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Social Media Policy
The City of Loveland has an overriding interest and expectation in deciding what is “spoken” on behalf of the City on social media sites. This policy establishes guidelines for the establishment and use by the City of Loveland of social media sites as means of conveying City information to its citizens, patrons, guests, visitors, members, and fans.
The intended purpose behind establishing social media sites for the City is to disseminate information about the City of Loveland.
For the purposes of this policy, “social media” is understood to be content created by individuals or entities, using accessible, expandable, and upgradable publishing technologies, through and on the Internet. Examples of social media include, but are not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn. For purposes of this policy, “comments” include information, articles, pictures, videos, or any other form of communicative content posted on a City of Loveland social media site.
This policy does not address all aspects of social media use. Specifically, it does not address personal use of social media by employees.
The establishment and use of social media sites on behalf of the City of Loveland are subject to approval by the City Manager.
All City of Loveland social medial sites shall be administered by City staff. Social media sites maintained by City staff should make clear that they are maintained by the City of Loveland and follow the Social Media Policy.
Each City of Loveland social media site shall include an introductory statement which clearly specifies the purpose and topical scope of the blog and/or social network site.
The City of Loveland’s website, www.lovelandoh.gov, will remain the City’s primary and predominant Internet presence for official information. When possible, social media sites should link back to the official City of Loveland website (e.g. forms, documents, online services, and other information necessary to conduct business with the City of Loveland).
These guidelines must be displayed to users or made available via hyperlink.
The City of Loveland’s Social Media Policy may be revised at any time.
All social media sites maintained by the City of Loveland shall adhere to applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policies.
Only employees authorized by the City Manager may utilize social media sites on behalf of the City. Those employees include the Clerk of Council, Finance Director, Chief of Police, Public Works Director, Assistant City Manager, and Marketing/Communications Coordinator.
In instances where speed, accuracy, and frequent updates are paramount (e.g. crime alerts, public safety information, or traffic issues), an authorized designee that has been pre-approved by the City Manager, may be responsible for the compilation of information to be released.
Employees representing the City of Loveland through these social media sites must conduct themselves at all times as representatives of the City and in accordance with all City policies.
Only content that is appropriate for public release, that supports the City’s mission and conforms to all City policies regarding the release of information may be posted. Examples of appropriate content include:
- Announcements relating to events, projects, facilities, programs, meetings, and activities
- Request that ask the community to engage in projects that are relevant to the City’s mission
- Real-time safety information
- Traffic information
- Press releases
- Recruitment of personnel
- City newsletters.
Public Posting Prohibited
City of Loveland social media sites shall be designed and maintained to prevent posting of content by the public. This does not prohibit the public from commenting on a post created by the City.
As a public entity, the City of Loveland must abide by certain standards to serve all its constituents in a civil and unbiased manner. Comments containing any of the following inappropriate forms of content shall not be permitted on City’s social media sites and are subject to removal and/or restriction without notice to the individual who made the comments:
- Comments not related to the original topic, including random or 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, sexual orientation, 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
- Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems
- Content that violates a legal ownership interest, such as a copyright, of any party
- Any information that could tend to compromise or damage the mission, function, reputation or professionalism of the City of Loveland or its employees
- Any information that could compromise the safety and security of City operations, employees, or the public
- Content that supports causes other than those sponsored by, or organized by, the City
- Communications which hide or forge the identity of the sender as someone other than the person sending the communications
- Comments on topics or issues not within the jurisdictional purview of the City of Loveland
- Any content that has not been properly authorized
- Conduct in violation of any federal, state, or local law
- Content that encourages illegal activity
- Any repetitive or duplicate posts by single or multiple users.
A comment posted by a member of the public on any City of Loveland 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 Loveland, nor do such comments necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the City.
When a City of Loveland employee responds to a comment in his/her capacity as a City employee, the employee’s name and title may be made available. No employee shall share personal information about themselves, or other City employees, on any social media outlet maintained by the City.
All comments posted to any City of Loveland social media sites are bound by that social media website’s respective Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, and the City of Loveland reserves the right to report any violation of the social media website Statement of Rights and Responsibilities with the intent of that website taking appropriate and reasonable responsive action.
A staff representative(s) from the City of Loveland will monitor content on the social media sites to ensure adherence to both the Social Media Policy and the interest and goals of the City of Loveland. The City shall monitor its social media sites for comments requesting responses and for comments in violation of this policy.
The City of Loveland reserves the right to deny access to City social media sites for any individual, who violates the City of Loveland’s Social Media Policy, at any time and without prior notice.
Retention of Records
The City of Loveland is an entity of the State of Ohio and therefore, the City’s social media sites are subject to the Ohio Public Records Act. Any content maintained in a social media format that is related to City business, including a list of subscribers, posted communication, and communication submitted for positing may be a public record subject to public disclosure and shall be retained in accordance with the established records retention schedule.
All messages sent using the City’s social media accounts are and remain the property of the City and not the private party of any user. No user has any ownership interest of any kind in any communications made, stored, or received using the City communication system.