Social Media and the First Amendment Training

social media
SM and the First Amendment

What do you do when a comment appears on your social media feed that’s contrary to your agency’s values or ignites controversy among the public? Or when an elected official demands to have comments removed from a city social channel? Do you know what you can (and cannot) post on social media during a crisis like a pandemic or civil unrest? How do you create a practical social media policy? 

Learn about:

  • Whether your social media is a “public forum.”
  • What social media content is protected as free speech 
  • How to write a social media policy that withstands a legal challenge
  • When you can delete comments 
  • When you can block users 
  • Best practices to avoid successful legal challenges 

Knowing how the First Amendment applies to your social media feeds can protect you from lawsuits, legal fees, and damages.

Who: Public sector employees from local, state, and federal governments, school districts, colleges and universities
When: April 5, 2023, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Valdez Convention and Civic Center
Cost: $195 per attendee

To register for this training, complete the online Social Media and the First Amendment Registration Form.

Training Fee Payment

To make payment, please contact City Hall at 907.835.4313. Credit card, cash/money order, or check payments are accepted. Purchase orders will not be accepted. Credit card payments will be taken over the phone or in person. Check, or money orders can be dropped off in person at City Hall (212 Chenega Avenue) or mailed to the following address:
City of Valdez - City Hall
P.O. Box 307
Valdez, AK 99686

Facilitator Bio

MRWheadshot (002)Mark Weaver is an attorney and government communications expert with three decades of experience across the country. Starting his career as a city public information officer, he rose to become a communications director with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and then a spokesman for the United States Department of Justice in Washington. After working as a national communications consultant in D.C., he accepted an appointment as the Deputy Attorney General of Ohio. He managed all the communications and web staff for that office.

Mr. Weaver’s work as an attorney informs all he does, which is particularly helpful to private and public sector clients during high-profile litigation that threatens an organization’s reputation. He has worked with many public and private sector clients on PR, media relations, social media strategy, and crisis communications. He has lectured around the country on a variety of communications, legal, and social media topics to many different kinds of agencies and organizations, such as the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, the American Bar Association, the National Fraternal Order of Police, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Columbus, Lifeline of Columbus, Mount Carmel Health System, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, the Michigan Supreme Court, Public Relations Society of America Counselors for Higher Education (PRSA CHE) Senior Summit, Emergency Services Public Information Officers of Colorado (ESPIOC) Annual Conference, and Government Social Media Annual Conference (GSMCON) and Social for Safety Conference (S4SCON).


Please email  Ana Hinkle, Communications Director, for questions regarding the training or call 907.834.3400.