Users and commenters on the city of Frederick's social media pages may soon face new standards, as the city considers new policies governing the pages.

The changes being considered by the Board of Aldermen would allow the city to restrict, remove, or archive content that is considered profane or obscene, and ban or delete comments and users that promote discrimination against people on the basis of factors such as race, gender, disability, or content that advocates illegal activity.

The policy would apply to social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Nextdoor and LinkedIn.

The city's official social media pages are where the city is speaking, and it would retain some rights to remove content that exceed the platforms' existing terms of use, Assistant City Attorney Stephen Davis told the mayor and aldermen on Wednesday.

Alderman Roger Wilson asked if the city has any responsibility to retain or archive content on its pages.

Most social media content is subject to public information requests, Davis said.

City spokeswoman Ashley Waters added that the city is looking into systems to help it archive content more efficiently. And even content that is removed from public view is not deleted, she said.

City employees acting on social media in a personal capacity would be subject to the new policy, as well as be required to conduct themselves as representatives of the city and according to city policies, Davis said.

Under the proposed policy, Waters would be the administrator empowered to review, edit and allow content to be posted on the city's various social media sites. She could also designate another employee to moderate content at various times.

Mayor Michael O'Connor said the topic would likely come up for discussion at the mayor and aldermen's first meeting in November, scheduled for Nov. 5.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at

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