Social Media Policy
Adopted as of: June 5, 2013
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY:
Maui County Council: Social Media Policy
- “Seventh Floor” for purposes of this policy means the Maui County Council, the Council Chair’s office, the Office of Council Services, the Council District Offices, and the Office of the County Clerk. The office of the County Auditor is not included in this definition and is exempted from this social media policy.
- “Eighth Floor” for purposes of this policy means the Council members’ offices, other than the Council Chair’s office.
- “MauiCounty.gov Council Member Page” refers to a part of the County of Maui website (www.mauicounty.gov) that is reserved to a Council member. A shortcut dedicated to each Council member’s page typically consists of the website address and the Council member’s last name (i.e., www.mauicounty.gov/baisa).
- “Social media” means the online technologies, tools, and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives. Social media can utilize many different formats including text, images, audio, and video. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, typically use technologies such as websites, blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and video logs to allow users to interact.
- “Official Maui County Council Blog” refers to the Council’s website (www.mauicounty.gov/Council) and related pages and content.
- “Official Maui County Council Facebook Page” refers to the Facebook page maintained by the Communication Director on the Council’s behalf and located at Facebook.com/MauiCountyCouncil.
- “Official Maui County Council Twitter Account” refers to the Twitter page maintained by the Communication Director on the Council’s behalf and located at Twitter.com/MauiCounty.
- “Official Council Member Facebook Page” refers to an individual Council member’s Facebook page that is registered with a County email address. This page’s title shall refer to the member as ‘Councilmember’, followed by first and last name. This page is dedicated to official County business only.
- “Official Council Member Twitter Account” refers to an individual Council member’s Twitter account that is registered with a County email address. This account’s title shall refer to the member as ‘Councilmember’, followed by first and last name. This account is dedicated to official County business only.
- “Personal Council Member Website or Social Media Account” refers to a Council member’s personal website or Facebook, Twitter, or other social media account that is associated with a non-County email address. The owners of these accounts are solely responsible for the content and management of these accounts. This Social Media Policy has no jurisdiction on these sites; however, Council members are encouraged to remain cognizant of the possible application of the Sunshine Law (Part I, Chapter 92, Hawaii Revised Statutes).
- “Social media presence” includes the MauiCounty.gov Council Member Pages, the Official Maui County Council Blog, the Official Maui County Council Facebook Page, the Official Maui County Council Twitter Account, the Official Council Member Facebook Pages, and the Official Council Member Twitter Accounts. Personal Council Member Websites and Social Media Accounts are not included in this definition or subject to this Social Media Policy.
- “Social media use” means posting official content to any form of social media presence.
This policy applies to Seventh Floor and Eighth Floor social media use.
3. General Guidelines
a) Social media use shall be consistent with applicable County, State, and Federal laws, regulations, and policies, notably including the following:
i. County information technology security policies;
ii. Elections laws;
iii. The “Sunshine Law,” including provisions relating to permitted interactions among Council members (Section 92-2.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes);
iv. The County Code of Ethics (Article 10 of the Revised Charter of the County of Maui (1983), as amended; and Chapter 2.56, Maui County Code); and
v. The Violence in the Workplace Action Plan and other Maui County workplace policies.
b) Social media use is intended to increase government transparency and efficiency for the purpose of creating better legislation and better constituent services.
c) The following shall be considered with all social media use:
i. Confidentiality. Confidential information shall not be posted. When applicable, confidential names and other personally identifiable information shall not be posted unless necessary or with the Council Chair’s approval.
ii. Disclaimer. To the extent feasible, the Communication Director shall post the following or a similar disclaimer within all of the Seventh Floor’s social media presence and encourage a similar practice for Eighth Floor social media use:
The comments expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the opinions or position of the Maui County Council Chair, the Maui County Council or its officers or employees. Questions concerning the operation of this online moderated discussion site should be directed to the Communication Director in the Office of Council Services at (808) 270-7665.
The Council’s social media sites may contain content, including advertisements or hyperlinks, over which the Council has no control. The Council does not endorse any hyperlink or advertisement placed on the social media sites by the social media site’s owners, vendors, or partners.
iii. Personal vs. professional use. Social media use is for official County business. All social media use shall be related to County work. No personal email addresses, personal social media sites, or personal websites shall be referenced, except as approved by the Council Chair.
iv. Email addresses. Social media use shall only reference County email addresses, not personal email addresses. For any social media presence requiring an email address to register or to be listed as contact information, a County email address shall be used.
v. Topics. Social media use shall be limited to topics relevant to the Council and its areas of jurisdiction such as issues affecting the County of Maui. Social media use shall not reveal information that is private or confidential.
