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Social Media Policy

Social Media Platforms. This document constitutes the Office of the Governor’s Social Media Policy (the “Policy”). As described below, this Policy applies to the following social media platforms:

Purposes. The social media platforms promote and disseminate information about Gov. Andy Beshear’s initiatives, events, and personnel announcements. These platforms exist for discussion with and among social media users about any topic related to governmental concerns. The Office of the Governor reserves the right to review, hide, and/or delete comments on all of the Governor’s official social media platforms, consistent with this Policy.

The Office of the Governor at all times strives to uphold users’ right to Freedom of Speech. It is the Office of the Governor’s policy to allow vigorous and robust public discourse on its social media platforms.
 

Comments.

“Comments” mean all public discourse, interaction and communication on social media platforms including but not limited to likes, comments, shares, messages, tags, replies and retweets.

The Office of the Governor is interested to hear the Comments of users on each of those social media platforms the Office elects to use. This policy is intended to maintain Comments on the Governor’s social media platforms in a manner that is viewpoint neutral.

However, the Office of the Governor may report the user and/or temporarily restrict access to the Office of the Governor’s social media platforms for violating the Rules set forth in this Policy below, and may report the user or the user’s comments to a social media platform for comments if the Governor’s Office believes in good faith the comments may violate the social media platform’s terms of service or rules, and may hide or otherwise block the reported comments from the Office of the Governor’s social media platforms during the time of such a report. Further, social media platforms may have automated mechanisms that hide or otherwise block comments which are beyond the control of the Office of the Governor.

In addition to restricting further user access in accord with this Policy, the Office of the Governor may hide or delete Comments, as applicable to the respective platform, if they contain, constitute, or link to any of the following, which collectively shall be “Prohibited Content”:

  • Malicious or harmful software;
  • Advertisements, promotions, or solicitations of a commercial product or service;
  • Confidential, personally identifying, or private information;
  • Material that, taken as a whole: appeals to the prurient interest in sex; describes or portrays sexual conduct in a patently offensive way; or contains explicit sexual content that does not have serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value;
  • Threatening statements within the meaning of KRS 508.075 to 508.0801 or harassment within the meaning of KRS 525.070(1)(a), (b), (d), (e), or (f); or
  • SPAM, consisting of disruptive and repetitive unsolicited messages sent indiscriminately on the Internet to a large number of recipients or posted in a large number of places.
     

Rules. The following rules apply to the social media platforms:

  • Any content removed pursuant to this Policy will be retained by the Office of the Governor for one year.
  • Upon the Office of the Governor discovering that users may have made Comments containing Prohibited Content, such users may be immediately blocked, and remain blocked for a time period of up to 48 hours, in order for the Office of the Governor to make a determination as to whether the users have made Comments containing Prohibited Content.
  • Users may be temporarily restricted, for a period not longer than six months, from the social media platforms if they make Comments containing Prohibited Content, subject to the following: 1) a user’s access shall only be restricted from the social media platform on which the user made the Comment containing Prohibited Content; and 2) the user has repeatedly and consistently violated this Policy or the Office of the Governor reasonably believes the user will repeatedly and consistently violate this Policy.
  • If the Office of the Governor restricts any person’s access to social media platforms under either of the two preceding paragraphs, it must provide written notice to the restricted individual (provided the user’s contact information is available on the social media platform) that informs such individual of the restriction and the procedure by which a blocked user may be unblocked from the Office of the Governor’s social media accounts.
  • The Office of the Governor shall retain a record of the reason for restricting that person’s access for one year.
  • To appeal the restriction of access to a social media platform, the user must submit to the attention of the Social Media Director using the Contact Us form on this website a written statement providing grounds for reinstatement. Requests shall be responded to on a reasonably timely basis, and access shall be restored if it is determined that the grounds for reinstatement are sufficient. A statement that the user will abide by this Policy in the future shall be sufficient, except when a user has continued to violate the Policy after having made such a statement. In the latter case, the user must submit a written statement providing grounds for reinstatement, and access shall be restored if it is determined the grounds for reinstatement are sufficient.
  • Any denial of restatement by the Office of the Governor shall also be done in writing and specifically describe the grounds for denial.
  • Any user denied reinstatement is entitled to seek reinstatement after three months.
  • The Office of the Governor shall notify the public of any changes to this Policy and identify the changes.
     

Public Records and Retention. Any content removed or hidden pursuant to this Policy will be retained for one year. The Office of the Governor’s social media platforms are subject to applicable public records and records management laws. Any record maintained on or regarding the Office of the Governor’s social media platforms, including Comments and restriction appeals, will be maintained consistent with the Kentucky Open Records Act.
 

User-generated content. The Office of the Governor reserves the right to monitor the social media platforms, but is not responsible for content generated by users on these platforms nor is user-generated content government speech. A Comment is the opinion of the commentator only. Publication of a Comment does not imply endorsement of, or agreement by, the State of Kentucky or Governor Beshear. Comments and content should be understood to be entirely public, and users should not write Comments with any information that they consider, or would like to keep, confidential. The Office of the Governor is not responsible for content removed or hidden by any social media platform.
 


  1. Users that make express or implied threats of violence or to public safety may be reported to the Kentucky State Police for investigation.

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