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Social Media Policy

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Social media and social network sites can serve to further enhance communications between the City of Easthampton and the public in support of the goals and objectives of the City of Easthampton. Social media can facilitate further discussion of local and regional issues, operations and services by providing members of the public the opportunity to participate in many ways using the Internet. Submission of comments by members of the public constitutes participation in a public forum and all content is a matter of public record.
1. Identification
All visitors who partake in social media sponsored by the city shall be clearly identified by their name and image as provided to the social media service in use. The city will represent social media sites through the official website for the City of Easthampton, Massachusetts only if administrated and moderated by city employees, city council members, committee members, board members or commission members. Links, and their placement or location within the official city website, are within the sole discretion of the City of Easthampton, and may be removed or discontinued by the City at any time and without notice.
2. Online Discussions and Open Meeting Law
Members of city boards, committees and commissions cannot participate in a discussion in any social media platform in which a quorum of members is present.
3. Disclosure requirements
E-discovery laws and policies apply to social media content and therefore, all social network sites and entries are subject to public disclosure.
4. Content Moderation
The City of Easthampton reserves the right to restrict or remove any content that is deemed in violation of this policy or any applicable law or regulation. All departments, boards, committees, commissions, etc that choose to have a presence on the web using social media will designate a moderator. The moderator will submit information to city concerning their web presence. The social networking postings and comments containing any of the following forms of content or commentary are not allowed for posting and will be removed by the moderators:

    Comments not topically related to the particular site or blog article being commented upon;
    Profane language or content;
    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, sexual orientation or ancestry;

    Sexual content, links to sexual content or harassing behavior;
    Solicitations of commerce;
    Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity;
    Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public;
    Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party.

Further, the City of Easthampton also reserves the right to delete comments that:

    Encompass spam or include links to other sites;
    Promote particular services, products or political organizations;
    Infringe on copyrights or trademarks;
    Foster personal attacks of any kind.

5. Facebook and other social media platforms (Twitter, Tumblr, Linkedin, etc)
Social media platforms are a social networking service that allows users to connect with others to share information, media and comments. While people use these social media outlets in many different ways for both personal and professional reasons, as a matter of policy:

    The City’s use of social media is intended as a means to provide announcements and updates on current events or notices to any other users who elect to watch or follow our feeds;
    The accounts are maintained and monitored by City of Easthampton representatives;
    Also note that these services are hosted by third parties and are governed by their own website policies, which include Facebook’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

6. Definitions:
 Social Media
A social media website is a presence on a social media application that is usually maintained by an individual and has regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. A social media identity is a specific user identity that has been registered on a third party social media site and is associated with the website. Government social media sites or identities typically provide forums for commentary or news on topics related to the government agency that hosts the social media site or has secured the social media identity. A typical social media site (whether hosted by the Agency or a third party) combines text, images, and links to other websites related to the topic and enables readers to leave comments in an interactive format.

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Municipal Building 50 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA 01027