Mass.gov® Social Media Policy
To highlight our commitment to transparency in government, Mass.gov provides 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. Rather, these tools are meant to augment our ability to educate, empower, and inform the residents of Massachusetts. Social Media inquiries should be directed to Sam Mathius at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that Records Retention Law of the Commonwealth requires the Mass.gov 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 information below pertains only to Mass.gov.
Your third-party social media accounts
Many pages on Mass.gov 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 Mass.gov 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 Mass.gov or from a Blog to your third-party social media account, it is possible that your public account information can be associated with Mass.gov 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 a keyword in the original tweet and, potentially, see your public account information.
While you can always check Mass.gov 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.
To view the Mass.gov 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.
- Mass.gov will not respond via Twitter to press inquiries and reserves the right to respond to resident questions, complaints, or other constituent matters.
To view the Mass.gov Facebook page, visit www.facebook.com/massgov. While people use Facebook in many different ways for both personal and professional reasons, as a matter of policy:
- The Mass.gov use of Facebook is intended as a means to provide announcements and updates on current events or notices to any other users who elect to “Like” our Facebook page and to engage with constituents to provide customer service regarding state services.
- The account is maintained and monitored by members of the Mass.gov social media team.
- Facebook is one of the many means we're using to connect residents with their government. We'll review and update Facebook as much as possible as we monitor and maintain other channels of feedback.
- Unless you protect your updates, messages, or comments you post to Mass.gov’s Facebook page may be public records and may also be publicly available.
- We expect conversations to follow the rules of polite discourse and we ask that participants treat each other, as well as our employees, with respect. The following comments will be removed if posted:
- Profanity and vulgar or abusive language
- Threats of physical or bodily harm
- Sensitive information (for example, information that could compromise public safety)
- Offensive terms that target protected classes, such as ethnic, racial sexual orientation, transgendered, or religious groups
- Any other comments found by the Mass.gov social media team to be offensive, inappropriate, or illegal
- For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain “on-topic.” This means that comments must relate to the topic that is being discussed within the particular social media site.
- Mass.Gov will not respond via Facebook to press inquiries but will try to respond to resident questions, complaints, or other constituent matters when an answer is readily available, or refer people to the proper Executive Office.
To both increase transparency and save money on photo hosting and streaming, Mass.gov publishes photo content, to our Instagram account at https://instagram.com/massgov
Mass.gov is responsible solely for the content uploaded to the official Instagram account, and not for any related videos or linked photos linked from other users, nor for any advertising or other content contained on the Instagram application or website.
If you use any of our photos for another work, such as a story, blog post, printing, etc., we require that you provide credit by stating at or near the photo, "Photo courtesy of [insert description of credit]."