Joliet Township Government Comment Policy
Thank you for engaging with Joliet Township Government on our online platforms. For purposes of this policy, “outline platform(s)” shall mean any of the Joliet Township accounts or Joliet Township program accounts that allow for interaction with Township residents and other users, including, but not limited to, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We value open and constructive dialogue, and to ensure a positive and inclusive online community, we have established the following guidelines for comments:
Limited Public Forum
The Township’s online platforms constitute a limited public forum with First Amendment protections for commenters. As such, the Township reserves the right to reject or remove content in violation of this policy or any applicable law. Whenever possible, the Township will take steps necessary to protect the public’s First Amendment online.
Administration of Accounts
A designated administrator, or administrators, will be responsible for maintenance and supervision of each online platform of the Township.
Online platforms not only provide the government with a communications venue but often allow for public comment. Any comment made by a member of the public as an online user is that user’s opinion only. Publication of the comment on the Township’s online platform(s) does not imply endorsement or agreement by the Township nor reflects the opinions or policies of the Township.
The following forms of content are in violation of the policy, may not be posted on the Township’s online platforms, and will be subject to removal and/or restriction by the administrator.
- Disrespectful Language. Disrespectful, offensive language, personal attacks, or derogatory remarks.
- Hate Speech or Discrimination. Content or language that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates hate speech, discrimination, or any form of bigotry based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or other protected characteristics.
- Off–Topic Comments. Off-topic content or language.
- Solicitation or Self-Promotion. Solicitation, advertisements, promotion of commerce, or self-promotional content unrelated to the discussion will be removed.
- Spam. Content or links for spam, phishing scams, malware, viruses, or fraudulent activity will be removed.
- Misinformation. False information, misinformation, rumors, or conspiracy theories.
- Threats or Violence. Content or language that constitutes a personal attack, insult, defamatory, threatening, profane, or any form of incitement to harm.
- Privacy, Confidential, or Personal Information. Information which may compromise safety or discloses confidential government information, sensitive information, private information, or personal information relating to government officials and employees, or members of the public.
- Political Speech. Any political content or language regarding any political party or candidate.
- Illegal Activity. Content or language that encourages illegal activity or violates any federal, state or local law.
- Sexual or Pornographic. Content or language that is sexual, pornographic, obscene, or which links to sexual, pornographic, obscene content or language.
- Copyright or Trademark. Content or language that violates a legal ownership interest, such as a copyright or trademark.
Comments will not be removed, deleted or hidden by the Township because of the speaker’s point of view, opinion or other form of protected speech. The Township further reserves the right to deny access to any Township online platforms if any individual or organization violates Policy.
Content that is removed from the Township’s online platform(s) constitutes a public record under state law. The removed content shall be retained pursuant to both the Township’s records retention guidelines and state law, along with a description of the specific reason for which the content was deleted.
When possible, and as technology allows, staff will make every effort to ensure that photos and videos posted to online accounts are accessible to all, including those with visual or auditory impairments, by using available alt text, closed captioning or other assistive features.
Time of Use
The Township’s online platforms 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 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding holidays. For emergencies, dial 9-1-1.
Compliance with Laws
All Township online platform users shall adhere to applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and policies. Content posted on any Township online platform by any user may be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, record retention laws and e-discovery laws.