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Village Social Media Public Posting Policy

Purpose

The Village of Westmont recognizes that social media services, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, provide a pathway for delivering information to residents, visitors, and community partners about activities, programs, goals and initiatives, news, and other information and material intended to increase public awareness, social capital, and civic engagement.  The immediacy of social media is a natural fit for communicating important messages to the public on short notice, which may include Amber Alerts, safety tips, emergency advisories, and public safety notifications.  The purpose of the Village Social Media Posting Guidelines is to outline the terms and use, prohibited content, and disclaimers as they apply to all Village social media accounts that serve as a communication tool between the Village and the public. Communications and Information Technology division personnel, and their designees, are the administrators of the Village’s main social media account, as well as the social media accounts of individual Village Departments.  

Terms of Use

Social media sites administered by Village staff are limited public forums.  The Village does not make its social media accounts available for general public discourse, but rather reserves and limits the topics that may be discussed on the social media accounts.  All posts and comments made by Social Media Users (any individual or organization with a registered account(s) on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Nextdoor) are subject to the terms and conditions established by the Social Media Host (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Nextdoor), and are also subject to the following terms and conditions established by the Village of Westmont:

  • Users, defined as citizens who sign up for and engage with social media accounts that are created and managed by the Village of Westmont, must review and adhere to the terms of use of the social media host, and the social media policy established by the Village, prior to submitting a post or comment on any social media account maintained by the Village.
  • By posting or commenting on any Village social media account, a user is acknowledging acceptance of all applicable terms of use of the Village and the social media host.
  • Users should be aware that Village staff does not monitor activity on social media accounts 24 hours a day/7 days a week.  Consequently, posts and comments made on Village social media accounts are only periodically monitored by village communications staff or their designee. 
  • Posts made by village staff may be generated in advance and scheduled for release on certain days/times, automatically.  New postings do not always indicate an administrator is active on the site.
  • Village social media accounts are not intended for conducting official business and cannot accommodate a user’s attempt to report concerns or make official inquiries.  Users needing assistance with questions or concerns shall contact the proper Village office or department directly during normal business hours and not via social media. These calls for action and inquiries may include but are not limited to: reporting a crime, requesting emergency and non-emergency police and/or fire response, reporting public utility or infrastructure emergencies (downed power lines, power outages, road hazards, gas leaks, flooding, etc.), reporting code enforcement violations, and requesting information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).  
  • In case of an Emergency or potentially dangerous situation, users should dial 911.
  • To report a crime or suspicious activity, users should dial 911 or call the non-emergency Village Police Department telephone number (630) 981-6300.
  • To report a non-emergency concern regarding code enforcement, new construction, street, sidewalk, or water related issues, users should call the Village’s main number (630) 981-6200 or use the online “Report a Concern” system at: https://www.westmont.illinois.gov/
  • All postings and comments made on Village of Westmont social media sites are voluntary, and made at the user’s own risk.
  • Comments posted by the public on Village social media sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion(s) of the Village. The Village, and its individual departments, neither endorse nor oppose, by its actions or inactions related to restriction, removal or deletion of submissions/postings, the comments/content submitted/posted by others. Social Media Users alone are responsible for their comments, usernames, and/or any information or content they place or attempt to place on village sites.

Prohibited Content

The Communications and Information Technology staff of the Village, and their designees, reserve the right to restrict, remove and delete content and/or block any person, group, or entity submitting and/or repeatedly submitting comment(s)/posting(s) that are contrary to or inconsistent with the purpose of the page, not topically related to particular postings authorized by the Village staff, violate applicable law, and/or violate the applicable terms and conditions of use of the Village and/or the social media host.

Only posts and/or comments consistent with the social media host’s terms of use and the terms of use established by the Village are welcome.  Any information, posts or comments containing the following content will be removed from the social media site:

  • Abusive, profane, threatening, insulting, false, defamatory, slanderous, libelous, hateful, harassing or stalking, racist, sexist, misogynistic, bigoted, homophobic, vulgar, obscene, violent, pornographic or sexual, inappropriate or offensive, and/or criminal or unlawful language or content;
  • Content not topically related to a particular posting generated by Village staff.
  • Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, marital status, familial status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, source of income, or other protected status under applicable law;
  • Content that constitutes or includes solicitation of commerce or promotion and/or advertisement of/for a business or commercial transaction, including but not limited to "spam" and other commercial content submitted/posted by individuals, groups, entities, or automatic software programs;
  • Comments that constitutes, conducts, solicits, promotes, encourages or incites criminal or illegal activity or comments that otherwise incite imminent lawless action;
  • Content that constitutes or includes an inappropriate and/or unauthorized disclosure of personal data or private/personal information about any individual, including but not limited to address, phone number, social security number and other sensitive information;
  • Content that may tend to compromise the safety and security of the public or public systems;
  • Content that constitutes or includes copyrighted or trademarked material and/or content that violates the legal ownership interest of another party, submitted or posted without proper authorization or consent;
  • Comments in support of or opposition to political campaigns or ballot measures;
  • Photographs, videos, audio recordings and/or similar media or links to other pages or websites is, except when posted and/or approved by village staff, strictly prohibited.  If a user has photos, videos, audio recordings and/or similar media that the user wants to share with the Village or think a Village department would like to share on their social media site, please contact the Village’s Communications Department at 630-981-6245 or .

Disclaimer

The Village of Westmont disclaims any and all responsibility and liability for any materials or content that Village staff deems inappropriate for posting. The Village shall make efforts to remove said materials in an expeditious or otherwise timely manner, but disclaims liability if circumstances exist that prevent or hinder efforts to remove said materials.

"Friending," "liking," and/or similar exchanges/actions between individual Village employees and a social media site user does not indicate endorsement of that user's actions or comments.

Postings on the Village’s main social media site, or individual Village departments’ social media sites, may reference copies of public records of the Village. The original public records may be subject to disclosure under the State of Illinois' Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  Comments and activity on our social media sites are generally not public records and not subject to the FOIA, however, “unique” information contained in social media postings by the Village may be subject to FOIA.  Public comments or posts on the Village’s social media sites are not considered public records and are not subject to FOIA. The Village follows state guidelines and requirements for the retention of original copies of local government records.  

The Village reserves the right to amend these Guidelines and terms of use at any time.  If the Village determines that any social media outlet is ineffective or is not feasible to maintain, the Village reserves the right to remove it.