Guidelines for engaging with Cherokee County government on social media
Social Media – Social media refers to any Internet-based software or service that allows users to interact with others via the posting of messages, files, or other content. Cherokee County, its agencies and departments, maintain social media sites on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In and YouTube. The absence of or lack of a direct reference to a site does not limit the extent or the application of this policy.
Social Media Account – A personalized presence inside a social networking channel, initiated at will by an individual. Social networking channels allow users to sign up for their own social media account, which they can use to collaborate, interact and share content and status updates.
- The County supports the use of social media to share matters of public interest with the public, stakeholders, partners, and the media.
- Official use of social media is intended to engage with stakeholders in the community, enhance external communications, increase government transparency and efficiency, educate about county operations, services, programs, events and meetings.
- Social media sites are moderated discussion sites and not public forums. Comments are generally monitored during business hours. Therefore, comments that are made after business hours may not be seen by Cherokee County social media administrators until the following business day. Commenters should be aware that posts and comments are subject to public disclosure as required by law.
- All social media platforms used by the County are designated as Limited Public Forums. The County welcomes a person’s right to express his/her opinion and encourages commenters to keep comments relevant to the topic in question.
- The County, including its agencies and departments, actively monitors the social media platforms used by the County. County social media administrators may remove inappropriate content as defined below, without prior notice.
- Comments will not be removed solely because a commenter expresses disagreement with a County policy or action. Comments on any topic are subject to removal based on the criteria set forth below.
- A comment posted by any member of the public on any County social media site is the opinion of the commenter or poster only and publication of a comment does not imply endorsement of, or agreement by the County. Such comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the County.
REMOVAL OF PUBLIC COMMENTS
Cherokee County respects a person’s right to express his/her opinions. The County does not condone inappropriate content or language or threats on its social media pages. The County reserves the right to remove from public view the following types of comments.:
- Vulgar Language;
- Personal attacks or threats of any kind;
- Obscene, pornographic, or other illegal materials;
- Sexual comments about, or directed to, anyone;
- Comments or content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates 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;
- Spam or unrelated links to other sites;
- Comments that are unrelated to the County topic that is the subject of the post;
- Comments that advocate illegal activity;
- Comments that promote particular non-County services or products;
- Comments that promote political organizations or campaigns;
- Comments that infringe on copyrights or trademarks;
- Comments that disclose personally identifiable information that may compromise an individual’s financial or personal security, including social security numbers, passwords, or credit card information; and
- Comments that contain information that may compromise the safety, security, or proceedings of public systems or any criminal or civil investigations.
PROCEDURE OF REMOVAL OF PUBLIC COMMENTS
- Cherokee County social media administrators may remove from public view any comment that falls within the criteria set forth in this Policy. The social media administrator will retain a copy of the comment using a digital archival tool.
- When a commenter repeatedly posts comments that fall within the criteria for removal set forth in this Policy, a Cherokee County social media administrator may block such person from future participation on social media platforms that permit organizations to block users.
- Commenters should be aware that some social media platforms do not allow removal of posts, and, therefore, the County may not have the ability to remove content that is inappropriate as defined in the criteria set forth. Commenters should be aware that all comments posted to any social media platform are bound by that platforms’ standards, rules, and/or guidelines, and the County reserves the right to report any violation of such standards, rules, and/or guidelines to the social media entity with the intent that such entity will take appropriate and reasonable responsive action.
- A commenter who believes that his or her comment was improperly removed can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to voice his or her concerns and/or to request additional information as to the basis for the removal of the comment.
APPLICABLE LAWS AND POLICIES
All County social media sites shall adhere to applicable federal and state laws and County ordinances, policies, and standards, including, but not limited to, legal requirements governing use of copyrighted materials, retention of records, and compliance with the Georgia Open Records Act, O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70, et seq., federal and state privacy laws, and County Human Resources and Information Services' policies.
SOCIAL MEDIA FAQs
- Why are comments moderated?
Social media platforms allow users 13 and older, and some of the County social media users may fall into the younger age groups. We want to ensure content posted to the County social media sites contain quality information for all users.
- What kind of comments are we looking for?
We welcome your input in a respectful and polite manner. We will not tolerate profanity, obscenity, vulgarity, personal attacks of any kind, commercial promotion, spam or bot posts, impersonations, and off-topic posts. Political campaigning on county social media pages is strongly discouraged.
- Do we edit or remove comments?
- When and where will be comments be displayed?
The County uses Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. We reserve the right to limit comments on specific posts.
- I see an error in a post, what should I do?
We appreciate it when readers point out errors in any County post, and we will attempt to correct confirmed errors or inaccuracies.
- Why was I blocked or my comment removed?
If allowed by a social media platform, we might respond to violations of our guidelines by blocking a user from further use on that platform or removing a comment from public view. Users can email email@example.com with any questions they might have about comment removal or blocking. We will review your situation and if necessary, confer with the County Attorney’s office.