County Administrator's Office

Internet Policy

  1. All official Local Agency presences on Social Media sites are considered an extension of the Local Agency’s network and are subject to all related administrative policies, including but not limited to policies on computer use.
  2. Only authorized individuals shall have permission to create, publish or comment on behalf of a Local Agency on Local Agency-Sponsored Social Media sites.
  3. The official websites for a Local Agency will remain the Local Agency’s primary and predominant Internet presence.
  4. Content on Local Agency-Sponsored Social Media sites shall not be offered in lieu of official information on the Local Agency’s official websites, except when immediate and temporary disclosure of information is appropriate. Posts on sites that are not Section 508 web accessible shall contain “simple” text links to identical material on a compliant website.
  5. Local Agency-Sponsored Social Media sites shall contain a link back to the Local Agency’s official websites, where the announcement, press release, form(s), document(s), online services and/or other information relevant to the matter shall be posted.
  6. Local Agency-Sponsored Social Media site posts are a public record subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act (Government Code §§ 6250 to 6270). Therefore, all Social Media content must be archived and managed in accordance with the applicable records retention schedule.
  7. Public Comments
    1. Employees and contractors maintaining Local Agency-Sponsored Social Media sites that permit public comment shall inform visitors of the intended purpose of the site and provide a clear statement of the discussion topic introduced for public comment so that the public is aware of the limited nature of the discussion and notified that inappropriate posts are subject to removal, including but not limited to the following types of postings, regardless of format (text, video, images, links, documents, etc.):
      1. Comments not topically related;
      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, status with regards to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation;
      4. Sexual content or links to sexual content;
      5. Solicitations of commerce;
      6. Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity;
      7. Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems; or
      8. Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party.
    2. Employees and contractors maintaining Local Agency-Sponsored Social Media sites that permit public comment shall prominently display, or provide a link to, the Comment Policy on each online page that displays discussion content.
    3. Online discussions shall be moderated by a designated staff person. Postings that do not comply with the Comment Policy shall be promptly removed from public view. This includes, but is not limited to, statements, links, video, images, and documents.
    4. Comments may also be invited via email, Facebook Message or Twitter Direct Message to a designated Local Agency or Department official email address.
    5. Comments received online or by email through a Social Media site shall be treated in accordance with all applicable policies and procedures for public input.
    6. The Local Agency or Department maintaining the site is responsible for responding completely and accurately to any public records request made via the site.
    7. Local Agencies shall take measures to prevent inappropriate or technically harmful information and links.
    8. Local Agency-Sponsored Social Media sites that permit public comment are not intended to guarantee the right to protected free speech. Sites shall be monitored regularly and prompt corrective action shall be taken when an issue arises that places, or has potential to place, the Local Agency at risk.
    9. Local Agencies and Departments desiring to permit public comments on Social Media sites shall first secure approval from their Information Services Provider by completing and submitting a Public Comment Readiness Checklist.
  8. Content of Posts
    1. Employees and contractors using Social Media to communicate on behalf of a Local Agency on a Local Agency-Sponsored Social Media site should be mindful that statements posted represent the Local Agency, including its elected officials. Therefore, employees and contractors should use discretion before posting.
    2. Posts should be designed to increase the public’s knowledge, trust, and use of Local Agency services.
    3. Posts should always relate to matters within the scope of the Local Agency’s function and should be consistent with the Local Agency’s public service mission.
    4. To help distinguish Local Agency-Sponsored Social Media sites from non-official (or personal) uses of these tools, Local Agency-Sponsored Social Media sites must state that they are maintained by the Local Agency and that they are subject to the Local Agency’s Social Media Policy.
    5. Local Agency-Sponsored Social Media sites must identify the department responsible for the information displayed, including all descriptions, logos, images, etc. representing Local Agency services.
    6. Confidential or non-public information must not be shared.
    7. Postings must respect copyright laws and reference or cite sources appropriately.
    8. Only information authorized under this Policy shall be posted.
    9. Employees and contractors must not use Local Agency-Sponsored Social Media sites for political purposes or to conduct private commercial activities, except as such uses are specifically permitted by the Local Agency Board. For this reason, links to political or commercial websites are prohibited, unless the Local Agency Board specifically permits such links.

Contact Information

Address
575 Administration Drive
Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.464665, -122.725235