Social media is an issue for local government everywhere as shown by the Jackson (Mississippi) Fire Department’s recent foray into internet posting policies. A disgruntled former employee created a Facebook post with unsavory information about the Fire Department, forcing the Department into a conversation about its social media policy.

The Jackson Fire Department issued a memo on social media, while the City itself is still developing a full policy. The Department’s memo encourages employees not to: publicly discuss issues that might be detrimental to the Department or that might conflict with the duties and ethics of a firefighter; to air personal grievances; and clarify that their opinions are their own and not those of the Department.


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The Kitsap Sun recently reported that on October 28, 2009, the Kitsap County Parks and Recreation Department’s blog (launched September 8, 2009 and hosted on a County intern’s Facebook site) was taken down. According to the article, the decision to take the blog down stemmed partially from the electronic records management advisory issued by the

The Washington State Archives recently published a records management advice sheet entitled “Electronic Records Management: Blogs, Wikis, Facebook, Twitter & Managing Public Records” that provides guidance to state and local government agencies regarding the retention of public records of posts to social networking websites such as blogs, wikis, Facebook, and Twitter. 

The advice

Update 7/12/09

Here is another article from Florida on whether governments should use web 2.0 sites:
Attorneys, legislators to pull plug on Marco government’s use of social Web sites? Increased accessibility to candidates and officials, public records concerns among the pros and cons being considered in use of Facebook, Twitter

Update 7/7/09

Spies should also stay off Facebook:  “British spy chief outed on wife’s Facebook page


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