Vance County, N.C., Commissioners to Vote on Social Media Policy

Members of the county’s technology committee are reviewing policies on how county employees use social media in official and personal capacities.

by Rachael Riley Henderson, Daily Dispatch / November 2, 2017
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(TNS) -- Vance County’s social media policy draft received one more review Monday, before it goes before the entire commissioners’ board next week.

Members of the county’s technology committee went over the policy this week, which addresses how county employees use social media in both their official and personal capacities.

“With social media, the records are public records created there, and so (the policy) gives us some guidance and it also sets the limits for how we use the county pages,” County Manager Jordan McMillen said.

Commissioner Archie Taylor wanted to ensure the policy explicitly states employees are unable to use social social media during county time, either on county or personal devices.

“I want this changed to make sure the wording here is very specific so that an employee cannot assume that they can use their personal phone, personal notebook or whatever,” Taylor said.

County Attorney Jonathan Care said the intent of the policy’s wording is to address “the action,” instead of the “mean of the action.”

“Because there are multiple devices today, and tomorrow there’s going to be more,” Care said.

Commissioner Yolanda Feimster, who is also an attorney, said using personal devices during paid county time for personal use without clocking out is technically fraud.

“You cannot use county time for your own personal use,” Feimster said.

County Information Technology Director Kevin Brown said there are some county departments such as Social Services and the Sheriff’s Office which use social media to monitor as part of their job duties.

I don’t want to see anyone get in trouble for something that’s work-related,” Brown said.

While addressing personal use, the policy would also prohibit employees from expressing negative views about the county in general or about peers, supervisors and subordinates or making social media posts or comments in an official capacity which would “represent the county in a negative light.”

Violations of the social policy would be addressed in the county’s personnel policy.

The policy will be voted on by the full Board of County Commissioners Nov. 6, before it is effective.

©2017 Henderson Daily Dispatch, N.C. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.