USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY

 

PURPOSE

This policy  sets  forth  guidelines  for  the  establishment  and  use  by  the  Borough of Morris Plains  (“Morris Plains” and/or the “Borough”) of social media sites (which may include, but are not limited to, the Borough website, email blasts, newsletters, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Nextdoor, and YouTube) as a means of conveying Borough-related information to its residents.  Morris Plains has an overriding interest and expectation in deciding what is “spoken” on behalf of the Borough on its social media sites. This Social Media Use Policy is in addition to the Communication Media/Social Media Policy set forth in the Borough’s Personnel Polies and Procedures Manual/Employee Handbook.

 The purpose of this social media policy is to establish enforceable rules for the use of social media by Borough employees, officials, officers, and volunteers when engaged in Borough business.  Rules are necessary to assure that communications made on behalf of the Borough are properly authorized and in correct form; that communications which can be viewed by the public are appropriate and pertinent; and that the sender is clearly and fully informed that a message received by means of social media is not a substitute for required reporting procedures.

 For purposes of this policy, “social media” is understood to be content created by individuals, using accessible, expandable, and upgradable publishing technologies, through and on the Internet. Examples of social media may include, but not be limited to, email newsletters, Facebook, Nextdoor, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.  It also includes other communication medium created by the Borough including but not limited to emails, email blast/newsletters, Nixle, Reverse 911, Swift 911 and Rave Alerts.

 SCOPE

This policy shall apply to all Morris Plains departments as well as any affiliated government or non-government agency or official and/or commission or council permitted by the Borough to post on Borough social media sites, including individual employees, officials, officers, and volunteers of the Borough and agencies it supports or to which the Borough provides financial or other resources.  

 GENERAL POLICY

The objective of the use of social media by the Borough, including individual employees, officials, officers, and volunteers of the Borough and agencies it supports or to which the Borough provides financial or other resources, is to expand and facilitate the dissemination of information from the Borough to its residents, taxpayers and the general public.

  1. No official Borough social media site shall be established without prior approval of the Mayor and/or Borough Council. The official Borough social media sites shall be administered by the Borough Webmaster and/or his/her designee.

  2. Site administrators shall only post items on the Borough’s official social media sites that adhere to the guidelines set forth herein and that are approved by the Mayor/Council or their designee.

  3. The Borough social media sites shall clearly set forth that they are maintained by the Borough and that they follow this Social Media Policy.

  4. Wherever possible, the Borough social media sites should link back to the official Borough website for forms, documents, online services and other information necessary to conduct business with the Borough.

  5. The Borough social media sites are not to be used for making any official communications to the Borough, for example, giving notice required by any statute, by ordinance or regulations such as but not limited notices of claim. Prominent notice of this paragraph shall be displayed on every Borough social media site, along with the appropriate contact information for submitting official communications.

  6. This social media policy shall be placed on the Borough Website and all Borough social media sites.

  7. The Borough Council Liaison and/or his/her designee shall monitor Borough social media sites to ensure adherence to both this Social Media Policy and the interest and goals of the Borough. The Borough has the right and will restrict or remove any content that is deemed in violation of this Social Media Policy or any applicable law. Any content removed based on these guidelines will be retained by the Borough Clerk and/or his/her designee pursuant to the applicable Borough retention policy, including the time, date and identity of the poster, when available. These guidelines must be displayed to users or made available by hyperlink.

  8. The Borough shall approach the use of social media tools as consistently as possible, Borough-wide.

  9. The Borough website at morrisplainsboro.org shall remain the Borough’s primary and predominant internet presence.

  10. The Borough social media sites and this Policy are subject to all applicable federal and NJ laws and regulations, as well as applicable record retention requirements. All Borough users of social media are responsible for complying with applicable federal, state, and county laws, regulations, and policies.  This includes adherence to established laws and policies regarding copyright, records retention, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Open Public Record Act (OPRA), First Amendment, privacy laws, sunshine laws, and information security policies (if applicable) established by the Borough.

  11. All Morris Plains Borough employees, officials, officers, and volunteers authorized to represent the Borough’s government via its social media  sites  shall  conduct themselves at all times as a representative of the Borough and in accordance with all its policies, including the policies in the Borough’s Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual/Employee Handbook, particularly the Social Media and Harassment Policies.

  12. All Borough social media sites shall prohibit comments and reviews. Official posts on Borough social media are intended to provide information to the public, not as a means of receiving or responding to questions and comments. Therefore, all Borough social media sites shall prohibit responses (“comments”). Neither the Borough, Borough employees nor officials shall be responsible for responding to any social media comments or questions concerning Borough business.  Members of the public may contact the Borough Clerk, Mayor, Councilperson or appropriate department directly with any concerns or questions.

