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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

City Council Bans Social Media During Meetings

The Rochester City Council recently enacted a ban on tweeting and other social media activities during City Council meetings. The policy came after one of the city council members tweeted about a council discussion of a vacant house that had become a public hazard. After concerns were raised about the appropriateness of the tweets, the mayor suggested that the council members impose the ban.  You can read more about the ban and see the inappropriate tweets here
Rochester isn't the only government considering or adopting similar bans. Some government boards have found that social media activities by members can be distracting during meetings. Others are concerned that these activities might implicate open meetings laws. In Illinois, electronic communications during meetings (even on privately-owned devices) are subject to release under the Freedom of Information Act, leading some Illinois governments to adopt policies prohibiting or discouraging social media or other electronic communications by board members during meetings.

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