By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN Keeping up with the times, the City of Delano approved a social media policy relating to public comments on the city’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts at the city council meeting Dec. 15.
In a memo to the city council, Assistant to the City Administrator Luke Fischer said the city uses online applications Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to connect and communicate with residents and the general public.
He said these tools have given the city an opportunity to make connections with demographics that would not traditionally receive “live” information about the community.
As of Dec. 8, the city has 797 Facebook fans, 328 followers on Twitter, and a video posted on YouTube produced by the city has been viewed 609 times, Fischer said.
“As these numbers continue to grow, it is important that the city have a social media policy in place to regulate the interchange comments on each of the three sites,” Fischer said in the memo.
“Comments on the sites allow an interaction between the city, the end user, and other fans, followers, and viewers. This exchange is part of the reason social media has been so popular and successful so it is something the city should encourage.”
To ensure that all comments are acceptable, city staff drafted a policy that was approved by the council as a type of regulation.
The policy states that, once posted, the city reserves the right to delete comments that:
• contain vulgar language;
• are personal attacks of any kind;
• are offensive;
• are prejudiced or hurtful remarks made toward any person or entity, including any ethnic, racial, or religious group;
• are spam;
• include sales/promotion of goods or services or links to other sites;
• are off-topic;
• advocate illegal activity;
• promote services, products, or political organizations; or
• infringe on copyrights or trademarks.
The policy also notes that comments expressed on the city’s social networking sites do not reflect the opinions or positions of the City of Delano, its employees, or elected officials.
“It has been a very worthwhile venture,” Mayor Joe McDonald said of participation on the social networking sites.
It was noted city staff will monitor comments and enforce the policy. Fischer said if there is a repetitive abuse of the policy, city staff has the ability to block continued misuse or turn off the ability to comment.