Social Media Policy
The City of Cleveland recognizes the importance social media has in improving communication and interaction with the public while reaching new and broader audiences from traditional media sources. The City supports an appropriate use of social media outlets to create, share, and exchange information and ideas with the public to promote the goals of the City and expand traditional communication methods.
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for social media uses for the City of Cleveland. The City's use of social media is intended to convey information about the City and its events, activities, projects, programs and information to the public for dissemination.
For purposes of this policy, social media is content created by individuals using accessible and scalable technologies through the internet. Examples of social media include but are not limited to: Facebook, blogs, RSS, YouTube, Snap Chat, Twitter, LinkedIn, discussion forums, and online collaborative information and publishing systems that are accessible to internal and external audiences (i.e. wikis, including Wikipedia).
This policy also ensures that the City's social media outlets maintain the professional image of the City of Cleveland and meet legal standards.
This policy applies to City of Cleveland employees. Employees who violate the terms of this policy are subject to discipline up to and including termination.
This policy does not apply to an individual employee or official's personal use of social media. Please refer to the City's Technology's Policy contained in the City's Personnel Rules and Regulations on Acceptable Uses of Technology i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
Administration of Social Sites
The Social Media Relations/Grants Coordinator must be able to immediately add, edit or remove content from all City sanctioned social media sites/accounts, including but not limited to access in a crisis situation. The Social Media Relations/Grants Coordinator will:
1. Maintain a list of social media tools that are approved for use for City business.
2. Maintain a registry of all City social media accounts, including log-in and password information.
3. Monitor content on City social media sites to ensure compliance with the City's Social Media Policy and the interests and goals of the City.
4. Create style and usage standards for specific social media tools as appropriate.
5. Work directly with departments to coordinate social media strategies and tactics, including digital communications for specific events and programs.
6. Set standards for measuring effectiveness of social media, working with departments to establish reporting techniques and success metrics.
7. Accounts inactive for 30 days will be subject to deactivation.
Departments Heads may designate an employee(s), or any person acting on behalf of the department, as persons authorized to establish, monitor, and publish information to social media sites.
Any Employee authorized to post items on any of the City's social media sites shall review, be familiar with, and comply with the City's Social Media Policy, the social media sites' use policies and terms and conditions and any related guidelines issues by the Social Media Relations/Grants Coordinator. By posting on the City's sites, an employee may be granting to the City an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive license to use and distribute content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise.
Any employee authorized to post items on any of the City's social media sites shall sign a document stating they have read and understand policy guidelines. Postings on any of the City's social media sites shall be by an authorized City employee designated by the Department Head and approved by the City Manager and shall only reflect the views or concerns of the City.
At this time, social media use will be routed through the Social Media Relations/Grants Coordinator to maintain consistency and accuracy of content across departments and city wide. All new social media sites or administrative changes to existing sites shall be managed by the Social Media Relations/Grants Coordinator and approved by the City Manager.
1. The City will utilize social media to engage, build relationships with, and provide useful information to the City's residents, partners and stakeholders. To build awareness of the City's mission through providing relevant and timely information and opportunities for interaction.
2. Our goals in using social media include:
a. Expanding visibility and outreach;
b. Increasing credibility with the public by posting credible, relevant information and transparency;
c. Creating a media presence that positively promotes the City and or its departments and programs;
d. Increasing engagement with residents/visitors/businesses/stakeholders/members;
e. Disseminating time-sensitive information efficiently and quickly.
3. The City's website (www.clevelandtn.gov) is the City's predominate internet presence.
a. Where appropriate, content posted to City social media sites will also be available on the City's official website.
b. Where appropriate, content posted to City social media sites should contain links directing users back to the City's official website for further information and services.
4. All official social media presences are to be listed on the City of Cleveland website to assist the public in identifying official social media presences.
5. Accounts and pages should, where possible, feature the official City of Cleveland name and logo. The City's social media platforms are also encouraged to use the official City of Cleveland Graphic Identity Standards for color, logo, seal, type font, marks, etc.
6. All City social media sites shall comply with usage rules and regulations provided by the site provider, including privacy policies as well as local, state and federal laws.
7. The City reserves the right to terminate any City social media site at any time without notice.
Creating Social Media Accounts
Staff must obtain their Department Head's and Social Media Relations/Grants Coordinator approval prior to creating a social media site or account before an official request to the City Manager is made. Before creating a social media site or account, the Department Head will consider whether social media is appropriate and/or useful to the Department. All City social media sites shall utilize official City contact information for account set-up, monitoring, and access. The use of personal email accounts or phone numbers by any City employee, official or volunteer in not allowed for the purpose of setting up, monitoring or updating a City social media site. All City social media sites directly or indirectly representing that they are an official site or statement of the City must be created pursuant to this policy and be approved by the City Manager or a designee appointed in writing by the City Manager.
Content Guidelines for Third Parties
The content of the City of Cleveland social media sites shall pertain to City sponsored or City endorsed programs, services and events or other content as approved by the City Manager or designee. Content includes but not limited to information, photographs, videos and hyperlinks. The City reserves the right to restrict or remove any content that is deemed to be inappropriate or inconsistent with this policy. Content prohibited on the City's social media includes, but is not limited to, the items listed below:
1. Personal information or attacks of any kind;
2. Language that is profane, obscene, threatening, or harassing;
3. Obscene images;
4. Content that promotes, fosters, disparages, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, disability status, national origin, physical or mental disability or veteran status;
5. Content meant to threaten or defame any person or organization;
6. Content that is hateful, incites violence, or is harassing;
7. Conduct of illegal activity;
8. Sexual content or links to sexual content;
9. Solicitation of commerce, including but not limited to advertising of any business or product for sale;
10. Information that may compromise the safety or securing of the public or public system;
11. Links to third party sites and platforms; or
12. Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party.
These guidelines shall be posted as a disclaimer and are made available on the city's website.
Rights and permissions must be secured before posting, sharing or distributing copyrighted materials, including but not limited to: music, art, copyrighted photographs or texts, portions of copyrighted video, or information considered proprietary by a City employee, vendor, affiliate or contractor. Authorized employees must secure written permission prior to using/incorporating any copyrighted or proprietary materials except when such material is covered under Fair Use provisions.
An employee must not post content on City sites and platforms that might be embarrassing to an individual or that could be construed as placing a customer, employee or other individual in a negative or false light. An employee must not post content that might cause someone to believe that his/her name, image, likeness or other identifying aspect of his/her identity is being used, without permission, for commercial purposes. Employees shall not post any content to a city's social media site or platform for their financial gain or for the financial gain of any other person or entity. A City employee posting on a City social media site or platform shall take reasonable care not to disclose any confidential information in any posting.
All City social media sites and platforms are subject to the Tennessee's Public Records Act (T.C.A. § 10-7-101, et seq.), and no social media site or platform shall be used to circumvent or otherwise violate this law. All lawful records requests for information contained on a City social media site or platform shall be directed to the (the City Clerk's Office) and will be fulfilled by any employee whose assistance is necessitated. Every social media site or platform shall contain a clear and conspicuous statement referencing the state law. All official postings on a City social media site or platform shall be preserved to the extent possible in each platform in accordance with any applicable retention policy. All City social media sites shall comply with all other applicable City policies, including the City's Technology Policy.
A social media site or platform shall also contain a clear and conspicuous statement that the purpose of the site or platform is to serve as a mechanism for communication between the City and its citizens/customers and that all postings are subject to review and deletion by the City, to the extent permitted by law. City of Cleveland social media sites and platforms shall include a disclaimer notifying the public that their images may be captured and included on the sites and platforms.