Hawaii State Senate
Social Media Use Policy
Sec. 1.1 Purpose
The Hawaii State Senate supports the use of social media for authorized Senate committees to enable Senate members and committees, Senate staff, and citizens, to communicate and obtain information online in the timeliest manner in the performance of legislative functions. This document communicates policy and guidelines to foster the most appropriate and effective use of social media by the Hawaii State Senate and its members and staff, to ensure appropriate and effective use of social media consistent with and in compliance with the Constitution and laws of the United States and the State of Hawaii.
Sec. 1.2 Definition
Social media (also referred to as Social Networking Services) in the Legislature is defined as the use of web-based media and Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) for communication and obtaining of information by and among members of the Senate, its staff, and citizens in connection with the performance of legislative functions.
Sec. 2.1 Policy
(a) Application. The policies contained herein are intended solely for social media use by members of the Senate and all employees and officers of the Senate relating to or connected with their respective official duties and responsibilities and are not intended to prohibit, limit or otherwise regulate their use of personal social media for personal use. The policies contained herein apply to the Senate's social media accounts and to social media accounts of individual Senators, committees and caucuses that are authorized to be listed on any website of the Senate.
(1) General Rule. The use of social media shall conform to Senate rules, policies, guidelines, procedures; all applicable federal, state, and county laws, ordinances regulations and policies including, but not limited to, copyright, records retention, ethics, campaign, and privacy laws; and shall be professional in nature and limited to legislative purposes; and
(2) Limited Personal Use. During normal business hours, personal communications and obtaining information for personal and incidental uses of social media shall be limited to avoid conflicts or interference with legislative duties and responsibilities.
(c) Security. Senate issued computers, laptops, mobile devices and other hardware, or wireless facility used for social media shall have up-to-date software to protect against destructive technical incidents, including but not limited to cyber, virus, and spyware/adware attacks.
(d) Approved Social Media. Only social media approved by the Senate shall be used.
(e) Content. Information and comments shared through social media shall be limited to the legislature, matters of legislative and current events that are factually accurate, and that are not private, confidential or proprietary in nature. Information and comments to be shared through the social media approved by the Senate shall not include information or comments that are:
(1) Violent, obscene, profane, hateful, or racist;
(2) Personal attacks or abusive;
(3) Threatening, slanderous, or defamatory;
(4) Solicitations, endorsements, or promotions of products, or services of any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency;
(5) Suggestive or encouragement of illegal activity;
(7) Discriminatory on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regards to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation; and
(8) Confidential or personal including, but not limited to:
(i) Information that by law or practice is not available to the public and that an employee acquires in the course of the employee's official duties; or
(ii) Email addresses, telephone numbers, mailing addresses, and identification numbers, such as state or federal employee identification, social security, and drivers' licenses.
Sec. 3.1 Management of Senate Social Media and Approved Social Media Accounts
(a) Senate Social Media. The Senate Communications Office shall manage the Senate social media, and shall:
(1) Regularly monitor the content on the Senate's social media to ensure adherence to the Senate Social Media Use Policy for appropriate use, message and branding consistent with the goals of the Senate;
(2) Wherever possible, direct users of the Senate social media back to the Senate's official website for additional information, forms, documents or online services;
(3) Wherever possible, (in the event that a Senator has a Social Media account authorized by the Senate), and when appropriate and proper, direct users of the Senate social media to the Senator's social media;
(4) Whenever possible, institute available controls or settings to prohibit or limit the ability of the public to post information and comments that are inconsistent or that violate the Senate's social media policy on content of social media;
(5) Regularly monitor the content on the Senate's social media to insure that the use of the Senate social media comply with copyright, fair use and established laws pertaining to materials owned by others, including the use of quotes, images, documents, and links;
(6) Comply with the Hawaii Uniform Information Practices Act at Chapter 92F, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and
(7) Provide specific notice for all users of the Senate social media of the Senate's social media policies.
(b) Social Media Accounts. The Senate Communications Office shall manage the use of social media by individual Senators, by Senate standing or leadership committees, and caucuses that are authorized to establish a social media account that is linked to the Senate's social media. As to the social media accounts that are approved by the Senate, the Senate Communications Office shall:
(1) List each approved social media account and identify the individual Senator and/or employee of the Senator that is responsible for managing the specific social media account;
(2) Insure that each social media account through its individual Senator or responsible managing employee is provided with the Senate's Social Media Use Policy;
(3) Monitor social media accounts on a daily basis to assure compliance with the Senate's Social Media Use Policy, and whenever, in the opinion of the Senate Communications Office, corrective action is needed, inform the individual Senator or employee identified as the person responsible for managing the specific social media account and an officer of the Senate of the corrective action.
Sec. 4.1 User Behavior
(a) Officers and Employees of the Senate. All officers and employees of the Senate that use social media for or related to legislative matters shall do so in conformance with the Senate Social Media Use Policy and in accordance with the same established standards, principles and guidelines in the Senate Administrative and Financial Manual that apply to all Senate employees in the performance of their assigned duties.
(1) Employees shall be authorized to use social media for legislative and/or limited personal or incidental use at the discretion of the supervising Senator, Committee, or Caucus;
(2) Employees authorized to use social media shall do so only within the scope defined by the Senate Social Media Use Policy and in compliance with all Senate Internet use policies; and
(3) Authorized employees representing the Senate, a Senate committee, a caucus, or a Senator via social media that fail to comply with the Senate Social Media Use Policy may be subject to disciplinary action, including termination of employment.
(b) Public Users. To the extent that the social media policies established by the Senate for Senators and the officers and employees of the Senate do not impair or violate any rights guaranteed by the U.S. and State Constitutions and laws, public users should also comply with the Senate policies on social media. The Senate Communications Office shall give notice to all public users of the Senate social media of the Senate's Social Media Use Policy, together with notice that the Senate reserves the right to delete any information or comment that clearly violate the law or the rights of any individual.