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Planning Department

Planning Department Social Media Policy

Metropolitan Planning Department social media channels provide an opportunity for sharing & discussing information about relevant programs and activities. Comments/opinions expressed by users of social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn) are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of the Planning Department or its employees. All public comments are reviewed & screened in accordance with the below policy. We encourage members of the public to submit their questions, comments, and concerns, but please note that all Planning Department social media channels are moderated online discussion sites, not a public forum.

Approved by the Planning Commission, April 24, 2012 

(Summary: Planning Department staff will monitor the site. We welcome public discussion of relevant issues; user comments will not be edited, but inappropriate comments, as defined below, will be deleted. Users must stay on topic and post under their own names.) 

External User Guidelines

  • We do not allow graphic, obscene, explicit, racial or otherwise discriminatory comments or submissions, nor do we allow comments that are abusive, hateful or intended to defame anyone or any organization.
  • We do not allow solicitations or advertisements. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. Similarly, we do not allow attempts to defame or defraud any financial, commercial or nongovernmental agency.
  • We do not allow comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity.
  • Planning Department social media channels are not open to comments promoting or opposing any person campaigning for election to a political office or promoting or opposing any ballot proposition.
  • All Planning Department social media authors and public commentators shall be clearly identified. Anonymous blog postings shall not be allowed. Personal responsibility for comments is assumed, (username & any information provided).
  • We review all comments and reserve the right to discard messages containing inappropriate content.
  • Appearance of external links does not constitute any official endorsement on behalf of the Planning Department.

Comments will not be edited by the Planning Department or its staff. However, only comments that comply with this use policy will be approved for posting. The use of vulgar, offensive, defamatory (personal attacks), threatening or harassing language is prohibited, and comments or user accounts therein are subject to removal.

Public comments on Planning Department-generated content should be limited to comments related to the posted topic. Planning Department social media channels are not the proper place to express opinions or beliefs not directly related to subjects/areas in which the Planning Department conducts its business. If comments left on our social media postings are constructive, we view those posts as an opportunity to discuss, clear up misunderstandings, or otherwise work through whatever issues the person is having.

We encourage comments on content shared via our social media channels, as all viewpoints are welcome, but citizen participation must be constructive. We reserve the right to make editorial decisions regarding submitted comments, including but not limited to removal of comments.

The content of each Planning Department social media channel is owned by and the sole responsibility of the Planning Department (producer and user of the channel).

Documents and articles submitted to a Planning Department social media channel or blog shall be moderated by an authorized and trained moderator (namely, the Planning Department’s public information officer or a designee).

Communications made through e-mail and messaging systems within social media channels will in no way constitute a legal or official notice or comment to the Planning Department (or any official or employee of Planning Department) for any purpose. For example, a post, comment, Tweet, or Facebook IN-mail which asks the Planning Department to provide public records will not be considered a public records request until it is sent through the proper channels.

Comments on plans & work programs to be entered into the public record shall be submitted through traditional means, or the formal planning process.

Inquiries specific to a Planning Department project or program should be submitted directly to the appropriate manager or planner.

As social media is a fast-evolving means of public interface, this policy statement is subject to amendment or modification at any time to ensure its continued use is consistent with its intended purpose as a limited forum. Questions or concerns regarding the Planning Department presence in various social media channels should be directed to the Department’s public information officer at (615)862-7192 or email.