According to an article from The Washington Times, Washington DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services (DC FEMS) released a new Social Media Policy on Monday that severely restricts its work force. The new policy bans responders from taking photos or video while on the job and sharing them to the public or the media.
From the DC FEMS own press release on the matter:
Inappropriate postings include but are not limited to discriminatory remarks, harassment, retaliation, sexual innuendo, threats of violence or similarly unlawful content. Behavior of this type will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Employees are also prohibited from posting statements, photographs, video or audio that could be viewed as malicious, obscene or bullying. Posting confidential, private or any information obtained directly or indirectly as a result of employment with the Department is prohibited as well.
Employees can reference their employment with the Department in their personal activities but must include a disclaimer stating the opinions expressed are personal and do not reflect the views of the Department nor the District of Columbia government.
Just to be clear, I’m the one who italicized the last paragraph. Glad to see they are at least honoring Disclaimers.
To be honest, I’m not surprised. DC FEMS have had some Social Media issues (Twitter issues specifically) and their service failures have been amplified over the year by Social Media (President Obama’s ambulance running out of gas, DC FEMS ambulances catch fire, etc.) so the crackdown is pretty much expected. Of course you can tell the department is from the Capitol, especially with the NSA type secrecy they want to implement on their operations.