Social Media Policy


I. Applicability.

This policy applies to the use of the City of Batavia (the “City”) social media accounts by the Public.  (This policy does not apply to City of Batavia employees, elected officials or individuals that represent the City, and are governed by the separate City of Batavia social media policies.

 II. Purpose.
 The City recognizes that social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, are one of the most common forms of communication and often preferred methods for the public to receive information and discuss events and developments relevant to the City. Members of the public, including City residents, businesses, visitors, and media, rely on the City’s social media accounts to stay informed about matters affecting the City. Through the use of social media, the City has the ability to publish news releases, highlight City-sponsored or related events, and ordinances, and provide media coverage on topics relevant to City business. The City also has the ability to interact with members of the public through its social media accounts. As such, the City hereby adopts this Social Media Policy, which shall apply to all official City Social Media Accounts and establishes the parameters and guidelines for the public’s use of, and the City’s management of such accounts.
III. Limited Public Forum.
 The City’s social media accounts are limited public forums as that term is defined by federal law. The City does not make its social media accounts available for general public discourse, but rather reserves and limits the topics that may be discussed on the social media accounts.
IV. Content Restrictions; Removal.

Because the City’s Social Media Accounts constitute a limited public forum, the City reserves the right to restrict or remove any content that is deemed in violation of this policy or any applicable law. However, the City shall not remove any content based solely on the viewpoint expressed therein. Rather, content that is deemed not suitable for posting by the City’s Social Media Administrator because it is not topically related to the particular subject being commented upon, or is deemed prohibited content based on the criteria defined below, is subject to removal by the City. However, to the extent any removed content constitutes a “public record” under state law, it shall be retained pursuant to the City’s records retention schedule along with a description of the reason the specific content was deleted. Content posted to a City social media account that contains any of the following forms of prohibited content shall not be permitted and shall be subject to removal:
 i. Comments not topically related to the particular post or content being commented upon.
 ii. Slanderous, libelous, malicious, offensive, threatening, violent, profane, uncivil, or insulting language.
 iii. Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of a protected class, including race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation.
 iv. Sexual content or links to sexual content.
 v. Solicitations of commerce.
 vi. Personally identifiable information, such as an address, phone number, social security number or other sensitive information.
 vii. Promotion or advertisement in favor of, or in opposition to, a political campaign, ballot measure, or political candidate.
 viii. Content encouraging or inciting illegal activity.
 ix. Information that may tend to compromise or interfere with, ongoing investigations of law enforcement, police tactics, or the safety or security of the public or public systems.
 x. Distribution of copyrighted photographs, music, video, graphics, or other content without the express permission of the copyright holder.
V. Notice.

By the posting of this Policy on the City’s websites, users and visitors to the City’s social media accounts are hereby notified that the intended purpose of the site is to serve as a mechanism for communication of City news, services and events, that it is a limited public forum, and of the content restrictions as set forth in this social media policy.  

VI. No Expectation of Privacy.

All communications on the City’s social media accounts are subject to being accessed and reviewed by the City management without notice and may be viewed publicly. Users should not assume that any such communications are or shall remain private.

 VII. Disclaimer of Liability.

 The City shall not be responsible for any losses or damages resulting from or relating to any use of the City’s social media accounts which violate this policy.  The City will not be responsible for any damages whatsoever which individuals or entities may suffer arising from or related to their use of any City social media accounts or other City electronic information resources, whether such damages be incidental, consequential or otherwise, or whether such damages include loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, mistaken deliveries, service interruptions or damages to third parties, whether caused by the City’s negligence, errors or omissions.  Users must recognize that the use of the City’s social media accounts is a limited public forum and that the policies implementing usage are requirements that mandate adherence.  The City makes no warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, for the City social media accounts that is the subject of this Policy.