  13. No inappropriate content shall be permitted on the Borough’s social media sites, including profane, obscene, violent, content and/or language; information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems; content that violates a legal ownership interest, such as a copyright, of any party the Borough does not permit or allow copyright infringing activities and/or infringement of intellectual property rights on its website or social media sites and will remove any and all content and submissions if properly notified that such content and/or submission infringes on another’s intellectual property rights; private contact information such as names, addresses and phone numbers no matter how easily obtained elsewhere; vulgar, offensive, threatening, or harassing language, personal attacks, unsupported accusations, or political party or political candidate-related endorsements or promotions.

  14. Only content approved by the Borough Council Liaison and/or approved by the Webmaster for public release is allowed to be posted. Content of a sensitive nature shall not be allowed to be posted. 

  15. The Borough Webmaster and/or Borough Clerk and/or his/her designee may remove internet postings on Borough social media sites which are deemed to constitute a breach of Policy, as determined by the Borough Mayor, Council and/or Borough Attorney subject to applicable archiving and retention requirements.

  16. All Borough employees and volunteers must provide the Borough Clerk with access to all information related to any Borough social media sites, including user names, passwords and/or access codes or information.

  17. Any social media site created and/or maintained by the Borough remains the property of the Borough. Upon termination of Borough employment or relationship, all access information to Borough social media must be provided to the Clerk.

  18. The Borough of Morris Plains reserves the exclusive right to use its name and logo on its official social media sites. No other sites may use the name of the Borough or its logo without the express written permission of the Borough of Morris Plains.

  19. This Social Media Policy may be revised at any time by approval of the Borough Council.

TERMS OF USE DISCLOSURE (to be posted on all Borough Social Media Sites)

A. Information Disclaimer

By visiting this site, you understand and agree that the Borough of Morris Plains local government site is provided “AS IS”.  The Borough of Morris Plains makes every effort to provide accurate and complete information on this website. The information contained herein is not official nor in any way shall it be deemed to constitute legal notice where such legal notice is required by law.  The information contained in this site is provided as a service and convenience to people needing information about Borough local government. Portions of the information on this site may be incorrect or not current.  The Borough of Morris Plains, its government officials, Mayor, elected officers, employees, volunteers and/or agents shall not be liable for damages or losses of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information, including but not limited to, damages or losses caused by reliance upon the accuracy or timeliness of any such information, or damages incurred from the viewing, distributing, or copying of those materials.

B. Linking Policy — Links to External Sites

The Borough site contains links to outside websites. These websites are not owned, operated, controlled or reviewed by the Borough. These links are provided solely as a courtesy and convenience to you, the visitor.  

The Borough, its government officials, Mayor, elected officers, employees, volunteers and/or agents, exercise no control over the organizations, views, accuracy, copyright or trademark, compliance or the legality of the material contained in these outside websites. The Borough government officials, Mayor, elected officers, employees, volunteers and/or agents, do not sponsor, endorse, or approve the information, content, proceeds, materials, opinions or services contained on such outside websites. The visitor proceeds to these outside websites at his/her own risk. The Borough specifically disclaims any and all liability from damages, which may result from the accessing of a third-party site, which is linked to the Borough website or from reliance upon only such information.

C. Endorsement Disclaimer

Reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the Borough of Morris Plains.  

D. Copyright and Trademark Limitations

The Borough of Morris Plains makes no warranty that materials contained herein are free of copyright or trademark claims or other restrictions or limitations on free use or display. Making a copy of such material may be subject to copyright or trademark laws

E. Use of material from this site

The Borough has made the content of these pages available to the public and anyone may view, copy or distribute Borough local government information found here without obligation to the Borough for non-commercial, personal use only, unless otherwise stated on particular material or information to which a restriction on free use may apply.  

The design of this site, original graphics, and original content are all copyrighted by the Borough of Morris Plains and may not be re-engineered, distributed, modified, transmitted, re-used, reposted, or duplicated without the express written permission of the Borough in each instance. All requests to use any part of the original design, code, graphics or content of this site should be made via e-mail to the Borough Clerk.

F. Unauthorized Modifications

Unauthorized attempts to modify or otherwise alter any information or image stored on any Borough of Morris Plains local government website may result in criminal prosecution.

 

Borough of Morris Plains, October 7, 2021

Municipal Office

531 Speedwell Ave
Morris Plains, NJ 07950     
 
Fax: 973-538-8834

Office Hours

Monday through Friday
8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.