Social Media Policy

Crow Wing County uses social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, as a means to provide two-way communication with the public. This policy establishes guidelines for the use of social media, for official business, by Crow Wing County offices/departments. Social media services and tools are powerful and effective way to communicate quickly and broadly, share information, and interact with the public. These technologies are used to reach a wider audience and to facilitate and enhance professional collaboration and communication. Crow Wing County social media sites are authorized solely for the office/department to express its views as an organization and provide information, and not to create a public forum. 

Content Management

Crow Wing County staff will monitor content and comments on social media to ensure adherence to our social media policy and the interest and goals of Crow Wing County. For purposed of this policy, “comments” include information, articles, pictures, videos or any other form of communicative content posted on Crow Wing County social media sites. Staff representatives will be authorized to create, edit and delete posts. Some events, occasion and topics may influence more updates and participation than others. Staff representatives will have a daily presence on the social media sites during normal business hours to monitor activity and respond to messages and comments.  

General Policy

  • A designated staff representative from the office/department may monitor content on the social media sites to ensure adherence to both the Social Media Policy and the interest and goals of Crow Wing County.
  • Social Media guidelines shall be displayed and made readily available to users.
  • The Crow Wing County website will remain the primary and predominant internet presence for official department business, contact, assistance, and information.
  • All social media sites maintained by Crow Wing County offices/departments shall adhere to applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policies.
  • Any content maintained in a social media format related to official county business that documents the function of that office, posted communications, and communication submitted for posting, may be considered accessible to the public and therefore not retained by Crow Wing County.
  • Social media content may be removed if it is deemed in violation of the Social Media Policy or any applicable law.
  • Any blog post, comment, Facebook post, Tweet, etc. removed from a social media page that is a public record must be kept in accordance with the Crow Wing County General Retention Schedule.
  • Employees are representing Crow Wing County through these social media sites, and shall conduct themselves at all times as a representative of the County and in accordance with the Crow Wing County Personnel Policy.

Comment Policy

These sites are intended to serve as a mechanism for Crow Wing County offices/departments to communicate to the public the message of the office/department.

In the event the office/department creates a discussion thread, that thread is solely dedicated to the limited topic and any irrelevant or harassing posts may be removed from public view. As a public entity, all Crow Wing County offices/departments must abide by certain standards to serve all its constituents in a civil and unbiased manner. Accordingly, the county office/department may review any comment posted, and remove those comments that violate this social media policy. These sites are not created as public forums, but as a way for the office/department to express its message to the public. Communications made to the office/department via a social media site will in no way constitute legal or official notice or serve as a channel for formal or official communication, [e.g. the public may not use these sites to request public records].

A comment posted by a member of the public on any Crow Wing County social media site is the opinion of the commenter or poster only, and publication does not imply endorsement of, or agreement by, Crow Wing County offices/departments, nor do such comments necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Crow Wing County as a whole.

Comments posted to social media may be monitored during regular business hours, and comments requesting responses and in violation of this policy may be removed at any time. When a Crow Wing County employee responds to a comment, in their capacity as a Crow Wing County employee, the employees name and title shall be made available, upon request, and the employee shall not share personal information about themselves, or other County employees. Perceived misuse by an employee should be reported directly to the Human Resources Department, who will make a determination of appropriate discipline.

All comments posted to any Crow Wing County social media sites are bound to the respected sites’ Terms of Service, Statement of Rights, User Agreement, etc. and the Board Crow Wing County Commissioners reserves the right to report any violation of these agreements with the intent of said site taking appropriate and reasonable responsive action. Crow Wing County reserves the right to remove inappropriate comments containing, but not limited to the following types of content:

  • Vulgar, profane, obscene, violent, or offensive language and sexual content or links to sexual content;
  • Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, national origin, military status, disability, genetic information, or sexual orientation;
  • Disturbs the ability of the office/ department to express its message;
  • An inordinate amount of staff involvement or resources;
  • Violation of any laws;
  • Spam or solicitations of commerce, including but not limited to advertisements of a vendor’s products or services;
  • Infringement upon copyrights or trademarks;
  • Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems;
  • Defamatory or personal attacks;
  • Threats to any person or organization;

The purpose of this clause allowing for the removal of public comment is to preserve the right of the office/department to express its views and activities without being subject to comments that would violate the law or the community’s standards.

Policy Changes

The County reserves the right to change this policy or to impose new conditions on use of the Website at any time. It is the responsibility of individual visitors to inform themselves and monitor the terms of use during each visit.

Adopted by Crow Wing County Board 5/14/19