Social Media Policy
The City of Hutchinson, Kansas uses social media to engage and inform residents, visitors and stakeholders as a channel of communication, and to promote City services and community events. The City’s website, hutchgov.com, serves as the primary source for information and internet presence. Anyone requiring a response from the City or wishes to request City services should contact the City of Hutchinson via telephone or email when possible.
The City of Hutchinson has an overriding interest and expectation in deciding what is “spoken” on behalf of the City on social media. This policy is to ensure an authorized and consistent message on City of Hutchinson social media channels.
We use social media for: organizational announcements, community event information, visitor information, photos, job opportunities, municipal related news, information and resources for Hutchinson residents and to engage with our citizens where they are.
We do not post or share political endorsements, crude, rude, offensive or derogatory statements.
For purposes of this policy, “social media” is understood to be 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, blogs, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. For purposes of this policy, “comments” include information, articles, pictures, videos or any other form of communicative content posted on a City of Hutchinson social media site.
- The establishment and use by any City department of City social media sites are subject to approval by the Director of Public Information and Community Engagement. All City of Hutchinson social media sites shall be administered by the Director of Public Information and Community Engagement and Director of Information Technology in addition to the Department Director or his/her designees.
- City social media sites should make clear that they are maintained by the City of Hutchinson and that they follow the City’s Social Media Policy. The City logo or branding shall be used on all social media accounts to confirm authenticity of the site. City social media accounts will only join a group or become a fan of a page if it is related to official City business, services, and events.
- In the case of Twitter, or other social media sites where administrators and editors can not be assigned, the login and password must be shared and kept up-to date with the Director of Public Information and Community Engagement and Director of Information Technology in addition to the Department Director or his/her designees.
- Employees representing the City government via City Social Media sites must conduct themselves as a representative of the City and in accordance with all City Policies.
- Wherever possible, City social media sites should link back to the official City of Hutchinson website for forms, documents, online services and other information necessary to conduct business with the City of Hutchinson.
- The Department Director or his/her designees will post, manage and monitor content on City social media sites to ensure adherence to both the City of Hutchinson Social Media Policy and the interest and goals of the City of Hutchinson, as well as for comments and messages requesting responses from the City and seek guidance as needed.
- This social media policy will be available through the City website and the link displayed to users on City social media sites whenever possible.
- If a City of Hutchinson employee responds to a direct message, in his/her capacity as a City of Hutchinson employee, the employee’s name and title should be made available, and the employee shall not share personal information about himself or herself, or other City employees.
- When a comment is made that is demonstrably untrue, the City may attempt to clear the misinformation by presenting the facts once in a reply. The City seeks productive dialog and will not engage in unproductive back and forth on social media. Commenters can be invited to continue the discussion via email or direct message.
Any City of Hutchinson social media site shall be considered a limited public forum, and public expression must meet certain minimum levels of discourse. Articles, posts and comments on the City’s social media site shall not contain any of the following forms of content, which shall be removed as soon as possible:
- Profane language or content
- Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, ancestry, religion, gender, national origin, physical or mental disability
- Sexual content or links to sexual content
- Solicitations of commerce
- City personnel matters
- Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity
- Information that may compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems or facilities
- Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party
- Threats or defamatory statements
- Multiple successive off-topic posts by a single user or repetitive posts copied and pasted by multiple users, or Spam
- Endorsement of political candidates, causes or groups, except for endorsement approved by City management of events, services or causes that have explicit, general City sponsorship
- Defamatory or personal attacks
- Threats to any person or organization
- Comments in support of, or in opposition to, any political campaigns or ballot measures;
- Content which violates the right to privacy
- Comments which may reasonably interfere with, inhibit, or compromise law enforcement investigations, police tactics, police responses to incidents and/or the safety of police staff and officers
City of Hutchinson employees are invited to follow and engage with the city’s social media through their own personal accounts. Personal social media accounts of City of Hutchinson employees should not be presented as official voices or opinions of the City. Employees may use personal social media during work in a reasonable, limited way at the discretion of their supervisor, provided that this privilege does not interfere with his or her job duties. Employees are prohibited from using official city accounts for personal use.
No employee of the City of Hutchinson shall be penalized for expressions, political beliefs or associations made as a private citizen regarding matters of public concern, unless those expressions substantially disrupt the efficient and effective delivery of public services by the City.
Any employee who accesses their personal account from city owned, city leased, or city provided technology has no right to privacy in any information that is created, stored, transmitted, shared or viewed. The city may review all internet activity and websites that are accessed.
Any employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.