To highlight our commitment to transparency in government, the Mass.Gov portal has launched several new web based tools for outreach, education and information. These tools are not intended to replace the channels currently in place for press and constituent communication. Press inquiries should be directed to Alex Zaroulis at alex.zaroulis@state.ma.us or 617-727-2040, and questions or complaints regarding agency services should be directed to The Executive Office for Administration and Finance at contactanf@state.ma.us or 617-727-2040. Rather, these tools are meant to augment our ability to educate, empower, and inform the residents of Massachusetts.

Please note, that Records Retention Law of the Commonwealth requires the Mass.Gov portal team to preserve records created or received by a state employee. Pursuant to this retention requirement comments posted or messages received via an official state agency page on a third-party web-site (such as an official agency profile on a social network) will be treated as state governmental records and may be permanently archived. Information that you submit voluntarily through social media sites associated with this agency where such information is publically available, including your name, city or town, and the substance of anything that you post may be disseminated further by being posted online at this website or be publicly discussed by a member of the administration.

The policies below pertain only to the main Mass.Gov portal content; individual agencies may have different policies. Please be sure to review the privacy policies and terms of use for any social media accounts you access through a link from Mass.Gov as they may differ based on the agency hosting the content.

The information below pertains only to the main Mass.Gov portal:

Blogs

Commonwealth Conversations is the official blog site for Commonwealth agencies. We encourage you to visit these blogs often and participate by subscribing to and commenting on our posts. Please review each particular blog's terms of comment to learn more about how this blog is and is not used by the particular agency. Also note that these blogs are actually hosted by (i) Typepad, and is governed by a separate Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. These policies apply to your use of the Commonwealth Conversations blogs.

As of July 1, 2013, the Mass.gov blogs will be hosted under the subdomain http://blog.mass.gov/ (collectively, the “Blogs”) and will be hosted on WP Engine. WP Engine is also subject to website policies of that provider including its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. These policies apply to your use of the Blogs. The Blogs have their own privacy policy  comment policy, terms of use and linking policy. The Blogs use the Mass.Gov web accessibility statement and this social media policy.  .

Your Third Party Social Media Accounts

Many pages on the Mass.Gov Portal and on the Blogs allow you to interact with your own third party social media accounts on an affirmative basis.  For example, from a post on a Blog, you may click a button to “like” a post on your Facebook™ account or to pin a post to your Pinterest™ account.  Clicking such a third party social media button on the Mass.Gov portal or on a Blog may prompt you to log into the relevant third party social media provider if you are not already logged in and should work in the same manner as if you logged in to the third party social media provider directly (e.g., it may set one or more persistent cookies as a result of logging in).  If you are already logged in, or once you are logged in, to the third party social media provider, the button will facilitate your interaction with that third party social media provider.  Moreover, when you add content from the Mass.Gov Portal or from a Blog to your third party social media account, it is possible that your public account information can be associated with the Mass.Gov Portal or Blog content that you are posting.  For example, if you retweet a Mass.Gov tweet (more information on the Mass.Gov Twitter™ account is at the bottom of this policy), someone could use Twitter to search for keyword in the original tweet and, potentially, see your public account information.

In addition to your interaction with third party social media providers on an affirmative basis, we may use widgets that interact on a limited basis (e.g., by accessing a preexisting persistent cookie) with your third party social media provider solely by virtual of your viewing a web page on the Mass.Gov Portal or on the Blogs.  We will try to note in our privacy policy for the Mass.Gov Portal or for the Blogs when we are using such a third party social media widget.  For example, if we use a Facebook widget to display “Likes,” the widget may check with Facebook when you access the page to see if you have already “Liked” the page.  If you have, the “Like” button may present you with the option of un-“liking” the post.  Similarly, if we use a Twitter widget to display a Twitter feed with a “Follow” option, the widget may check with Twitter to determine if are already “following” that feed and present you with the option to un-“follow” the feed.  In these instances, it is technically possible for the third party social media provider to track your movements across the Mass.Gov Portal and across the Blogs.

These third party social media accounts will be governed by their own separate website policies to which you likely agreed when you signed up.  These website policies usually include a privacy policy and terms of service.  These policies apply to your use of the third party social media account.

RSS Feeds

While you can always check the Mass.Gov portal for regular updates, it's often easier to have information come to you. RSS lets you do just that. When you subscribe to an RSS feed, updates come to you as we post them.

Mass.Gov and many agencies offer RSS feeds to press releases and other relevant news and information. Get more information about RSS feeds and how to use them .

Twitter

To view the Mass.Gov Portal Twitter page, visit www.twitter.com/massgov. Twitter is a free social networking site that allows users to send and read other users' short updates (up to 140 characters in length). While people use Twitter in many different ways for both personal and professional reasons, as a matter of policy:

  • The Mass.Gov use of Twitter is intended as a means to provide announcements and updates on current events or notices to any other users who elect to watch or follow our Twitter feed and to engage with constituents to provide customer service regarding state services.
  • The account is maintained and monitored by members of the Mass.Gov team.
  • We do not as a matter of course follow individuals  who follow us, but we do follow other official government-sponsored Twitter accounts, including official state agency Twitter accounts, media and others as deemed appropriate by Mass.gov.
  • Twitter is one of the many means we're using to connect residents with their government. We'll review and update Twitter as much as possible as we monitor and maintain other channels of feedback.
  • Unless you protect your updates, messages you post on Twitter received by the Agency may be public records and may also be publicly available. Because not everyone knows that we are on Twitter, we occasionally search for 'tweets' that talk about Mass.Gov but don't reference our account, "@massgov" and let that user know about our account. We periodically perform these searches to enable us to more effectively listen to and engage with constituents.
  • The Mass.Gov Portal will not respond via Twitter to press inquiries and reserves the right to respond to resident questions, complaints, or other constituent matters. Please see our help page to find information on reporting a technical issue. We also maintain an list of state agencies and an A-Z Subject Index to help you find the information you are looking for.
  • Also note that this micro-blog is hosted by Twitter and is governed by Twitter's separate website policies, including its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service These policies apply to your use of Twitter.