Govt asks depts not to post `unverified` facts on social sites
New Delhi: The government today issued guidelines for its departments using social media networks asking them not to post confidential information and "unverified" facts.
With 40 million facebook and 16 million twitter users in India, social media have emerged as a powerful platform for forming an opinion as well as generating mass support, the Information Technology Ministry said in its 38-page guidelines issued today.
"Great care must be taken to avoid propagation of unverified facts and frivolous misleading rumours," it said.
It asked persons handling social media for all government agencies including public sector undertakings not to "comment and respond unless authorised to do so especially in the matters that are sub-judice, draft legislations or relating to other individuals".
Asking social media handlers to be polite, discrete and respectful, the guidelines said personal comments for or against any individuals or agencies should not be made and professional discussions should not be politicised.
"Not all posts/comments need to be responded to immediately and individually. Also, wherever a response is required all posts should be kept short and to the point," it said adding infringement of IPR and copyrights of others should be avoided.
The guidelines said while employees were free to post response in their personal capacity, "it is mandatory that while they are doing so, they must clearly identify themselves, confidential information must not be divulged and should not be seen to represent `official view` unless authorised to do so".
The guidelines stated that social media can only be used by the government to communicate existing government information and propagate official policy to the public.
Social media, it said, should only be one of the components of the overall citizen engagement strategy and government departments must desist from using only social media to communicate with their stakeholders.
"Initially, the departments may just aim to post information regularly. For example, if it is a Facebook page, posting may be done at least a couple of times a week and on Twitter slightly more frequently," it said.
The government`s communication to citizens via social media should follow the same data retention policy as its communication through other electronic and non-electronic channels.
"When any information is shared or guidance given online, it is necessary to ensure that all relevant records are captured, trail is generated and records are managed appropriately," the guidelines stated.
The government said the guidelines have been formulated with a view to help ministeries, departmens and agencies to make use of social media platforms to engage more meaningfully with their various stakeholders.
Worldover, various government agencies use various social media platforms to interact with their stakeholders. In US, the White House has Facebook page and a Twitter profile.
Even the US Army has a Facebook page and a social network website called GovLoop.Com was created within the US Department of Homeland Security to share experiences and best practices.
In India, the Prime Minister`s Office this January launched social media initiatives and currently uses Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The Ministry of External Affairs is also present on Twitter.
"The Framework and Guidelines have been developed for all government agencies including public sector undertakings to help them conceptualise and evolve their social media interactions and strategy," a notification by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology said.
"Social media`s characteristics of connectedness, collaboration and community have the potential of ensuring broad-based consultation and can help agencies reduce the duration of consultation process and receive immediate feedback on services delivered," it added.
The guidelines state that social media may be used for seeking feedback from citizens, re-pronouncement of public policy, issue-based as well as generic interaction, brand building and generating awareness and education on National Action Plans and implementation strategies.
"Care must be taken so that people can communicate in their own language, and due cognisance of the views expressed in local languages is taken," it added.
However, it added that "privileged access may be mandated by the Government along the same lines `take down notices` and `information requests` currently being sent to social media and other platforms for intellectual property rights infringement and other offences," the guidelines said.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- IAF Mirage fighter plane lands on Yamuna Expressway!
- 'Maggi' under regulatory scanner for excess amount of lead, MSG
- Watch: Michelle Obama's 'Gimme Five' fitness video
- When Subramanian Swamy shocked people at a wedding!
- Mumbaikars join hands to save Pakistani teen with rare illness
- Mumbai: Diamond export company denies job to Muslim youth
- PM Modi speaks at Golden Jubilee celebrations of poet Dinkar’s works
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 21, 2015
- Mirage 2000 fighter jet landing was part of capability demonstration: IAF
- DNA: IAF Mirage 2000 fighter plane lands successfully on Yamuna expressway
- DNA: Osama documents show 'Indian brother in Madinah' financed al Qaeda
- Coal scam: Naveen Jindal, Madhu Koda and others get bail
- Vadodara: Policemen seen dancing with bar girls
- One year of Modi govt: Arun Jaitley addresses press conference
- ISIS executes Syrian fighter using anti-tank rocket launcher
- CBSE Class 10 Results 2015 to be announced today?
- IAF jet lands on Yamuna expressway
- Check Jharkhand Board jac.nic.in: Class 12th Art Results 2015 declared
- Fawad Khan doesn’t want intimate scenes with Sonam Kapoor?
- Log on to apeamcet.org AP EAMCET Results 2015: Andhra Pradesh EAMCET Marks and AP EAMCET Ranks 2015 declared
- We hire only non-Muslim candidates, diamond export firm tells Muslim youth
- Is MSG in 'Maggi' noodles harmful for you?
- Mumbai firm booked for denying Muslim MBA graduate job on religious grounds, probe ordered
- New IPL rules could see Chennai Super Kings lose MS Dhoni
- Jayalalithaa makes public appearance, meets Governor: As it happened
- `Piku` hits jackpot, does Rs 100 crore business worldwide
- Anurag Kashyap to bid goodbye to India, settle in 'cinema-friendly' France!
- SSLC (tnresults.nic.in) Tenth 10th Results 2015: Tamil Nadu Board Class 10th X Higher Secondary exam results 2015 to be announced shortly
- IPL 2015, Qualifier 2, Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore: Preview
- Geelani's passport application incomplete, cannot be processed: MEA