The City of Valdez's use of social media is provided as a public service and communication tool for the Valdez community. The City is active on various social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Follow the City or topic-specific accounts for news, photos, event information, and more.
Social Media - Terms and Conditions
The City of Valdez has an important interest in assuring the accuracy and consistency of information associated with the City’s social media sites. The City also respects the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the constitutional right to freedom of speech. The following terms and conditions establish guidelines for the public’s use of social media that balances these values.
- These terms and conditions apply to all City social media sites. Where possible, a link to these terms and conditions will be made available as a hyperlink or posted as text somewhere on City social media account(s).
- City social media accounts are not monitored 24/7 and no one should utilize City social media accounts to seek emergency services. Anyone in need of emergency help should call 9-1-1.
- The City does not guarantee response to comments or messages sent on City social media accounts.
- The leaders of the City of Valdez believe that honest, civil, and productive discussions provide the best environment for citizens to understand the work of their government and participate in constructive engagement.
- The City asks users to consider that City social media feeds may be viewed by children and other impressionable people. Please avoid profanity, personal attacks, bullying, or use of incorrect information.
- Limited Public Form - The City’s social media accounts are created and maintained as limited public forums under caselaw pertaining to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The City invites members of the public to view and, where possible, provide comments or other engagement on City social media accounts. However, the law permits the City to hide and/or delete comments that are not protected speech under the First Amendment and relevant caselaw. As a general rule, the City will not hide and/or delete comments solely because such comments are critical of the City of Valdez or its officials.
- Prohibited Content - Relevant First Amendment caselaw permits the City of Valdez to hide or delete certain comments on City social media accounts. The following will be hidden or deleted:
- Comments directly advocating violence or illegal activity;
- Comments containing obscenity, which is defined as sexually explicit and/or pornographic content that is patently offensive, appeals to prurient interest, and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value;
- Comments that directly promote or advocate that the City illegally discriminate based on race, age, religion, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other legally protected class;
- Comments containing links to malware and/or malicious content that affects the normal functioning of a computer system, server, or browser;
- Duplicate comments posted repeatedly within a short period of time;
- Comments containing actual defamation against a person, either as determined by a court or comments that are patently defamatory by easily discovered facts;
- Comments that contain images or other content that violate the intellectual property or copyright rights of someone else, if the owner of that property notifies the City that the property was posted in a comment on City social media account(s);
- Comments that contain a hyperlink to any website other than those controlled by the City of Valdez. This will be done without regard to the viewpoint of the comment containing such a link or the content of the site to which the link redirects.
When a comment containing any of the above content is posted to City social media account(s), a copy or electronic record of that content may be retained or archived pursuant to the City’s records retention policy, along with a brief description of the reason the specific content was deleted. Once documented, the content will be removed, where possible, from City social media account(s).
Right of Appeal
- If City staff hides or deletes a user’s comment pursuant to these terms and conditions, the user has the right to appeal that decision by sending an email or letter to the Communications Department (email@example.com) within five business days. This correspondence will provide the user with an explanation for the action taken.
- Upon receipt of an appeal, the City attorney will determine whether the comment at issue contained content protected by the First Amendment. If the appeal is successful, the comment may (if possible) be restored for public view, or the user may be permitted to repost the comment. Upon a determination that the comment was not protected by the First Amendment, the user will be notified that the appeal was denied.
Blocking or Banning a User
- When the City determines that a user has violated these terms and conditions on three or more occasions within a 12-month rolling period, the City may block or ban the offending user from the social media account where the violations occurred.
- If the City blocks or bans a user, the City will (a) reasonably attempt to notify the user; (b) describe the violation(s); and (c) explain the appeal process.
- If the appeal is successful and the user has not violated this policy three times within the rolling 12-month period, the City will unblock or unban the user from the social media account. If the appeal is not successful, the City’s decision will stand.