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City of Petaluma Social Media Policy

Purpose

This policy establishes policies for the establishment and use by the City of Petaluma of social media sites as a means of conveying City of Petaluma (“City”) information to its citizens.

The intended purpose behind establishing City of Petaluma social media sites is to disseminate information from the City, about the City, to its citizens.

The City of Petaluma has an overriding interest and expectation in deciding what is “spoken” on behalf of the City on City social media sites.

For purposes of this policy, “social media” is understood to be content created by individuals, using accessible, expandable, and upgradable publishing technologies, through and on the Internet. For purposes of this policy, “comments” include information, articles, pictures, videos or any other form of communicative content posted on a City of Petaluma social media site.

Public 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. The intended purpose behind establishing City of Petaluma social media sites is to disseminate information from the City, about the City and/or City-related issues, to its citizens.

3. Comments containing any of the following inappropriate forms of content shall not be permitted on City of Petaluma social media sites and are subject to removal and/or restriction by City staff or their designees:

  • Comments not related to the original topic, including unintelligible comments;
  • Profane, obscene, violent, or pornographic content and/or language;
  • Content that promotes, fosters or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, or national origin;
  • Defamatory or personal attacks;
  • Threats to any person or organization;
  • Comments in support of, or in opposition to, any political campaigns or ballot measures;
  • Solicitation of commerce, including but not limited to advertising of any business or product for sale;
  • Conduct in violation of any federal, state or local law;
  • Encouragement of illegal activity;
  • Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems; or
  • Content that violates a legal ownership interest, such as a copyright, of any party.

4. A comment posted by a member of the public on any City of Petaluma 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 Petaluma, nor do such comments necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the City of Petaluma.

5. The City of Petaluma reserves the right to deny access to City of Petaluma social media sites for any individual who violates the City of Petaluma’s Social Media Policy at any time and without prior notice.

6. Departments shall monitor their social media sites for comments and direct messages requesting responses from the City and for comments or messages in violation of this policy.

7. The City of Petaluma reserves the right to respond to comments using individual identifiers (such as employee name and title) or general identifiers (e.g., “City of Petaluma”).

8. The Terms of Service of each social media platform will be adhered to by the City of Petaluma.

Download a pdf of our Social Media Policy.

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