DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AND THE AIR FORCE
HEADQUARTERS KANSAS NATIONAL GUARD
2722 SOUTHWEST TOPEKA BOULEVARD
TOPEKA, KS 66611- 1287
NGKS-TAG 6 January 2020
MEMORANDUM FOR SEE DISTRIBUTION
SUBJECT: TAG Policy Letter #34, Guidance and Parameters for Use of Social Media
- State of Kansas Social Media Policy, 12 December 2018
- DoD 5230.09, Clearance of DoD Information for Public Release, 25 January 2019
- Army Regulation 25-1 Army Information Management, 25 June 2013
- Army Regulation 25-2, Information Assurance, 4 April 2019
- Army Regulation 530-1 Operations Security, 26 September 2014
- Army Regulation 360-1 The Army Public Affairs Program, 25 May 2011
- Air Force Instruction 35-101 Public Affairs Responsibilities and Management, 12 January 2016
- Air Force Instruction 35-104 Media Operations, 22 May 2017
- Purpose: The purpose of this memorandum is to define the purpose of social media, establish appropriate guidelines for the use of social media by employees of the Kansas Adjutant General's Department and establish the Adjutant General's Department Public Affairs Office as the approval authority for social media platforms.
- Agency: The Kansas Adjutant General's Department , herein after referred to as the Agency, has oversight of the Kansas Army and Air National Guard and the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. This policy will maximize the effectiveness of social media as an Agency communication tool, while applying security and privacy safeguards for the Agency and individual users.
- Background: The Kansas Adjutant General's Department, Kansas National Guard and the Kansas Division of Emergency Management have an official presence on the web. The web and social media platforms are used to keep our stakeholders informed and educated about who we are, what we do and why the organization is important to them.
- Definition and Purpose of Social Media: All forms of electronic communication, by which individuals and organizations share information, ideas, messages and other content with people through public or private channels, including, but not limited to: websites, Facebook, lnstagram, Twitter, YouTube, biogs and mobile apps.
- Social media is a powerful tool that allows us, as an Agency, to stay in contact with our stakeholders, share information and distribute other content relevant to those stakeholders. Social media is only powerful if given attention and time. It is important that assigned editors and contributors for any social media platform keep the audience engaged by liking, sharing, commenting and posting.
- It is important we maintain a uniform quality and credibility throughout all of the Agency platforms. This will help us build value and trust for our Agency and ultimately help with recruiting and retention of Soldiers, Airmen and civilian staff.
- Approval Authority: The Adjutant General's Public Affairs Office, herein referred to as TAG PAO, is the Agency's approval authority for Agency information disseminated to the public or posted in a public website or on a social media platform on behalf of the organization or its members.
- TAG PAO staff will serve as Facebook administrators. Administrators are the only ones allowed to set page roles, which protects the Agency from disgruntled employees locking TAG PAO out of pages and deleting pages. All other contributors will be designated as editors. Editors can perform all tasks an administrator can except change page roles and delete pages. With the Director/MSC/Wing Commander's input/approval, TAG PAO will grant access for site editors.
- All new Agency social media platforms for official use, once approved, will be established and created by the TAG PAO. Once established, editors and moderators will be added per commander's request.
- TAG PAO reserves the right to delete pages/social media accounts that were created for official use without prior approval.
- Social Media Guidelines and Parameters
- All employees of the Agency are required to maintain operational security and will not disclose sensitive information on Agency or personal social media sites. For example, employees may not discuss issues, items or details which violate Personnel Privacy or OPSEC rules on social media sites, just as in every other area of communication. This includes any tactical field operation that is occurring or being planned in support of l9cal response and recovery to an emergency or disaster.
- Agency policies, rules, regulations, and standards of conduct apply to Agency employees and Kansas National Guard members who engage in social networking activities while conducting business. Use of Agency/Guard email/internet and or communication in your official capacity will constitute Guard/Agency business.
- Updating and posting to the organization's social media sites must be done with supervisor's knowledge, with adherence to human resource policies, counted as employee work time and not in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Employees/Guardsmen must follow all privacy protection laws (e.g. HIPAA) and protect sensitive Agency information.
- Employees/Guardsmen must follow all copyright laws, public record laws, retention laws, fair use and financial disclosure laws, and other laws that apply to the organization.
- Employees/Guardsmen should not post products that could be construed as endorsement.
- lnformation should not be released via social media unless it has been verified as factual using the standard approval process for releasing information (i.e. commander or other leadership signed off or TAG PAO approved it through leadership). Since social media does not adhere to normal business hours, it is necessary to provide an expectation of service with a framework for response times. If a response is possible within normal business hours, it should be provided as soon as possible. If a question or post occurs after hours and a response cannot immediately be provided, a response should be provided no later than the next business day. Information will also be posted on each social media site regarding under what circumstances a post may be hidden, such as:
- Comments not topically related to the particular site
- Profane language
- Sexual content or links to sexual content
- Solicitations of commerce
- Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity
- Information that may compromise the safety or security of the public, public systems, the organization, or its employees and National Guard members
- Content that violates legal ownership interest of any party
- Content that reflects negatively on the Kansas Adjutant General's Department, Kansas National Guard, Kansas Division of Emergency Management, Civil Air Patrol and/or Kansas Homeland Security and its employees/Guard members
- Information that violates operational security
- Information protected by HIPAA
- TAG PAO will regularly monitor the content of Agency social media sites using established public social media monitoring tools and has the right to hide inappropriate material posted on the sites as outlined in this policy. If any Kansas Adjutant General's Department employees or Kansas National Guard members see posts which raise concerns for them, they should contact TAG PAO immediately.
- If media inquiries are received via the unit page, they should immediately be referred to TAG PAO (firstname.lastname@example.org) for response.
- Employees of the Agency and members of the Kansas National Guard may have personal social media sites, but these may not be represented as an official Agency or National Guard site. For example, John Smith may have a Facebook page. However, if Private John Smith, Kansas Army National Guard, has a Facebook page, it may cross the line from individual citizen to an official capacity, and anything stated on this site could be construed as an official statement from the Kansas Adjutant General's Department or Kansas National Guard.
- Civilian and military personnel may generally express their personal views on public issues or political candidates via personal social media platforms, much the same as they would be permitted to write a letter to the editor of a newspaper . When expressing a personal opinion, if personnel are identified by a social media site as Department of Defense/Adjutant General's Department employees, the posting must clearly and prominently state that the views expressed are those of the individual only and not of the Department of Defense or Agency. Active-duty military members and civilian employees are prohibited from participating in partisan political activity. Therefore, while these employees may "follow," "friend," or "like" a political party or candidate running for partisan office, they may not post links to "share" or "re-tweet" comments or tweets from the Facebook page or Twitter account of a political party or candidate running for partisan office. Such activity is deemed to constitute participation in political activities.
- As the Agency continues to evolve in its use of social media tools, more guidance on best business practices and lessons learned may become available that will require future revision of this policy letter.
- Editors may, after consulting with TAG PAO personnel, block individuals from seeing a unit or division's Facebook page. Blocking can be done if an individual posts inappropriate comments, memes, links, or if an editor feels it is an automated post and not being posted by an actual person.
- This policy letter supersedes the previous TAG Policy Letter #34 dated 29 July 2011.
- The point of contact for more information or guidance is the Public Affairs Office, Kansas Adjutant General's Department, email@example.com or 785-646-0092.