In light of judicial and advisory opinions over the past few months, the League has updated its sample Social Media Policy. If your city is active on social media, this may be a policy worth checking out.
The following are some of the changes in the policy:
If you have been using the League’s old social media policy, it’s well worth taking a look at this one. Our goal was to build in some safeguards based on legal and advisory opinions we’ve seen more recently.
The new policy may have some things that could help guide the city to avoid trouble, such as the updated comment removal standards.
If your city has been using social media without a policy, consider using this new sample as a guide. Following a policy could help formalize interactions with the public and hopefully help you avoid any potential problems.
It’s just a piece of the puzzle. Social media is somewhat of a mine field. It is a rapidly developing area of law related to one of our most cherished values, freedom of expression. It can be a place for entertainment and information, but also sadness and anger.
No policy can address all aspects of how a city should best use social media to interact with the public. It takes professionalism of staff, a thorough understanding of the platforms of choice, and the ability to consult the city attorney occasionally, just to name a few things. At the same time, there is no better way currently to connect with constituents spontaneously than through social media.
The League plans to keep revising this policy as the law develops. We hope it can be part of your city’s social media success story.
* By posting you are agreeing to the LMC Comment Policy.