Social Media Policy

City of Cedar Hill Social Media Policy
The city has social media policies for the use of social media by the city and its employees. The policy document was approved by the City Council in 2010. A section of the document specifically describes allowable content posted by others and defines appropriate posting activity by city employees.

I. City social networking content and comments containing any of the following forms of
content shall not be allowed for posting. Examples include, but are not limited to:
1. Comments not topically related to the particular site or blog article 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, status with
regard 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;
8. Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party;
9. Information or references to the personal addresses, personal telephone
numbers, personal e-mail addresses, family members or other personal
information of City officials or City employees.
10. Commercial promotions or spam;
11. Organized political activity.
J. All social networking sites shall clearly indicate they are maintained by the City and shall
have City contact information prominently displayed.
K. Where applicable, City security policies, including but not limited to information
technology security policies, shall apply to all social networking sites, articles and
L. Employees representing the City government via social media outlets must conduct
themselves at all times as a representative of the City and in accordance with the City’s
Personnel Policy Manual. Employees who fail to conduct themselves in an appropriate
manner shall be subject to disciplinary procedures up to and including termination of
employment. Employees using Social Media Sites, whether as an administrator or as a
responder to a posting, will follow these guiding principles:
1. Maintain transparency by using your real name and job title, and by being
clear about your role in regards to the subject.
2. Write and post about your area of expertise, especially as related to the
City and your assignments. When writing about a topic for which you are
not the City's expert, make this clear to readers.
3. Keep postings factual and accurate. If a mistake is made, admit to it and
post a correction as soon as possible.
4. Reply to comments in a timely manner, when a response is appropriate.
When disagreeing with others' opinions, keep it appropriate and polite.
5. Post meaningful, respectful comments that are on topic.
6. Understand that postings are widely accessible, not retractable, and will
be around for a long time, so consider content carefully.
7. Ensure your comments do not violate the city's privacy, confidentiality and
applicable legal guidelines for external communication. Never comment
on anything related to legal matters, litigation or any parties with whom
the City may be in litigation without the appropriate approval.
8. Ensure you have the legal right to publish others' material, including
photos and articles pulled from other sites. Do not publish photos taken
while on the scene of any incident. Respect brand, trademark, copyright,
fair use, disclosure of processes and methodologies, confidentiality, and
financial disclosure laws. Even when using material from copyright-free
sources, include appropriate attributions.
9. Make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the
City, unless that is part of your duties with the City. Remember that your
postings are ultimately your responsibility.