More Discussion by Yarmouth Selectmen on Town’s Social Media and Email Policies

Yarmouth Selectmen Chair Tracy Post

YARMOUTH – Yarmouth selectmen discussed the town’s social media and email policy at their meeting Tuesday night.

The social media policy draft states that there is no guarantee of privacy when using the Internet or social media sites both on or off duty and that all connections and sites visited will be monitored and recorded by the town.

Regulations of the policy say that users are prohibited from posting content in violation of Open Meeting Law, they must not reveal any confidential or privileged information about the town and are prohibited from using social media to engage in any activity that constitutes a conflict of interest.

“Employees with the town’s social media accounts, should be discussing town information, so if you have a personal account, I think the policy tries to make it clear, don’t come across like you’re representing the town on your personal account, so that way it avoids any confusion with people on social media,” said Yarmouth IT Director Shawn MacInnes.  

If social media is work-related, town officials ask that employees engage in conversations with Yarmouth residents and provide the town with meaningful feedback.

When it comes to moderating the town’s social media sites, officials ask that employees identify themselves and if relevant, their role in their departments and to only speak when their commentary is based on the law governing the town.

The town also asks that its employees respect copyright law, handle negative comments appropriately and do not deny or affirm rumors.

Selectman Erik Tolley said that having a social media policy can be difficult for town employees.

“I think that no matter how careful you are not to represent your opinion as being that of the town, people look at you as a town employee and your opinion is automatically assumed to be that of the town,” said Tolley.

Selectmen gave their input on the social media and email policies and MacInnes said he will use that to make updates to the drafts.


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