1. #1
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    Default Social media SOG?

    I did a search and didn't turn up much... So... Wondering if anyone has an SOG that they would be willing to share for the DEPARTMENT social media outlet? Our department has a very brief SOG for personal social media, but we recently got the chief to approve a department FaceBook page. I'd like to have a SOG in place when the page goes "public", but I don't really know where to start on it. Primary objectives of the page are for public information, outreach, recruitment and fire prevention.

    Even if you don't have one to share, I'd welcome any thoughts you'd be willing to provide. At this point we won't be posting any personal information from our calls, including addresses, and pictures will likely be limited to ones taken from training or very vague ones from incidents.

  2. #2
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    HuntPA's Avatar
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    We are working on the same now. I got some good information from the NVFC and added to it. If you give me your email, I will gladly share the draft we have going.

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    suggest do not post incident pictures

    more dept info

    remember anything you post and equipment used (cell phone) is part of open records request and also can be subpoena, as in losing the cell phone for awhile.


    also, need to decide what to do if someone post some not so good comments on facebook

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    Here are some suggestions:

    First, define the scope and purpose of the social media. If it is for public information, outreach, recruitment and fire prevention, put that in there. Use that to set your initial limits and act as your "catch-all" for anything that does not specifically violate any other rules or policies, but may still not need to be there.

    Everyone needs to be responsible for what they write or contribute. Just because it is digital media does not lessen the burden to act responsibly. Along with that, anyone in the department that participates should clearly identify their role with the department.

    Do not fight fire with fire. If someone posts something critical or negative, it should not be addressed individually at any level, either though personal accounts on the same social media outlet, or through the department's social media outlet. If anyone affiliated with the department sees something like this, they need to bring it to the attention of the officers and the administrator of the social media account. It should be up to them to decide when and how to respond.

    Exercise good judgement. Avoid anything that could in any way reflect negatively on the department.

    Respect the privacy of third parties and maintain confidentiality. HIPAA and all other privacy laws still apply to social media.

    If an incident occurs and your receive mutual aid, be sure to mention and thank your mutual aid partners. If your department didn't do 100% of the work at a scene, don't take 100% of the credit.

    Respect copyrights and fair use. Make sure you have the right to use anything you might wish to use from third parties, and make sure to give them credit for their work.

    Avoid hazardous materials. If it is something that could be seen as harassing, defamatory, or indecent, it doesn't belong.

    The internet isn't anonymous and the internet never forgets. Exercise caution at all times, as once something is posted, it can never be completely deleted and can always be traced back to the original author.

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  6. #6
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    HuntPA, PM sent.

    I think most of the points made so far are ones that have crossed my mind at some point. It's just getting it in writing as a policy/guideline that really is the hard part. I've said it before, but we are an extremely small department at this point, and there's only 2-3 of us that use FaceBook. I don't foresee any issues in the immediate future, but as the department (hopefully) grows I'd like to make sure that there is something in writing to keep those issues to the absolute minimum.

    Thanks for the thoughts so far!

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