City of Camas Social Media Comment Policy

1.1 Purpose

The City uses a variety of social media platforms to inform the public about the latest news, activities, programs, projects, and events happening in the City and it is intended to serve as a means of communication between the City and the public. Social media is not intended to be used to conduct official City business.

The City considers the social media sites that it creates and maintains, whether developed solely by the City or using a third-party social media resource (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Constant Contact, YouTube, etc.), to be moderated, limited discussion sites and not general public forums. The sites will be reasonably moderated by City staff. Discussion topics and information will be initiated by City staff. All posted content (comments, photos, links, etc.) must relate to the particular discussion initiated by the City and be focused on City programs, services, projects, issues, events, and activities.

1.2 Terms of Use

Any user accessing, browsing and using a City social media site accepts without limitation or qualification, the City's Social Media Policies (hereafter "Policies"). These terms and conditions apply only to the social media sites (defined here as third-party hosted online technologies that facilitate social interaction and dialogue, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) that are managed by the City. The City maintains the right to modify these Policies without notice. Any modification is effective immediately upon posting the modification on the Social Media Policy page unless otherwise stated. Continued use of a City social media site following the posting of any modification signifies acceptance of such modification.

All users of a City social media site are also subject to the site’s own privacy policy. The City has no control over a site’s privacy policy or their modifications to it. The City also has no control over content, commercial advertisements, or other postings produced by the social media site that appear on a City social media site as part of the site’s environment. The City assumes no liability for any inaccuracies these social media sites may contain or for any consequences that may arise from changes to the site’s privacy policies, and does not guarantee that the social media sites will be uninterrupted or error-free.

Any comment posted on City social media sites by anyone other than an authorized City staff member acting on behalf of the City, is the opinion of the commentator or poster only. Publication of a comment or post does not imply endorsement of or agreement by the City, nor do such comments necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the City government.  

The City may acquire email or other contact information from the City’s social media sites for the purposes of sending City communications. 

1.3 Comment Policy

Comments posted to any of the City's social media sites, will be monitored during regular City business hours only. Social media platforms utilized by the City for its posted information shall not contain any of the following, and the City reserves the right to remove comments containing any of the following elements as soon as possible:

1. Comments that are not topically related to the particular posting being commented upon; 

2. Profane language or content;

3. Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression;

4. Sexual content or links to sexual content;

5. Content that threatens or defames any person or organization;

6. Comments in support of or opposition to political campaigns or ballot measures;

7. Content that solicits or promotes commercial services or products;

8. Content that engages in or encourages illegal activity;

9. Information that may compromise the safety or security of the public, public systems, or employees; or

10. Content that violates a legal ownership interest of another party.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the City is not obligated to take such actions, and the City disclaims any and all responsibility and liability for materials that the City deems inappropriate for posting, which cannot be removed in an expeditious and otherwise timely manner.

A comment posted by a member of the public on this site is the opinion of the commentator or poster only, and the posting of a comment does not imply endorsement of, or agreement by, the City, nor do such comments necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the City. The City neither guarantees the authenticity, accuracy, appropriateness nor security of external links, websites, or content linked thereto. Any content posted to this site is subject to public disclosure.

1.4 Content Review and Removal

All content added or uploaded to a City social media site will be periodically reviewed by City staff. All content on these sites are considered public record and subject to public disclosure (RCW 42.56).

The City reserves the right to:

• Restrict or remove content that is deemed in violation of the City’s social media policies or applicable law

• Restrict or remove posted content and/or comments periodically

• Discontinue or delete a discussion thread at any time, without cause or prior notice

• Deny access to social media sites to any individual who violates the City’s social media policies or applicable law at any time and for any period of time

1.5 Links Policy

Links to other social media sites and external websites provided on City social media sites—The City may include links to other social media sites or websites that offer helpful topic-relevant resources for users. Acceptable sites include websites or social media sites of other public agencies; nonprofit services that extend the goals and mission of the City and benefit the Camas community; and partner organizations, where a contractual relationship exists to provide services on the City’s behalf. Promotion of private businesses for purely commercial purposes is prohibited on City social media sites. Once a user links to another page or site, the City's policies no longer apply and the visitor becomes subject to the policies of that page or site. The City’s social media sites are intended specifically to share information about City programs, events and services. The City is not responsible for the content that appears on these outside links and provides these links as a convenience only. Users should be aware that these external pages and sites and the information found on those pages and sites are not controlled by, provided by or endorsed by the City. Links posted by outside individuals are prohibited. 

Links by other entities to City social media sites—It is not necessary to get advance permission to link to City social media sites; however, entities and individuals linking to City social media sites may not capture any of the City's social media sites within frames, present City content as their own or otherwise misrepresent any of the City’s social media site content. Furthermore, they shall not misinform users about the origin or ownership of City social media site content. Links to City social media sites should not in any way suggest that the City has any relationship or affiliation with that organization or that the City endorses sponsors or recommends the information, products or services of that site.

1.6 Official Notices

Communications and/or requests made through City social media sites in no way constitutes a legal or official notice of or comment to the City. For example, a post or comment on a social media site requesting public records will not be considered a public records request to the City, and a post or comment on an issue or topic subject to a noticed comment period will not be considered part of the official record for that issue or topic. All formal requests, testimony and comments must be submitted in accordance with established City procedures. All public records requests must be directed to the City Clerk.

1.7 Copyright Policy 

All information and materials generated by the City and provided on City social media sites are the property of the City. The City retains copyright on all text, graphic images and other content that was produced by the City and found on the page. 

Copies of information and materials may be printed for personal or non-commercial use, provided that the copyright symbol or other such proprietary notice remains intact on any reproduction of copyrighted materials. Please include a credit line reading: "Credit: City of Camas Facebook (or Twitter or YouTube) Page" or "Courtesy of City of Camas." Commercial use of text, City logos, photos and other graphics is prohibited without the express written permission of the City. Use of the City logo is prohibited for any non-governmental purpose. Any person reproducing or redistributing a third party copyright must adhere to the terms and conditions of the third party copyright holder. If you are a copyright holder and you feel that the City did not use an appropriate credit line please notify the webmaster with detailed information about the circumstances, so that the copyright information can be added or the material in question can be removed.

1.8 City Contact

Social media sites are not monitored 24 hours/day, call 9-1-1 for emergencies. All formal requests, testimony and comments must be submitted in accordance with established City procedures. If you require a response or are requesting services from the City, visit our Home page or call 360.834.6864.

2 Other Considerations

1. OPMA RCW 42.30:  Council quorum may not participate on social media sites

2. Lobbying & Campaign Restrictions Issues RCW 42.17A:  No grassroots lobbying by public agencies or campaigning with public resources is allowed.

3. Ethical/Risk Management: employees/officials may NOT post inappropriate content, confidential information (health care information, privileged information, etc.) or non-agency related information.