No spoofing -- California issues social media guidelines

The state unveiled a Social Media Standard on Friday to ensure that its employees aren’t running amok on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the like.

“As with most technologies, there is a measure of risk that must be addressed and mitigated,” the state’s chief Information officer, Teri Takai, wrote in releasing the guidelines.

According to the Statewide Information Management Manual, Section 66B: Tweeting and Facebooking can hamper employee productivity, strain Internet connections, cause “reputational risk to personnel, the agency, and the state,” result in the leak of sensitive materials and more.

Takai cited Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who she said had “used these communications channels with great success.”


Among the governor’s social media posts: a video mocking state lawmakers for debating about cow tails, a picture of a smiley face made with pieces of fruit in his oatmeal and a video in which he brandished a big knife while proposing to cut the state budget.

Only authorized state users can participate in social media, the new standard says, and some sites should be disabled to prevent “unnecessary functionality,” such as instant messaging.

Users can speak on behalf of the state only if authorized, and only within the scope of that authority, and must disclose their names, titles, agencies and contact information.

For those who would imitate the Terminator or Conan, there’s Rule No. 8: “Users shall not utilize tools or techniques to spoof, masquerade, or assume any identity or credentials except for legitimate law enforcement purposes, or for other legitimate state purposes as defined in agency policy.”


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