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POLL: Should Town Officials Shut Down Social Media?

Recent discussion about Facebook comments has opened a debate on how school and town officials should use social media.

Social media has been a hot topic of conversation at government meetings in recent weeks.

During the last Board of Selectmen meeting, and asked for apologies from other town officials for comments they made on Facebook posts.

Then, according to the Wilmington Town Crier, School Committee members had a discussion on the topic that lasted about an hour at a recent meeting.

The School Committee debate centered around posts made by followers of Robert Hayes' Facebook page that he uses to keep residents up to date on happenings of the board.

“It was not an opinion page. It was just the facts,” said Hayes, according to the Town Crier. “I think it is important to differentiate between opinion and fact finding.”

But several of the members believe that no good will come out of the use of Facebook as a school official. Hayes declined comment when contacted by Wilmington Patch, but said the discussion with board members has been positive and is ongoing.

Past comments on Hayes' page have since been deleted and users are no longer able to comment on his posts. After discussion at the meeting, a subcommittee will continue to hammer out a policy on the subject.

So what do you think? Is there a place for social media in government? How should it be used? Should a board member be held responsible for something that another resident posted on their social media page? 

Let us know in the comments section below and vote in our poll. As always, we ask that you remain respectful during debate and keep conversation relevant to the topic at hand.

Mathew Jancsics July 28, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Not sure what it is Steve, all I know is every time I read a post of his all I think of is doing one of these.... http://hotnerdgirl.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/picard-facepalm.jpg
Steve H July 28, 2012 at 03:32 AM
LOL, that was great a few people here, make me feel that way
Karl Ian Sagal July 28, 2012 at 06:14 AM
Your is a possessive pronoun. Like your car. You're is a contraction for you are, as you said. You cannot possess a verb, like speaking. You are speaking. Your speech. Do not trust me. Type both into a proper word processor like Microsoft word, and see what you get. You can type as slow as you like. It does not change the English language. And I do make plenty of typos. There, you are correct. I was the one that said it was a form letter. You got that information from me, and one of your simple minded clique insisted I was telling a lie, which is something I do not do. You do not have to believe me. That is fine. You ask questions, and i answer them, and you deny the data. That is fine, makes you look brilliant. If you do not understand my posts, it may be because I am a dummy as you say, or it may be because you choose not to understand, or are incapable of understanding them. Either way, so be it.
Karl Ian Sagal July 28, 2012 at 06:18 AM
All I ask for is civility. You are wrong in your arguments, and trying to be insulting, but have not made it up to the level of annoying yet. Keep trying.
Mathew Jancsics July 28, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Karl, I have come to the conclusion that this has to be an elaborate rouse on your part. There is absolutely no way anyone could truly be this much of a character and make it through life, I just can’t believe it. Just think of the irony…. Here we were initially engaged in a discussion that touches on first amendment rights, which are protected by the constitution. Rights that you seemingly condone the committees infringing upon by suggesting that it is somehow reasonable that they draft and enforce a *policy* around acceptable use for an individual committee member that leverages social media as a tool for engage their constituents, because in your subjective opinion, policies are somehow like feet. And now you’re attempting to use the constitution as a defense/justification for supposed rights of individuals who are in reality exploiting local/state laws around zoning and environmental protection along with manipulating a less than perfect legal system so they may enact their revenge on a town that they in the minority against. Individuals, who using your own logic aren’t having their freedoms trounced upon, aren’t being restricted from life…liberty…or the pursuit of happiness, and who stand to gain from higher property values due to a major infrastructure improvement the town they reside in is undertaking. And if you again look back you will see that I was speaking of “your” posts, and “your” own words, not saying that you’re an ace-hat.

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