Last evening, the Local IAFF 140 Union issued the following email to it’s members, in response to our article yesterday. Several firefighters and medics, upset with the recklessness of other employee’s actions, have since forwarded us the the email. If you have info or other department things you’d like to share with us, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll redact any identifying information and keep your name confidential.
The email from their union, local 140, reads in part:
A group that represents themselves as eastnashville.news (aka)( a gossip group) is looking for postings made by NFD employees, they are searching by place of employment. On any of your social media sites I would highly suggest that you remove NFD as your place of employment. We all know how hard the job is, I have no doubt you all go above and beyond each day for the citizens of Nashville, so please consider before you post things that could shine a bad light on you from people who don’t know you and your commitment to serve and put yourself in harms way for strangers everyday.
Notice they do not encourage them to not post inappropriate material on their profiles and accounts, but rather, to simply remove the NFD as their employer, in order to circumvent the policy.
We reached out to the Nashville Fire Department, and received a copy of their current policy on social media that governs employee’s actions online. We will post the entire policy below. Some of the relevant portions of the policy includes a section about what you can and can’t post on your own personal social media accounts, including fire department logos, photos of scenes/incidents, even a disclaimer that should be posted if you identify yourself as a department employee – and yet we’ve found these things are rarely followed.
Here is the full text of the policy:
Nashville Fire Department
OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES
Section 11.2 SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
To provide departmental guidelines for all employees of the Nashville Fire Department on social media.
These guidelines apply to all employees of the Nashville Fire Department.
As authorized by the Director-Chief, Nashville Fire Department.
Social Media is a collection of online communication tools used to share a variety of information. Social media includes but is not limited to forums, social and networking websites, and blogging services. All Nashville Fire Department employees are required to be in compliance with all policies, procedures, ethical codes, and administrative or executive orders as established by the Department or Metropolitan Government.
In accordance with OPG 1.48; Smart/Cellular Phone, Camera and Other Electronic Device Use Policy, employees may be disciplined for content they post or allow to be posted on a social media site, such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc., or on any other public or semi-public forum, at any time, if such content violates a departmental or Civil Service rule including, but not limited to, Civil Service Rule 6.7(32): “Any failure of good behavior which reflects discredit upon himself, the department, and/or the Metropolitan Government.”
In accordance with OPG 1.24; Adherence to Policy & Rules of the Metropolitan Government, employees shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner that does not bring discredit to themselves, the Department, or the City.
- Department Use of Social Media:
- In Accordance with Section 11 of the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Assets Policy, an employee must be authorized by the Director-Chief or designee to represent the Department prior to authoring content on a Department’s social media site. All Fire Department social media content must adhere to the guidelines established in the Acceptable Use Policy (http://imtoo.nashville.org/ism/docs/policies/ISM1_AcceptableUsePolicy.pdf).
- Employees must receive authorization from the Director-Chief or designee prior to creating a social media site that portrays the Nashville Fire Department, including social media for individual fire stations, specific fire divisions, etc.
- Employees are prohibited from publishing any photos or information related to a Departmental incident without prior consent from the Director-Chief or his designee.
- Employee Personal Use of Social Media:
- In general, Nashville Fire Department employees who participate in social media are free to publish their own personal information. Employees who identify themselves or who are identified (through photos or other means) as Nashville Fire Department employees while using social media must state in clear terms that their expressed views are theirs alone and do not reflect the views of the Nashville Fire Department. Except as authorized, all employees are prohibited from representing the Nashville Fire Department through their personal use of social media.
- Except where authorized, employees’ social media content may not include the intellectual property of the Nashville Fire Department (e.g., drawings, designs, software, ideas and innovation) nor include the Nashville Fire Department’s logo. Employees may not post any of the Nashville Fire Department’s Logos without prior approval of the Director-Chief.
- With respect to online behavior, employees are personally responsible for their activities conducted with a Metro Nashville Fire Department e-mail address, and/or which can be traced back to a Metro Nashville Fire Department e-mail address. Employees are personally responsible for their activities on social media and are responsible for any content that they publish online. As such, employees may not post material that is defamatory, threatening, obscene, harassing, or that violates the privacy rights of any individual or entity.
- Employees are expected to refrain from social media and online activities that reflect poorly on the Nashville Fire Department. Inappropriate social media and online activities that reflect poorly upon the Nashville Fire Department, its employees, or services, may result in corrective and/or disciplinary action.
Any employees found in violation of these provisions will be held accountable by the Director-Chief of the Nashville Fire Department, and these employees are subject to disciplinary action.
Here is the additional policy that is referenced in the above document, also: