Facebook Comment Spurs Look Into Social Media Policy
A comment posted on the Internet social media website Facebook has resulted in Fulton County officials looking into a policy on the issue for county employees.
This newspaper was contacted by a man who is a client of the Fulton County Department of Job and Family Services, who complained about a comment made by an employee of the department.
The comment, posted on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 8:55 pm, stated, “uhhh... apparently, this festive holiday season brings out the crazies at my job.”
The man said he felt insulted, because he believed the FCDJFS employee had just called him and other clients “crazy.”
The comment was still visible on the employee’s Facebook
“wall” on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
When this newspaper asked Anita Smith, interim director of FCDJFS about the employee posting via email, she said, “The issue has been taken care of.”
Vond Hall, Fulton County administrator, said on Thursday, Jan. 4, that after the Buckeye’s inquiry, the employee removed the comment and had changed her Facebook privacy settings to restrict access to her Facebook page.
“She feels bad about it,” Hall said.
Hall said Smith is planning to call a meeting of JFS employees next week.
At that meeting, the use of social media will be discussed.
Fulton County does not have a policy concerning employees and social medial.
As a result, he said he polled other county administrators throughout the state, asking if they had policies.
As of Monday, he had received copies of policies from Hamilton and Portage counties, the City of Montgomery, and a law firm that works with Fulton County.
“Everybody has said, ‘be very cautious about violating first amendment rights,” Hall said.
In addition, Hall said he plans to investigate to determine if any employees are accessing social media accounts while at work, using county-owned computers or Internet connections.–David Pugh