Be careful how you Tweet, councillors are warned
COUNCILLORS and council employees in Mid Devon have been warned to avoid "turning a well meant social media experiment into a reputational disaster."
The district council has recently updated its social media policy and guidance document it issues to staff. While the policy acknowledges that use of social media such as Twitter, Facebook or YouTube can be a "useful method of communicating", the guidelines also provide examples of inappropriate activity on these platforms.
The council first produced advice on social media use in July 2011. As its use is becoming more extensive the current policy has been updated to include guidance to councillors.
The document states: "The practical application of such technology by councils is in its infancy and there are many potential issues to consider – both as individual employees and as an organisation."
Employees are reminded not to let personal use of social media interfere with their job and always access it in their own time. Staff and councillors are also to avoid making "inappropriate comments about individuals or work colleagues."
As well as addressing personal and professional use of social media, the policy also sets out advice for effective moderation of online forums where the views of the public are sought.
The report will go to the council's cabinet for formal approval on Thursday.