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Fairfield’s Social Media Policy Attracts the Attention of Maine’s ACLU

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

This is a fascinating story. The town of Fairfield has a new policy about what their employees cannot do on their own social media accounts. You know, like Facebook and Twitter. The Maine ACLU says it goes too far in and limits free speech.

I find it fascinating because I really see both sides of this issue.  According to the Morning Sentinel the policy covers obscene or explicit language or images, comments that would negatively affect the public perception of the town and its departments; sharing facts or information that is not meant to be public. Things like that. And violators are subject to discipline up to and including termination. And if one town employee know of another town employee violating the policy, they are tell their supervisor about the incident.

It was not hard for me to see why the Maine’s American Civil Liberties Union had some concerns.  It is not that I disagree with the the town of Fairfield is trying to do. I live it every day.  What I choose to post or not post on my Facebook page goes through filter. But it is MY filter. I assume my employer has a policy of some sort (I might want to check on that) but I also feel I am reasonable person and can self govern. There have been many times I have typed a post or update only to rethink what I was about to say.  I still have my opinion, I just have chosen NOT to share it with a smaller circle, if I share it at all.

There are policies like this in place in other work settings and changes are the language of this policy just needed to be worked out to convey the policy and not take away rights. But it gets one to think and talk about these things. That is always a good thing.

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