post.
- Members of the public who find a social media posting in violation of this policy can email firstname.lastname@example.org and link the social media post.
- The Town will not edit others’ comments. However, if others’ comments are not in compliance with the standards for content listed above, the comments will be removed and the individual posting the comment will be notified of the removal with a reference to part of this policy that their post violated unless the individual who posted has blocked direct communication, or the social media platform used does not allow for direct communication. If direct communication cannot be established, it will be noted in the retention document and the violating comment will be removed.
- Any content removed based on this policy will be retained, including the time, date, and identity of the poster, when available, in accordance with public records laws.
- Any person who objects to the removal or alteration of any content from the Town’s Accounts may appeal that removal or alteration by submitting a written request to the Town Manager to have the removed or altered content restored. The Town Manager (or designee) shall act upon such appeal within 30 days and shall, by written order, confirm the removal or alteration of the subject content or, alternatively, order the restoration of the content, in whole or in part, to the subject social media account. A copy of such order shall be sent to the appellant. Such order shall be considered final agency action for purposes of appeal.
- These guidelines shall be readily available to users by hyperlink to the Town’s website. Any content removed based on these guidelines shall be retained, including the time, date, and identity of the poster when available, in accordance with Chapter 119, Florida Statutes, as it relates to the retention of such information.