OMWD Social Media and Outreach Policy

1. PURPOSE

OMWD has an overriding interest in protecting the integrity of information posted on social media platforms or websites that are attributed to OMWD and to its officials. The purpose of this policy, therefore, is to establish guidelines, standards and instructions for the use of social media sites by OMWD.

Messages and content posted on an OMWD social media site may constitute speech on behalf of OMWD, but such speech takes place on a non-OMWD venue. Therefore, OMWD’s Board of Directors finds and intends that speech posted on a social media site venue by OMWD representatives, and comments by the public posted on a social media site venue in response, do not create a public forum or limited public forum on any portion of OMWD’s websites, equipment or other OMWD property.

2. DEFINITIONS

“Social media sites”: content created by individuals, using accessible, expandable, and upgradable publishing technologies, through and on the internet. Examples of social media include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, RSS, and YouTube.

“OMWD social media sites”: social media sites OMWD establishes and maintains, and over which it controls all postings, except for advertisements or hyperlinks by the social media site’s owners, vendors, or partners. Any OMWD social media site shall supplement, and not replace, OMWD’s required notices and standard methods of communication.

“Posts” or “postings”: information, articles, pictures, videos or any other form of communication placed on an OMWD social media site.
“Site contributor”: designated OMWD staff member responsible for posting information and monitoring comments under the direction of the site manager.

“Site manager”: designated OMWD staff member responsible for establishing OMWD and department-specific social media sites, with responsibility for supervising the site contributor.

3.0 GENERAL POLICY

3.1 OMWD’s official website at www.olivenhain.com (or any domain owned by OMWD) will remain OMWD’s primary means of internet communication. Use of social media shall only serve as an enhancement to OMWD’s official website. Therefore, information and communications should be organized in a manner that avoids the posting of duplicative or conflicting information.

3.2 The establishment of an OMWD social media site is subject to approval by OMWD’s General Manager or his/her designee. Upon approval, OMWD social media sites shall bear the name and/or official logo of OMWD.

3.3 Only those authorized by OMWD’s General Manager to speak on behalf of OMWD and convey information regarding OMWD programs, projects, policies or any other such OMWD business on social media platforms may communicate on OMWD’s behalf on the subject of OMWD matters on any social media platform. This includes initiating statements on, or responding to comments received from, various social media outlets in any manner that members of the public might perceive as a statement on behalf of OMWD. All content on OMWD social media sites shall be reviewed, approved, and administered by the designated site contributor under the supervision of a designated site manager.

3.4 OMWD social media sites shall clearly state that such sites are maintained by OMWD and that the sites comply with OMWD’s Social Media Policy.

3.5 OMWD social media sites shall link back to OMWD’s official website for forms, documents, online services and other information necessary to conduct business with OMWD.

3.6 OMWD’s site manager and site contributor shall monitor content on OMWD social media sites to ensure adherence to both OMWD’s Social Media Policy and the interests and goals of OMWD.

3.7 OMWD social media sites shall be managed consistent with the Ralph M. Brown Act. The Brown Act specifically prohibits members of a legislative body from communicating through technological devices in discussing, deliberating, or taking action on any item within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body. This could happen on any social media site, even inadvertently, if a majority of the members of the OMWD’s Board of Directors were to post comments on a OMWD-related issue (even if Directors are merely responding to a constituent’s post). Therefore, Members of OMWD’s Board of Directors and members of Board Committees shall not respond to, “like”, “share”, retweet or otherwise participate in any published postings, or use the site or any form of electronic communication to respond to, blog or engage in serial meetings, or otherwise discuss, deliberate, or express opinions on any issue within the subject matter jurisdiction of the body.

3.8 The California Fair Political Practices Commission and courts may view OMWD’s social media page as a public resource. OMWD staff and Directors should, therefore, keep campaign regulations in mind and avoid any type of campaigning on an OMWD page pursuant to applicable law. Neither elected officials nor OMWD staff may use public resources for personal or campaign purposes not authorized by law. Public officials are aware of the restrictions on using public resources for either personal or political purposes pursuant to Government Code section 8314.

