Kingsville council voting to adopt social media guidelines

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Councillors in Kingsville will be voting on whether or not to adopt Social Media Guidelines for members of council at tonight's regular meeting.

A report to council states in the past few years, pressure has grown on members of council to respond to constituent concerns through these highly public channels. 

Administration believes the proposed Social Media Guidelines will enable councillors to connect with citizens and leverage the benefits of their social media accounts.

Councillor Thomas Neufeld says they laid out a set of priorities for the remainder of council's term, and communication is near the top.

"In communications, social media communication is still fairly new to us to start actually talking about and having a set of guidelines that council and committee members need to follow, as well as staff and local boards."

He says as the use of social media has increased over the last number of years, it's meant a new tool for elected officials in being able to communicate with residents.

"But as any tool it needs to be used properly," he continued. "Elected officials are held to a higher standard and we need to adhere to those standards online as well as offline."

Neufeld says the emergence of social media has really changed the game in regards to how they interact with residents.

"It just has to be used properly, confidentially, you know you have to maintain respect for staff, for the public, other members of council and the decisions of council. It is a tool that the public are using to be engaged, we've seen studies that show people will go to Facebook before they Google something," he said.

Council discussed the topic earlier this year, and now will have to sign off on final approval.

Kingsville council gets underway tonight beginning at 6 p.m.

 

- with files from Rob Hindi