Board of Supervisors Social Media Comments Policy
Members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors have established social media accounts for the purpose of sharing information with their constituents and for their constituents to communicate with them. Members of the public are encouraged to engage with members of the Board of Supervisors through social media by submitting comments and questions specifically pertaining to the posted topics. The purpose of this Social Media Comments Policy is to inform members of the public about the rules for such engagement on the social media accounts of members of the Board of Supervisors.
Supervisors and their staff administer their respective social media accounts. Their social media accounts are independently managed from the county’s official social media platforms, which are administered by county staff.
Members of the public who choose to comment in response to posts by members of the Board of Supervisors agree to abide by this policy. Please note, however, that the comments expressed by constituents do not reflect the opinions and positions of the respective Supervisor either as a member of the Board of Supervisors or as an individual.
Supervisors' social media accounts are considered limited public forums. As a result, the Supervisors or a member of their staff reserve the right to remove comments that contain:
- Content that is largely off topic from the posted topic, particularly those that are intended to disrupt a polite and civic dialogue with the Supervisor regarding the posted topics;
- Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity;
- Content that promotes, fosters or perpetuates discrimination against protected classes;
- Content that violates legal ownership interest of any other party, such as copyright or trademark infringement;
- Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems;
- Profane language or content that is commonly understood by the public to be profane and inappropriate during civic discourse; this includes emojis, GIFs and other graphic content;
- Promotions of particular services, products or political candidates or organizations;
- Sexual harassment content;
- Solicitations of commerce or advertisements including promotion or endorsement; or
- Spam or comments that include links to external online sites.
Violators of this policy may have their comments hidden or deleted from a Supervisor's social media account. Continued or egregious violations of this policy may prompt restricting an individual from commenting on a Supervisor's social media account.
Progressive Enforcement Measures
Depending on the severity and persistent nature of a violation of this policy, members of the Board of Supervisors reserve the right to implement one or more of the progressive enforcement measures:
- Provide notice to the commenter about the existence of this social media policy;
- Provide notice to the commenter about a violation of this social media policy;
- Unilaterally hide a comment that in the Supervisor's discretion violates this social media policy;
- Unilaterally delete a comment that in the Supervisor's discretion violates this social media policy. The Supervisor will notify the commenter that such comment has been deleted*; or
- After notification to the commenter* with egregious or persistent violation of this policy, in consultation with county staff, block the commenter from the Supervisor's social media. A blocked commenter may appeal to the Supervisor to be unblocked from the Supervisor's social media.
*Notifications to commenters will be accomplished when practical within the functionality of the social media platform.