New Social Media Restrictions for St. Albans Employees

By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jennifer Rizzi Email

ST. ALBANS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- While social media has become a part of our everyday lives, it will no longer be a part of St. Albans city employees' work lives anymore.

"We've enacted a policy that defines the responsibility of our employees when it comes to using social and electronic media within the city," Mayor Dick Callaway said.

All city property, including computers, will be used for business only. That means employees won't be able to browse Facebook or similar sites for personal use.

It's an effort city leaders say makes better use of residents' tax dollars and prevents faulty information from leaking out.

"If a person would make a comment on a social media site and present themselves as a representative of the city, that would be a violation," Callaway said.

Some folks support the new policy, saying personal and professional lives should be kept separate.

"I've seen some things on Facebook that I do not think should be on there," Patty Chandler said. "Things that came from someone who was obviously working that day, and I'm not sure that should be allowed."

But some city employees say social media is an important part of their job.

"We sometimes get leads on Facebook that lead to arrests ... solving burglaries and things," St. Albans Police Sgt. R.L. Tincher said. "The public could think we're sitting on Facebook everyday and not doing our jobs, which isn't the case."

City leaders say employees will be punished if they are repeat offenders of the new policy.

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