Social Media Policy

Purpose
    The City of South San Francisco (“City”) has an overriding interest and expectation in deciding what is “spoken” on behalf of the City through the use of Social Media sites (including but not limited to Facebook and Twitter). This Social Media Policy establishes guidelines for the establishment and use of Social Media by the City as means of conveying information about the City and its events and activities to its residents.

    The intended purpose behind establishing City of South San Francisco Social Media sites is to disseminate information from the City, about the City, to its residents.

    Nothing in this policy shall be applied to prohibit or infringe upon any communication, speech or expression that is protected or privileged under law. This includes speech and expression protected under state or federal constitutions as well as labor laws or other applicable laws.

General Policy
1)    City Social Media sites should make clear that they are maintained by the City of South San Francisco and that they follow the City’s Social Media Policy.

2)    Wherever possible, City Social Media sites should link back to the official City of South San Francisco website for forms, documents, online services, and other information necessary to conduct business with the City of South San Francisco.

3)    Department-designated Social Media Administrators will monitor content on City Social Media sites to ensure adherence to both the City’s Social Media Policy and the interest and goals of the City of South San Francisco.

4)    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. Any content removed based on these guidelines must be retained by the department-designated Social Media Administrator(s) for a reasonable period of time, including the time, date and identity of the poster, when available.

5)    These guidelines must be displayed to users or made available by hyperlink.

6)    The City will approach the use of Social Media tools as consistently as possible, enterprise wide.

7)    The City of South San Francisco’s website at http://www.ssf.net will remain the City’s primary and predominant Internet presence.

8)    All City Social Media sites shall adhere to applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and policies.

9)    City Social Media sites are subject to the California Public Records Act. Any content maintained in Social Media format that is related to City business, including a list of subscribers, posted communication, and communication submitted for posting, may be a public record subject to public disclosure. For Public Records Act requests, please contact the City Clerk’s office directly.

10)    Comments on topics or issues not within the jurisdictional purview of the City of South San Francisco may be removed.

11)    Employees representing the City government via City Social Media sites must conduct themselves at all times as a representative of the City and in accordance with all City policies.

12)    This Social Media Policy may be revised at any time.

Comment Policy
1)    As a public entity the City must abide by certain standards to serve all its constituents in a civil and unbiased manner.

2)    Comments or content containing any of the following inappropriate forms of content shall not be permitted and are subject to removal and/or restriction by the City:
  1. Comments not related to the business of the City (or specific Department if Department-specific Site), or not relevant to the original topic;
  2. Violent, profane, obscene or pornographic content and/or language;
  3. Content that promotes, fosters or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or national origin;
  4. Content that threatens or defames any person or organization;
  5. Content that is hateful or incites violence;
  6. Solicitation of commerce, including but not limited to, advertising of any non-government related event, or business or product for sale;
  7. Conduct in violation of any federal, state or local law;
  8. Encouragement of any illegal activity;
  9. Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems
  10. Content that violates a legal ownership interest, such as a copyright, of any party
3)    A comment posted by a member of the public on any City of South San Francisco Social Media site is the opinion of the commentator or poster only, and publication of a comment does not imply endorsement of, or agreement by, the City of South San Francisco, nor do such comments necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the City of South San Francisco.

4)    The City of South San Francisco reserves the right to deny access to City of South San Francisco Social Media sites for any individual, who violates the City of South San Francisco’s Social Media Policy, at any time and without prior notice.

5)    Departments shall monitor their Social Media Sites for comments requesting responses from the City and for comments in violation of this policy.

6)    When a City of South San Francisco employee responds to a comment, in his/her capacity as a City of South San Francisco employee, the employee’s name and title should be made available, and the employee shall not share personal information about himself or herself, or other City employees.

7)    All comments posted to any City of South San Francisco Facebook sites are bound by Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, located at http://www.facebook.com/terms.php, and the City of South San Francisco reserves the right to report any violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to Facebook with the intent of Facebook taking appropriate and reasonable responsive action.

8)     All comments posted to any City of South San Francisco Twitter sites are bound by Twitter's Terms of Service, located at https://twitter.com/tos, and the City of South San Francisco reserves the right to report any violation of Twitter's Terms of Service to Facebook with the intent of Twitter taking appropriate and reasonable responsive action.

Reporting/Removal of Unauthorized Comments
    The City requires that Department-designated Social Media Administrators immediately notify the City Manager’s Office if there is any posted material that may be inappropriate, that violates this Policy, or any City policy, is illegal, or that potentially infringes the copyrights or other rights of any persons. The City Manager’s Office will investigate and respond to all reports of potential violations of this Policy.

    Any content removed based on these guidelines must be retained by the sponsoring Department for a reasonable period of time, including the time, date and identity of the poster, when available. Upon removal of content, the Social Media Administrator shall notify the commenter that their response has been deemed inappropriate and removed due to inconsistency with the City’s content requirements.

    The City reserves the right, at any time and without prior notice, to deny access to the Social Media site to any individual who violates this Policy.

Terms of Service 
    Each type of Social Media maintains a “Terms of Use” agreement. All comments posted to any City Social Media Site are bound by these Terms of Use and the City reserves the right to report any user violation.