Council Policy 1-12 Social Media User Policy

DISTRIBUTION: General Public


SUBJECT: City of Lawton Social Media User Policy


PURPOSE: To establish and make clear the intended use and expectations of the “Lawton Oklahoma, City Government” Facebook page and any other official, City of Lawton social media pages – when applicable – for both administrators and users of said webpage. 


BACKGROUND: Social media pages created on behalf of the City of Lawton and run by any City of Lawton employees serve as a means to keep citizens and visitors updated on information and events throughout the City of Lawton. They will be monitored daily by employees designated by the City Manager’s Office. In an effort to maintain a professional and user-friendly online environment and to better monitor public information, administrative regulations and expectations are set forth herein for all City of Lawton online followers. This document is readily available on applicable web pages and forums, under listings of Council policies.




A. General


1. City of Lawton social media accounts and pages are created to provide a means to keep citizens and visitors updated on information and events throughout the City of Lawton.


2. All official City of Lawton accounts will be designated by the City seal or an official City department logo that has been approved by the City Manager's Office.


3. City of Lawton page users have the discretion to “like” and “unlike” or “follow” and “unfollow” the page as many times or as often as they wish.


4. These pages are regulated online forums in which general rules of civility and politeness will be practiced.


5. Users of such pages do not generally have the ability to initiate comment threads; only to respond to threads created by the City of Lawton. Any comments submitted to City of Lawton social media pages are in the public domain.


6. By “liking” or “following” a page, a user agrees to abide by the guidelines set forth in this social media policy when applicable.


7. By commenting on a City page, users agree not to misrepresent themselves, their identity or affiliation.


8. By “liking” or “following” a City page, a user waives ownership and other rights to material, images or comments posted on said page. The City is granted perpetual, non-exclusive, license to use, copy, transmit, excerpt, publish, distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, create derivative works of, host, index, cache, tag, encode, modify and adapt in any form or media now known or hereinafter developed, any submission posted on such sites. Users waive any right in having the material altered or changed; users consent to posted materials for display on the site and for related online and offline promotional uses.


9. All citizen-posted comments reflect the views of the author and not necessarily the views or position of the City.


10. The appearance of external links on City of Lawton social media pages does not constitute official endorsement by the City.


B. Regulations


1. Postings in violation of outlined regulations will be subject to immediate removal by page administration with the potential of the poster being banned from further use of the webpage without notice.


2. Postings of a sexual nature, involving racial slurs, the making of intentionally false or malicious statements, the endorsement of any political candidates or ballot propositions, the promotion of illegal activity, the posting of threats, or containing solicitations, general spam or the use of profanity will not be tolerated.


3. Postings that promote, foster or perpetuate discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation will not be tolerated.


4. Posted information with the potential to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems will not be tolerated.


5. Posted copyright material without proper consent will not be tolerated.


6. Off-topic comments, arguments or postings meant to incite arguments will not be tolerated; an entire thread of comments including postings from individuals not associated with the argument itself may be removed in order to restore an air of civility.


7. Personal attacks of any kind will not be tolerated.


8. Appropriate law enforcement authorities will be notified of users who post or convey threats to an individual or any city departments, employees, or the like.


C. Primary Communication


1. City of Lawton page users should not use social media forms to report emergency or time-sensitive issues.


2. Individuals with specific issues involving managers, directors, superintendents or City of Lawton employees at any level should be aware that the City of Lawton’s social media pages are not the appropriate venue to resolve such issues. Those situations can be properly handled by contacting the appropriate division, department or site, or by contacting the City Manager’s Office.


3. Lawton City Hall, 212 SW Ninth Street, is the primary administrative office for the City of Lawton. Lawton City Hall is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, with the exception of designated holidays or any other designated closure days.


4. Social media comments will not be considered formal public comment. To ensure your comment is included in official record, submit such comments to applicable City departments or before the Lawton City Council.


5. A valid list of phone numbers and addresses is available on all official City of Lawton social media pages.


6. Posters may be messaged directly from a City official if or when such responses are warranted, or when personal information should be obtained to navigate an issue. A record of these dialogues will be maintained.




EFFECTIVE DATE: January 24, 2018







Fred Fitch