Social Media Comment Policy

City of Burlingame's Social Media Comment Policy

This policy shall apply to all comments on the City’s social media accounts and the City’s website (Social Media).  Social Media includes, but is not limited to, Burlingame.org, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Nextdoor.

The City intends to use Social Media solely to communicate events and information the City deems relevant to those inside and outside the community, and to receive public input.

Any Social Media that elicits or allows comments from the public shall be designated as a limited public forum for First Amendment purposes.

1.  The City reserves the right to remove any and all comments, posts, articles, topics, and submittals containing the following prohibited forms of content:

  • Comments not typically related to the topics listed and presented by City staff for Social Media;
  • Profane language or content;
  • Content that promotes, fosters or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics;
  • Obscene or sexual content, or links thereto;
  • Spam or solicitations for commerce;
  • Conduct or direct or indirect encouragement or facilitation of illegal activity;
  • Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems, including malware;
  • Content that violates a copyright or intellectual property interest of any other party;
  • Content that threatens any person or organization;
  • Content in support of or opposition to political campaigns or ballot measures;
  • Content that contains confidential or proprietary information about the City, its employees or vendors, or members of the public.
  • Content that violates another person’s right to privacy;
  • Personal attacks of any kind; and
  • Content that bullies intimidates or harasses any user.
2.  Statements or posts that constitute libel, slander, and/or defamation are prohibited; however, the City is not responsible for determining the truth or veracity of any statement made or comment posted by users of Social Media.

3. Comments submitted to Social Media are monitored. The City reserves the right to remove or restrict any content that is deemed to be in violation of this Social Media Comment Policy or any applicable law. Failure to remove or remove in a particular time shall not constitute a basis for liability or damage.

4.  Activity on Social Media is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policies.

5.  All posts and comments on Social Media are public records subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act.

6.  The City assumes no liability for any inaccuracies Social Media may contain and does not guarantee that access to Social Media will be uninterrupted, permanent, or error-free.

7.  A comment posted by a member of the public on any Social Media is the opinion of the commentator or poster only, and the publication of a comment does not imply endorsement of or agreement by the City.

8.  By posting a comment, users agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless, the City, its officers, elected and appointed officials, contractors, employees, and volunteers from and against all liabilities, judgments, damages, and costs (including attorney’s fees) incurred by any of them which arise out of or are related to content posted by users. If a user does not agree to these terms, the individual shall not use the City’s Social Media, as a violation of these terms may lead to legal liability.

9.  While the City’s Social Media is designated as a limited public forum, the City reserves the right to turn off comments on any and all Social Media.