4. Professional Use
a) Existing policies relating to the posting on the County website of meeting agendas, meeting minutes, press releases, committee reports, and items of interest remain in effect. Other Seventh Floor social media use shall be approved by the Communication Director and at least one of the following: the Council Chair, the Director of Council Services, the Supervising Legislative Analyst, the Supervising Committee Secretary, or a Council Services Supervisor.
b) Seventh Floor social media use shall be professional and composed of factually accurate information. Seventh Floor social media use may provide timely, accurate information about Council legislation, events, and other news directly to constituents. Seventh Floor social media use shall be conducted thoughtfully, respectfully, and tactfully. Expressions of opinion shall be limited and clearly attributed to the Council Chair or other Council member (e.g., by linking to a newspaper column or press release).
c) Eighth Floor social media use is encouraged to follow the guidelines of the preceding paragraph.
d) Social media use shall direct traffic to the County website when feasible and appropriate.
e) Social media use shall not be used to directly further electoral purposes, to address campaign-related matters, or to conduct private business transactions or activities.
f) Eighth Floor social media use may include customization of MauiCounty.gov Council Member Pages and creation and maintenance of Official Maui County MauiCounty.gov Council member pages on the County website, including incorporating frequent updates. MauiCounty.gov Council Member Pages can effectively serves as a Council members’ blog.
g) The preceding paragraph also applies to the Council Chair’s office.
h) In compliance with OIP standards, Council members shall refrain from interaction with each other via social media use. Prohibited interaction includes posting on, commenting on, “liking,” “sharing,” “retweeting” and any other response to another Council member’s social media use or presence.
5. Terms of Service
Each form of social media presence has terms of service. Social media use shall comply with terms of service. Any conflicts between terms of service and this policy shall be reported to the Communication Director.
6. Special Considerations for Social Media Use
The Communication Director shall evaluate the following when considering Seventh Floor social media use:
a) Who is the target audience?
b) What information is the Council attempting to communicate?
c) Is the information appropriate to communicate at this time, considering the Sunshine Law and opinions of the Office of Information Practices?
d) Is the information factual and not based on opinion?
e) Has the content been properly reviewed for accuracy and appropriateness?
f) Which forms of social media presence are the best to distribute this information?
7. Communication Director Responsibilities
The Communication Director shall:
a) Serve as the lead staff person for Seventh Floor social media use and presence. This includes registering social media presence, with the Council Chair’s approval; serving as the contact person for each form of Seventh Floor social media presence; developing the framework for posting information and responding to comments; adhering to this and other policies; and ensuring social media presence is regularly updated;
b) Monitor Seventh Floor social media use to ensure a consistent style and adherence to the Social Media Policy;
c) Ensure nonpublic information of any kind is not disseminated via Seventh Floor social media use;
d) Promptly take corrective action if Seventh Floor social media use places, or has the potential to place, the County or Council at risk;
e) Institute available controls or settings to prohibit or limit the ability of the public to post information and comments that are inconsistent with or violate the Social Media Policy on content of social media;
f) Ensure Seventh Floor social media use complies with copyright, fair use, and other established laws pertaining to materials and rights owned by others, including the use of quotes, images, documents, and links;
g) Review, maintain familiarity with, and comply with the terms of service for all Seventh Floor social media presence;
h) Ensure Seventh Floor social media use is accurate and not misleading;
i) Provide monthly reports on Seventh Floor social media use and social media presence to the Council Chair, the Director of Council Services, and Supervising Legislative Analyst;
j) Immediately notify a supervisor if a device used to manage social media presence is lost or stolen; and
k) Complete professional education training as deemed appropriate by the Director of Council Services or the Supervising Legislative Analyst.
8. Content Standards
a) Comments from the public shall be welcome on Seventh Floor social media presence, consistent with the Comment Standards for the Council’s Facebook Page, referenced below. Facebook comments must be monitored daily during work hours to ensure they meet the criteria outlined in the Comment Standards. The Communication Director may only remove comments on other Seventh Floor social media presence if a statement similar to the Comment Standards for the Council’s Facebook Page is posted and then violated. If the Communication Director plans to delete a comment, a screenshot of the topic and the offending comment must be saved. Facebook also provides the ability for any page fan to flag any comment as spam. The Communication Director must review comments marked for spam and take appropriate action. When feasible, the Comment Standards should be displayed on social media presence.
