Social Media Use Policy
The City of Issaquah uses social media tools to enhance its customer service, reach a broader audience and make information easier for the community to access.
Social media is defined here as the use of third-party hosted services (available over the Internet by computer or mobile device) that allow people to socially network, collaborate or share information.
Social media services are usually based on participant contributions to the content.
Types of social media include blogs, microblogs, wikis, social and professional networks, video or photo sharing, and social bookmarking. Examples of specific social media include Facebook (social networking), YouTube (video sharing), Twitter (microblogging) and LinkedIn (professional networking), to name a few.
These online technologies are operated by non-City hosted services and are used by the City to communicate with the public.
The City does not guarantee that the social media sites will be uninterrupted or error-free.
The City will approach the use of social media tools as consistently as possible, citywide. The City communications team is the main contact for the City's social media program.
The City of Issaquah's website (issaquahwa.gov) will remain the City's primary and predominant Internet presence.
Wherever possible, content posted to City of Issaquah social media sites should contain links directing users back to the City's official website for in to depth information, forms, documents or online services necessary to conduct business with the City of Issaquah.
The best, most appropriate uses of social media tools generally fall into three categories:
- Disseminating time-sensitive information as quickly as possible, such as in emergency or police response incidents.
- Marketing or promoting City information, news updates, events, etc., and topics with a broad community interest, to the widest audience possible.
- Fostering a dialogue between City Hall and the public about community issues and events.
General Use Policy
Although the City of Issaquah encourages posts and comments on the social media sites managed by the City, the sites are limited public forums and are moderated by City staff.
All content on City of Issaquah social media sites containing any of the following shall not be allowed, as determined by the City:
- Content not topically related to the particular social media post being commented upon;
- Content in support of or opposition to political campaigns or ballot measures;
- Profane language or content;
- Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation;
- Sexual content or links to sexual content;
- Solicitations of commerce;
- Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity;
- Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems;
- Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party; or
- Content that contains vulgar, offensive, threatening or harassing language or personal attacks.
The City reserves the right to restrict or remove any content that is deemed in violation of this social media use policy or any applicable law.
The City reserves the right to approve user-submitted content for all affiliated social media sites.
The City reserves the right to deactivate the comment feature on City-affiliated social media sites, where applicable, at any time without prior notice.
All comments, posts, replies, etc., on the City's social media sites will be periodically reviewed. All posts and comments may be public records subject to public disclosure under the Washington Public Records Act.
The City may select links to other social media sites and outside websites that offer valuable resources for users.
- Once a user goes to a site outside the City's social media sites or website, its policies no longer apply, and users become subject to the policies of that site.
- The City is not responsible for the content that appears on outside sites. Users should be aware that these outside sites, and the information found there, are not controlled by, provided by or endorsed by the City of Issaquah.
- The City also reserves the right to delete links posted by outside individuals that violate this social media use policy at any time without notice.
Social media is not intended to be used to conduct official City business, including but not limited to policy decisions or items of legal and fiscal significance that have not previously been released to the public.
The City of Issaquah social media sites are informational only, and outside feedback does not constitute giving official notice to the City. Should a user require a response from the City or wish to request City services or make a public records request, he or she should contact the City Clerk's Office.
All content on the City's social media sites, including postings, replies, followers or friends, are public domain and may be subject to disclosure pursuant to RCW 42.56, regardless of any claim of confidentiality or privilege asserted by an external party.
Also note that social media sites are governed by their own separate website policies and terms of service. These policies apply to use of these sites.
Social media websites are created and maintained by third parties who collect and use the personal information that users decide to share. This information is stored on their computer servers, which are not controlled by the City. This information may not be kept in perpetuity and may be deleted at any time by third parties.
The City has limited editorial control to add and delete content posted on social media websites, which when deleted may still reside on third-party servers.
Some social media websites may require registration to gain access.
Communications through Social Media
In no event shall any communication made through the City's social media sites and constitute legal notice to the City, or to any of its agencies, officers, employees, agents or representatives (including but not limited to legal notice required by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations) with respect to any existing or potential claim or cause of action against the City or any of its agencies, officers, employees, agents or representatives.
If the issue is time sensitive and concerns public safety, the City's non-emergency number should be called (if City offices are not open for business at that time) at 425-837-3200 to report a concern.
All information and materials generated by the City of Issaquah and provided on the City's social media sites are the property of the City.
The City of Issaquah retains copyright on all text, graphic images and other content that was produced by the City and found on its social media sites.
- Users may print copies of information and material for their own non-commercial use, provided that they retain the copyright symbol or other such proprietary notice intact on any copyrighted materials. Include a credit line reading: "Courtesy of the City of Issaquah."
- The commercial use of text, City logos, photos and other graphics is prohibited without the express written permission of the City of Issaquah.
- Use of the City logo is prohibited for any non-governmental purpose.
Any individual accessing, browsing and using a City of Issaquah social media site accepts, without limitation or qualification, this policy. These terms and conditions apply only to the social media accounts managed by the City of Issaquah.
The City maintains the right to modify this policy without notice. Any modification to this policy is effective immediately upon posting the modification on the Social Media Policy webpage, unless otherwise stated.
The City attempts to provide the best service available, but situations will occur that disrupt service or cause inaccurate information to be posted. The material presented on the City's social media sites is not guaranteed as to accuracy, completeness, reliability, usefulness or timeliness.
The information on the City's social media sites is not intended to constitute advice nor is it to be used as a substitute for specific advice from a professional.
All information on the City's social media sites is provided "as is," "with all faults" and "as available" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, accuracy, or non-infringement, nor shall the distribution of this information constitute any warranty.
The City assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the information or software or other documents that are referenced by or linked to the City's social media sites.
Under no circumstances, including, but not limited to, negligence, shall the City, its officials and employees, or any contributor to its social media sites be liable for any direct or indirect damages, even if both parties are aware of the possibility of such damages, including without limitation loss of profits or for any other incidental, special, consequential or exemplary damages, however caused, whether based upon contract, negligence, strict liability in tort, warranty, or any other legal theory, arising out of or related to your use of, or the inability to use, the City's social media sites or content.
If users have any questions or concerns about the City of Issaquah Social Media Use Policy or its implementation, or if users find incorrect information or are interested in seeking permissions that fall outside of the guidelines above, please contact the communications team.