Social Media Accounts and Guidelines

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​​​​​​​​​​​​Social Media Commenting​

City of Bellingham social media sites are limited public forums. We encourage people to use comments functions to ask questions and share thoughts as they relate to the topic being discussed. We expect comments to be relevant and courteous. To that end, the City of Bellingham has established the criteria below regarding comments, and reserves the right and discretion to remove comments that:

  • Contain obscene, harassing or profane language;
  • Contain threats, personal attacks or defamatory statements;
  • Contain hate speech directed at race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, age, religion or disability;
  • Constitute advertising or promote or endorse specific commercial services or products not sponsored by the City of Bellingham;
  • Compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems;
  • Support or oppose political candidates or ballot propositions;
  • Are not topically related to the particular post being commented upon;
  • Violate social media statements of rights and responsibilities.

The City reserves the right to restrict or remove any content that is deemed in violation of this social media policy or any applicable law. Portions of the City of Bellingham website policy may also apply.

Due to the nature of social media, we cannot assure users that comments or questions will become part of the official record for any particular issue. People who wish their opinions, compliments and concerns to be officially on record or responded to in a timely manner should use standard means of commenting via mail, email or telephone and direct them to the appropriate department or contract person.

The views expressed in comments reflect those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the City of Bellingham. The City of Bellingham retains no responsibility for comments that are posted and then removed by the author. Even when deleted, by the author or by the City based on the criteria above, comments may be subject to disclosure. See “Public Disclosure” below.

Timely Review

We recognize that the internet is a medium unbound by regular business hours and comments are welcome at any time. Given the need to manage City resources, however, comments will generally be reviewed only during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Questions posted in comment sections may or may not be reviewed quickly or receive a timely answer. Inappropriate comments made by non-City authors may or may not be removed in a timely manner.

Copyrighted and other proprietary material should not be posted or submitted in any form unless permission to do so is clearly indicated. In posting his or her own comments or other work, a commenter grants the City and anyone viewing the site irrevocable permission to copy, distribute, make derivatives, display or perform the commenter’s work publicly and free-of-charge.

Public Disclosure

Information posted by the City of Bellingham and comments posted to this page by other authors are subject to the disclosure requirements of the Public Records Act, RCW 42.56. Public disclosure requests should be directed to the City’s Public Disclosure Officer.

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