Comment Standards for the Council’s Facebook Page
Comment Policy. The purpose of this site is to present matters of public interest relating to the Council to the public. The public is encouraged to submit questions, comments, and concerns. Please note this is a moderated online discussion site and not a public forum. Communication via a social media site does not in any way constitute official or legal notice for any purpose.
Adherence to this policy is a condition of commenting.
Comments are not considered public testimony for Council or committee meeting purposes. For Committee meetings, official written testimony should be submitted to the Office of Council Services, 200 South High Street, Wailuku, Hawaii, 96793, by fax at (808) 270-7686 or via email at email@example.com. For Council meetings, official written testimony should be submitted to the Office of the County Clerk, 200 South High Street, Wailuku, Hawaii, 96793, by fax at (808) 270-7171 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Communication Director reserves the right to delete the following types of submissions regardless of format (text, video, images, links, documents, etc.):
1. Vulgar language;
2. Violent or sexual content;
3. Threats or personal attacks of any kind;
4. Defamatory statements;
5. Comments or content that promote, foster, or perpetuate discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, genetics, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or intellectual disability, or sexual orientation;
6. Postings with personal identifying information or sensitive personal information;
7. Spam or links to other sites;
8. Comments that are clearly off topic;
9. Comments that advocate illegal activity;
10. Promotions of particular services, products, or political organizations;
11. Campaigning or electioneering material;
12. Content infringing on copyrights or trademarks;
13. Personally identifiable medical information; or
14. Information that may compromise the safety, security, or proceedings of public systems or any criminal or civil investigations.
Comments posted by others do not reflect the opinions or position of the Council or its officers and employees.
The Communication Director is authorized to delete any content that is in violation of this policy. Content submitted for posting on Council social media sites that is deemed unsuitable or considered inappropriate shall be retained, and a description detailing why content was removed or deemed not suitable shall be maintained.
If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Council Services at (808) 270-7665 or by email at email@example.com.
b) Photos and videos: Social media use may include photos and videos of Council and committee meetings, Council members’ attendance at events, and other activities that constitute official County business.
9. Official Maui County Council Facebook Page
a) The Communication Director shall create the Official Maui County Council Facebook page, using a general login name and password that may be accessed by the Director of Council Services, Supervising Legislative Analyst, or other authorized employees.
b) Commenting on other Facebook pages is not permitted, unless it is to respond appropriately to questions relating to Council business.
c) This official page is separate and not associated with the Council Chair’s social media accounts.
10. Official Maui County Council Twitter Account
a) The Communication Director shall create and maintain the Official Maui County Council Twitter Account, using a general login name and password that may be accessed by the Director of Council Services, Supervising Legislative Analyst, or other authorized employees.
b) Retweeting should be limited to information from appropriate, credible sources such as government or partner agencies, news media, and industry and community leaders (e.g., if the Administration is holding an electronic devices recycling drive, the Council Twitter page could be used to retweet and promote this positive event to encourage public participation).
c) Replies should only be made as needed to further the goals of transparency, public participation, and constituent service.
d) The Official Maui County Council Twitter page may follow select Twitter accounts such as other government entities; local, statewide, and national media; and Maui County residents, businesses, and organizations.
e) This official account is separate and not associated with the Council Chair’s social media accounts.
12. Other Forms of Seventh Floor Social Media Presence
Seventh Floor social media use shall be limited to Facebook, Twitter, and the County website unless and until this Social Media Policy is amended.
13. Eighth Floor Social Media Presence
Pre-approval of Eighth Floor social media presence is not required. The Communication Director shall be notified of Eighth Floor social media presence.
13. Public Status of Social Media Use
a) Communications through any Seventh Floor or Eighth Floor social media presence (including “private” messages) may be considered public records and shall be managed as such. The Communication Director shall post a notice similar to the following, when feasible, on Seventh Floor social media presence:
Any communication via this site or application, whether by a County employee or the general public, may be subject to monitoring and disclosure to third parties.
b) All Seventh Floor social media presence privacy settings shall be set to public.
The Communication Director shall consult with the Information Technology Services Division of the Department of Management on information technology security policies. The Communication Director shall ensure Seventh Floor social media complies with those policies and provide guidance to ensure compliance in Eighth Floor social media use.
15. Violation of Social Media Policy
Any violation of the Social Media Policy may lead to disciplinary action.
The provisions of this policy are not intended to prevent or hinder anyone from exercising any rights conferred upon by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. Those who are subject to this policy are not subject to the County of Maui’s IT Social Media policy implemented by the Information Technology Services Division under the County of Maui’s Department of Management.
# # #