Social Media Policy

Statement of Purpose

The City of Naperville recognizes that social media platforms like Facebook, X, NextDoor and Instagram, have become mainstream forms of communication among residents, media outlets, government agencies, businesses and others. Using this technology, the City has additional avenues by which to share news releases, inform the public of projects, initiatives and general city service information, and highlight events and positive media coverage. Additionally, social media provides the ability to share other information that supports the goals and mission of the City. Social media also provides a two-way means by which to interact with residents, visitors, media, local business owners and people who work in the City.

Guidelines and Expectations

“Social media account” shall mean any of the City of Naperville’s accounts or online services that allow for interaction with City residents and other stakeholders, including, but not limited to, X, Facebook and Instagram.

A. Limited Public Forum

The City’s social media accounts are limited public forums. The City does not make its social media accounts available for general public discourse, but rather reserves and limits the topics that may be discussed on the social media accounts.

B. Content Restrictions

Because communication via social media constitutes a limited public forum, the City reserves the right to reject or remove (if possible) any content that is deemed in violation of this policy or any applicable law. City social media account content and comments containing any of the following forms of content shall not be allowed for posting and shall be subject to removal:

  1. Comments unrelated to the purpose and topical scope of the page.
  2. Defamatory, threatening or profane language.
  3. Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation.
  4. Sexual content or links to sexual content.
  5. Solicitations of commerce.
  6. Personally identifiable information, such as an address, phone number, social security number or other sensitive information.
  7. Information which may interfere with or compromise current investigations, police tactics and the safety or security of public safety staff and/or the public or public systems.
  8. Promotion or advertisement in favor of, or in opposition to a political campaign, ballot measure or candidate.
  9. Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity.
  10. Distribution of copyrighted photographs, music, video, graphics or other content without the express permission of the copyright holder.

C. Content Removal

Content that is deemed not suitable for posting by the administrators of the City’s social media accounts based on the criteria defined above, shall be retained by staff pursuant to the records retention schedule in the form of a screen capture along with a description of the reason the specific content was rejected. The comment will then be removed, as technology allows, from the City’s social media account(s).

D. Notice

Users and visitors to the City’s social media accounts shall be notified that the intended purpose of the account is to serve as a mechanism for communication of City news, services and events and that it is a limited public forum. By posting or commenting, users agree to the terms of use outlined in this policy, which will be posted to the City’s website and linked to, as technology allows, from each of the City’s social media accounts.

E. Time of Use

The City of Naperville’s social media accounts are not monitored 24/7, and as such, posts and responses should not be immediately expected. Accounts are traditionally monitored during normal business hours, designated as weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding holidays.

F. Accessibility

When possible, and as technology allows, staff will make every effort to ensure that photos and videos posted to social media accounts are accessible to all, including those with visual or auditory impairments, by using available alt text, closed captioning or other assistive features.

G. Following Accounts

The City of Naperville's official social media accounts follow selected organizations and individuals based on established categories and criteria. These accounts contribute to an understanding of community needs and interests, foster valuable partnerships and provide perspectives on issues relevant to Naperville. Naperville prioritizes accounts that demonstrate a direct impact or service to Naperville residents, businesses and organizations and provide significant contributions to the well-being and social fabric of Naperville. The list of followed accounts is dynamic and evolves to reflect the ever-changing social media landscape. 

H. Emergency Notice

As the City’s social media accounts are not monitored 24/7, users are advised NOT to use the City’s social media accounts to report a crime or emergency situation. Crime reports and requests for police, fire or emergency medical assistance must be made by dialing 9-1-1.

This policy will be reviewed, at a minimum, annually by the City Manager’s Communications Division and will be updated as necessary.