Cify ot San Leandro – Social Media Guidelines


These are the Social Media Guidelines currently in effect in the City of San Leandro.  I am posting them here as they seem to have disappeared from the City’s website.








All City employees and volunteers.


To provide guidance to City employees, volunteers and contractors on the use of social media as part of the employee’s, volunteer’s or contractor’s duties to promote the City, market City services and programs, and enhance the public’s knowledge and use of City services. All employees, volunteers, consultants, contractors, and other authorized non-employees using social media on behalf of the City must adhere to this Social Media Guidelines Policy (Guidelines) as well as all applicable Administrative Procedures. The City’s social media and website communications should provide content to the public about City services, and information.

The City of San Leandro website is a closed forum communication medium. City employees who provide website maintenance are required to comply with these guidelines.


Social Media refers to a communications medium that facilitates social interaction and content creation through technology, either through software or other technological solutions. Social media allows users to generate, organize, share, edit, comment and communicate to other users through open or shared networks on computing devices. Current examples of social media sites include, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, and blogs.


Use of City Electronic Communication Systems to post information or access social media sites are subject to all applicable policies of the City regarding use of City computers, including Administrative Procedure AP-1010 Guideline for Employee Use of the Internet & Electronic Communication.

Only the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, department heads, and employees with prior written authorization from a department head, are permitted to post on a Social media site on behalf of the City of San Leandro.

Any and all information posted, or pages created, on behalf of the City must:

Directly pertain to the City of San Leandro;

Contain information that is freely available to the public and that is not made confidential by any policy of the City, or by local, state, or federal law;

Comply with all applicable federal, state and City laws, rules and regulations. This includes copyright laws, records retention laws, the Freedom of Information Act, the California Public Records Act, privacy laws, and employment laws;

Not contain any personal information except the names of employees whose job duties include being available for contact by the public;

Be truthful and present the City in a positive light;

Not include photographs or images of anyone who can be identified, other than the employee posting, without first obtaining a signed release of any such person, or parent of a minor, so depicted;

Not include language that is sexually explicit, lewd or obscene, that is prohibited political activity, that is otherwise illegal, or that violates any other City policy, code, regulation, or procedure;

Not include comments referring to political campaigns, ballot measures, or other political issues unless authorized by the City Manager or his/her designee; and

Not be commercial in nature. However, posts that announce functions or events officially sponsored or conducted by the City are permitted.

Consideration shall be given to social networking websites or other channels that permit and invite responsive posts by readers. Such interactive postings can benefit the City in that they provide a way for residents and other interested persons to express opinions, provide user information or suggestions on City programs and events. In order to promote and provide interactivity and not infringe upon free speech rights, guidance should be provided to those who wish to post responses on a City managed social networking page.

Social media sites that utilize responsive posting shall do so according to the following:

The employee responsible for the comment page and his/her department head, must create and provide notice of a response policy that will appear on or link from the website comment page and will be accessible and applicable to anyone wishing to post a response.

The response policy must make clear the purpose or theme of the website comment page, invite comments germane to the purpose, and describe the kinds of comments or messages that are objectionable. Objectionable messages include, but are not limited to, messages that are a personal attack, cultural or racial slurs, lewd or obscene comments, comments that are otherwise offensive towards a protected class of persons, commercial offers, links to websites that are not within the confines of the social media website page’s purpose or theme, and/or messages that are illegal or that violate any term, condition or City policy.

The employee shall at all times use his/her best judgment in deciding whether or not to respond to a post. Engaging with any person that posts in an argumentative or offensive manner should be avoided.

The website must provide a mechanism for the employee to remove posts or prevent posting of messages that clearly violate the response policy.

The employee must review the social media website page not less than once each workday to ensure compliance with the response policy. Work done in connection with the website page during non-work hours shall be preapproved by the employee’s department head. If a department is unable to review a social media website page at least once each workday, then the ability to post comments should be disabled.

The City will remove comments that violate these guidelines.

Social media content and comments containing any of the following shall not be allowed and will be immediately removed:

Comments not topically related to the particular subject or article being commented upon, including hyperlinks to material that is not related to the discussion or purpose of the website page;

Profane language or content;

Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or physical or mental disability, or any other protected status;

Potentially libelous comments;

Personal attacks, insults or threatening language;

Sexual content, links to sexual content, or any content that would violate the City’s Harassment Policy;

Commercial solicitations;

Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity;

Information that may compromise public safety or health;

Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party;

Private or personal information published without written consent; or

Commercial promotions or spam.


If a department wishes to create a social media site, it must be requested by the department head with review by the Information Services Manager. City Manager approval is required.

Social media sites are subject to the California Public Records Act. Content posted on City managed social media sites are public records.

Each City managed social media site must include an introductory statement that clearly specifies the purpose and topical scope of the social media site. Where possible, social media sites should link back to the official City of San Leandro website. The official City of San Leandro website will be the City’s primary web presence.

  3 Responses to “Cify ot San Leandro – Social Media Guidelines”

  1. “Be truthful and present the City in a positive light”?

    Seems like that could be a tall order at times.


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