In addition to a public hearing on proposed land use regulations, the Fayston Select Board will be considering draft language on a social media policy at its meeting next week.
When the board meets on February 19, board members will discuss the wording and intent of such a policy.
The draft language that town clerk Patti Lewis found for the board to consider spells out a purpose, definitions, conduct of town officials, comments, account management, content management, public records law compliance, photos and more.
For example, under the purpose paragraph, the proposed language notes that the purpose “is to provide standards and procedures for the appropriate use of social media when conducting town business.”
In the definitions section, “town electronic equipment” is defined as “all town electronic equipment including, but not limited to computers, cell or smartphones, pagers and any other town equipment that may be utilized to send and receive electronic communications.”
Town officials’ conduct when using town social media accounts is spelled out in the proposed document, including the notion that all social media postings and comments are public.
“Information posted to town social media sites is public information, and there should be no expectation of privacy in regards to the information posted on town social media outlets. Town officials are expressly prohibited from disclosing any information via social media posts that may be confidential,” this section reads.
“Town officials are discouraged from using personal accounts to comment on or post information to town social media sites, and/or posting information regarding official town business on other social media sites. All social media site comments and posts by town officials are subject to Vermont’s Public Records Law, Open Meeting Law and all other applicable law, rules, policies, charter provisions and regulations,” the Conduct of Town Officials section reads.
The policy lays out procedure for social media outreach that does not allow public comment, such as a town website, and lays out the policy for limited social media sites that are created to take public comment on specific issues.