Well the City of Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter and Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers have really stepped in it this time. Lloyd has issued a General Memo prohibiting members from many activities on social media. To be sure other employers have Social Media policies but the extent to which Ayers goes to silence any dissension via social media. How far will Ayers and by extension Mayor Nutter go? How about this jewel.
• Employees shall not identify themselves as a member of the Philadelphia Fire Department on any Social Media and Networking site without prior approval of the Fire Commissioner. The only exception will be a professional networking site (e.g. LinkedIn). Postings will only pertain to professional networking and development.
I wonder if a retired guy like me needs Lloyd’s permission to say I was a Philadelphia Fire Fighter. Think of the Pride these men and women have even in the face of such tepid leadership they still want to say they work for the PFD. Maybe they should change their job information to “I work for a leaderless department”. I know of no employer who ever banned their employees from saying they worked at the company.
Here are two of the funnier ones. This idiot (Lloyd) is telling members they may not on their own time post anything that “HE” might consider racist or biased in any way.
• Employees are prohibited from posting on any Social Media site or electronically transmitting messages, images, comments, or cartoons displaying threatening or sexually-explicit material, epithets or slurs based on race, ethnic or national origin, gender, religious affiliation, disability, or sexual orientation, and harassing, offensive, discriminatory, or defamatory comments.
• Employees are prohibited from posting on any Social Media site or electronically transmitting messages, images, comments, or cartoons that foster or perpetuate 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.
This was a guy who was offended at seeing a mans nipple in a photograph (I don’t mean to make light of Jack but it is a prime example of the hypocrisy of Ayers) and he now has the power to determine if a shared photo in Facebook is racially offensive? This from a guy who thinks the only reason the rank and file hate him is because he is black. Sorry Lloyd your just a poor excuse for a leader. As noted by the very overreaching GM you just issued about Social Media. Let’s get back to the potentially court challenges GM from our listless commissioner. How about this one?
• Employees shall not post on any Social Media site or electronically transmit any information that is inconsistent with the duties, ethics and Oath of Office of a firefighter or paramedic, such as racist or sexist comments, inaccurate information, personal attacks, or rumors.
SO if a firefighter thinks that Commissioner Lloyd Ayers is the worst Commissioner ever in the history of the PFD and says so on Facebook (note you the reader: He is) Lloyd can discipline him? Because he thinks he is the best? Or are the sycophants surrounding him convincing him it is okay and he is the best. Either way this is a bad policy. Enough beating up of Lloyd (well not really) lets compare our policy to another. Let’s use the City of Hampton Virginia as an example of what a Social Media Policy should look like. This is the part about employees using social networking. Note the tone and compare it to the Ayers (re: Nutter) hate filled GM.
ATTACHMENT C. Employee Guidance for Participating in Social Networking
The City of Hampton understands that social networking and Internet services have become a common form of
communication in the workplace and among stakeholders and citizens. Social networks are online
communities of people or organizations that share interests and/or activities and use a wide variety of Internet
technology to make the interaction a rich and robust experience. Employees that choose to participate in social
networks as a City employee should adhere to the following guidelines.
1. City policies, rules, regulations and standards of conduct apply to employees that engage in
social networking activities while conducting City business. Use of your City e-mail address
and communicating in your official capacity will constitute conducting City business.
2. City employees shall notify their supervisor and the IT department if they intend to create a
social networking site or service to conduct City business.
3. Departments have the option of allowing employees to participate in existing social networking
sites as part of their job duties. Department Heads may allow or disallow employee
participation in any social networking activities in their departments.
4. Protect your privacy, the privacy of citizens, and the information the City holds. Follow all
privacy protection laws , i.e., HIPPA, and protect sensitive and confidential City information.
5. Follow all copyright laws, public records laws, retention laws, fair use and financial disclosure
laws and any others laws that might apply to the City or your functional area.
6. Do not cite vendors, suppliers, clients, citizens, co-workers or other stakeholders without their
7. Make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the City of Hampton. If
you publish content on any website outside of the City of Hampton and it has something to do
with the work you do or subjects associated with the City, use a disclaimer such as this: “The
postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the City’s positions or
8. Do not use ethnic slurs, profanity, personal insults, or engage in any conduct that would not be
acceptable in the City’s workplace. Avoid comments or topics that may be considered
objectionable or inflammatory.
9. If you identify yourself as a City employee, ensure your profile and related content is consistent
with how you wish to present yourself to colleagues, citizens and other stakeholders.
10. Correct your mistakes, and don’t alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so.
Frame any comments or opposing views in a positive manner.
11. Add value to the City of Hampton through your interaction. Provide worthwhile information and
Refreshing in the light of how the Fire Administration handled it’s policy don’t you think. You can read the entire Hampton Va policy here as it is a really good example of a forward thinking city who are using Social Media to promote city government. Note their policy not only promotes use of the internet it only suggests to its employees to be careful.
Hey Lloyd I guess when you are losing the battle the best course is to silence the opposition. Hae you read Alinsky’s rules for liberal? Maybe somebody who pulls your strings did huh?