3.9 OMWD reserves the right to terminate any OMWD social media site at any time without notice.

3.10 The use of OMWD’s social media sites shall be in strict conformity with all applicable provisions of OMWD’s Administrative and Ethics Code.

3.11 OMWD social media sites shall comply with usage rules and regulations required by the site provider, including privacy policies.

3.12 OMWD’s Social Media and Outreach Policy shall be displayed to users or made available by hyperlink.

3.13 All OMWD social media sites shall adhere to applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and policies.

3.14 OMWD social media sites may be subject to the California Public Records Act. Any content maintained on an OMWD social media site that is related to OMWD business, including a list of subscribers, posted communication, and communication submitted for posting, may be considered a public record and subject to public disclosure. OMWD’s Record Retention Schedule shall incorporate records series reflecting OMWD social media account activity, including comments/posts deleted by OMWD in accordance with this Policy.

3.15 Employees representing OMWD on OMWD social media sites shall conduct themselves at all times as a professional representative of OMWD and in accordance with all OMWD policies.

3.16 All OMWD social media sites shall utilize authorized OMWD contact information for account set-up, monitoring and access. The use of personal email accounts or phone numbers by any OMWD employee is not allowed for the purpose of setting-up, monitoring, or accessing a OMWD social media site.

3.17 OMWD social media sites may contain content, including but not limited to, advertisements or hyperlinks over which OMWD has no control. OMWD does not endorse any hyperlink or advertisement placed on OMWD social media sites by the social media site’s owners, vendors, or partners.

3.18 OMWD reserves the right to change, modify, or amend all or part of this policy at any time.

4. CONTENT GUIDELINES

4.1 The content of OMWD social media sites shall only pertain to OMWD-sponsored or OMWD-endorsed programs, services, and events. Content includes, but is not limited to, information, photographs, videos, and hyperlinks.

4.2 Content posted to OMWD’s social media sites must contain hyperlinks directing users back to OMWD’s official website for in-depth information, forms, documents or online services necessary to conduct business with OMWD, whenever possible.

4.3 OMWD shall have full permission or rights to any content posted by OMWD, including photographs and videos.

4.4 Postings shall be made during normal business hours. After-hours or weekend postings shall only be made with approval of OMWD’s General Manager or his/her designee.

4.5 Any employee authorized to post items on any of OMWD’s social media sites shall review, be familiar with, and comply with the social media site’s use policies and terms and conditions.

4.6 Postings on any OMWD social media site by an authorized OMWD employee shall relate only to the purpose of communicating information of public interest regarding functions, activities, programs and goals of OMWD, and to facilitate the community’s ability to learn about and participate in the same. Postings shall not include any personal views or concerns of OMWD employees.

4.7 Postings must contain information that is freely available to the public and not be confidential as defined by any OMWD policy or state or federal law.

4.8 Postings may NOT contain any personal information, except for the name(s) of OMWD employee(s) whose job duty(ies) includes being available for contact by the public.

4.9 Postings to OMWD social media sites shall NOT contain any of the following:

4.9.1 Comments that are not topically related to the posting;

4.9.2 Comments in support of, or opposition to, political campaigns, candidates or ballot measures;

4.9.3 Profane language or content;

4.9.4 Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation, as well as any other category protected by federal, state, or local laws;

4.9.5 Sexual content or links to sexual content;

4.9.6 Solicitations of commerce;

4.9.7 Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity;

4.9.8 Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems;

4.9.9 Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party; or

4.9.10 Content posted by OMWD employees that may incite disruption in the workplace.

4.10 These guidelines shall be displayed to users or made available by hyperlink on all OMWD social media sites. Any content removed based on these guidelines must be retained, including the time, date and identity of the poster, when available.

4.11 OMWD reserves the right to implement or remove any functionality of its social media site, when deemed appropriate by OMWD’s site manager. This includes, but is not limited to, information, articles, pictures, videos or any other form of communication that is posted on a OMWD social media site.

4.12 Except as expressly provided in this Policy, accessing any social media site shall comply with all applicable OMWD policies pertaining to communications and the use of the internet by employees, including email content.

4.13 All of the content on an OMWD social media site must be provided to OMWD’s site contributor or site manager for review, approval and subsequent posting to the social media site.