Social Media Policy Find it Fast


This policy establishes policies for the establishment and use by the City of Petaluma of social media sites (including but not limited to Facebook and Twitter) as a means of conveying City of Petaluma (“City”) information to its citizens.

The intended purpose behind establishing City of Petaluma social media sites is to disseminate information from the City, about the City, to its citizens.

The City of Petaluma has an overriding interest and expectation in deciding what is “spoken” on behalf of the City on City social media sites.

For purposes of this policy, “social media” is understood to be content created by individuals, using accessible, expandable, and upgradable publishing technologies, through and on the Internet. Examples of social media include Facebook, blogs, MySpace, RSS, YouTube, Second Life, Twitter, LinkedIn, Delicious, and Flicker. For purposes of this policy, “comments” include information, articles, pictures, videos or any other form of communicative content posted on a City of Petaluma social media site.

General Policy
  1. The establishment and use by any City department of City social media sites are subject to approval by the City Manager or his/her designees. All City of Petaluma social media sites shall be administered by City of Petaluma departmental staff.
  2. City social media sites shall make clear that they are maintained by the City of Petaluma and that they follow the City’s Social Media Policy.
  3. Wherever possible, City social media sites shall link back to the official City of Petaluma website for forms, documents, online services and other information necessary to conduct business with the City of Petaluma
  4. A department-designated coordinator will monitor content on City social media sites to ensure adherence to both the City’s Social Media Policy and the interest and goals of the City of Petaluma.
  5. The City reserves the right to restrict or remove any content that is deemed in violation of this Social Media Policy or any applicable law. Any content removed based on these policies must be retained by the department's coordinator for a reasonable period of time, including the time, date and identity of the poster, when available. The department shall follow the requirements of the City's document retention policy for retaining content.
  6. These requirements must be displayed to users or made available by hyperlink.
  7. The City will approach the use of social media tools as consistently as possible, enterprise wide.
  8. The City of Petaluma’s website at will remain the City’s primary and predominant internet presence.
  9. All City social media sites shall adhere to applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and policies.
  10. City social media sites are subject to the California Public Records Act. Any content maintained in a social media format that is related to City business, including a list of subscribers, posted communication, and communication submitted for posting, may be a public record subject to public disclosure.
  11. Comments on topics or issues not within the jurisdictional purview of the City of Petaluma may be removed.
  12. Employees representing the City government via City social media sites must conduct themselves at all times as a representative of the City and in accordance with all City policies.
  13. This Social Media Policy may be revised at any time.
  14. The City does not endorse any links or advertisements on its social media sties placed by the site owners, their vendors or partners.
Comment Policy
  1. As a public entity the City must abide by certain standards to serve all its constituents in a civil and unbiased manner.
  2. The intended purpose behind establishing City of Petaluma social media sites is to disseminate information from the City, about the City, to its citizens.
  3. Comments containing any of the following inappropriate forms of content shall not be permitted on City of Petaluma social media sites and are subject to removal and/or restriction by the department's coordinator or his/her designees, or City's IT staff:
    1. Comments not related to the original topic, including random or unintelligible comments;
    2. Profane, obscene, violent, or pornographic content and/or language;
    3. Content that promotes, fosters or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, or national origin;
    4. Defamatory or personal attacks;
    5. Threats to any person or organization;
    6. Comments in support of, or in opposition to, any political campaigns or ballot measures;
    7. Solicitation of commerce, including but not limited to advertising of any business or product for sale;
    8. Conduct in violation of any federal, state or local law;
    9. Encouragement of illegal activity;
    10. Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems; or
    11. Content that violates a legal ownership interest, such as a copyright, of any party.
  4. A comment posted by a member of the public on any City of Petaluma social media site is the opinion of the commentator or poster only, and publication of a comment does not imply endorsement of, or agreement by, the City of Petaluma, nor do such comments necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the City of Petaluma.
  5. The City of Petaluma reserves the right to deny access to City of Petaluma social media sites for any individual, who violates the City of Petaluma’s Social Media Policy, at any time and without prior notice.
  6. Departments shall monitor their social media sites for comments requesting responses from the City and for comments in violation of this policy.
  7. When a City of Petaluma employee responds to a comment, in his/her capacity as a City of Petaluma employee, the employee’s name and title should be made available, and the employee shall not share personal information about himself or herself, or other City employees.
  8. All comments posted to any City of Petaluma Facebook site are bound by Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, located at, and the City of Petaluma reserves the right to report any violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to Facebook with the intent of Facebook taking appropriate and reasonable responsive action.


Contact Information

City Hall
11 English Street (Map It)
Petaluma, CA 94952
Monday - Thursday
Closed Fridays
City of Petaluma Event Hotline: 781-1283

Join Our Email List