Web Communication & Multimedia Policies
Thank you for visiting the City of Caldwell website and reviewing web communication and multimedia policy.
Outside websites are defined as any website that is not maintained by the City of Caldwell or that the City of Caldwell lacks control over any part, including but not limited to content or security of the website. The following outside websites are permissible for the City of Caldwell to link to:
- Governmental, educational, and other non-profit organizations.
- Organizations with some relationship to the City of Caldwell (including but not limited to: organizations contracting with the City of Caldwell, organizations sponsoring City activities or programs, and organizations participating in City of Caldwell activities or programs).
- Regionally recognized organizations with a focus on tourism.
The following outside websites are not permissible for the City of Caldwell to link to:
- Any websites that are deemed by the City Administrator to be in conflict with the City of Caldwell’s conflict of interest policy or any other policy of the City of Caldwell
- Candidates for local, state, or federal offices
- Political organizations or other organizations advocating a position on a local, state, or federal issue
- Corporate or other for-profit organizations unless they fit any of the criteria stated above
- Individual or personal home pages
- Websites with pornographic, obscene, or indecent content
- Any illegal act, unless depicted in a public service announcement for the health, safety or welfare of the community.
- Any messages that are deemed inconsistent with or contrary to the vision or mission of the City of Caldwell or its policies and procedures, including sexual or other prohibited harassment or discrimination policies and workplace violence.
Outside websites that do not meet the following quality requirements will not be linked to or will be removed from the City of Caldwell’s website if already present:
- The website is not managed in a professional manner
- Not operational or generally available
- Not maintained or regularly updated
- Provides inaccurate information
- Contains illegal or inappropriate content.
The City of Caldwell Website
Any website that is operated and maintained by the City of Caldwell, or that the City of Caldwell hosts at public expense is considered a City of Caldwell website. The content of any City of Caldwell website is subject to any relevant City of Caldwell policies.
The City of Caldwell Online Calendar
The City of Caldwell will maintain complete editorial control over all material present on the online calendar, and reserves the right to change, add, or remove content without notice. Information posted on the online calendar is limited to those events occurring within the City of Caldwell only, unless the event can be reasonably construed as significantly benefiting residents of the City of Caldwell. Any posted event must meet the following criteria:
- The primary function of organizations and person(s) sponsoring an event must not be inconsistent with the mission and vision of the City of Caldwell.
- The event must be a community development, economic development, cultural, educational, sporting, or other community event.
- The event must be available to the general public, unless otherwise restricted by federal or state law or local ordinance.
The online calendar will provide the following disclaimer:
- In order to provide visitors with certain information, this website provides information to events hosted by organizations not affiliated with the City of Caldwell. Posting the event does not constitute an endorsement of the content, viewpoint, accuracy, opinions, policies, products, services, or accessibility of that event or the hosting organization or person(s). Attendance to that event, or any other function or publication (electronic or print) produced or distributed by the hosting organization or person(s) is entirely at your own risk.
Responsibility and Control
The City of Caldwell will maintain complete editorial control over all material present on the www.caldwelltx.gov website, and reserves the right to change, add, or remove content without notice. The City of Caldwell reserves the right to remove links to outside websites as outlined, but not limited too, in Section 1 above. The City Administrator or appropriate department director will have final authority and responsibility over any content on the City of Caldwell’s website. The City Administrator will review the website policy on a regular basis not to exceed three years.
The laws of the State of Texas and the United States of America govern this agreement. If any part of the agreement is determined to be invalid of unenforceable, the remainder of the agreement shall continue in effect.
Who we are
Our website address is: https://www.caldwelltx.gov.
Information Collected and Stored Automatically
If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the website, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit automatically. This information does not identify you personally. We automatically collect and store only the following information about your visit:
- The Internet domain (example, “xyzcompany.com”) and IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the Web) from which you access our website;
- The type of browser and operating system used to access our site;
- The date and time of the visit;
- The pages accessed during the visit; and
- If you linked to the City of Caldwell website from another website, the address of that website.
We use this information to help us make our site more useful to visitors — to learn about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology our visitors use. We do not track or record information about individuals.
When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.
If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.
If you choose to provide us with personal information — as in an e-mail to City staff, or by filling out a form with your personal information and submitting it to us through our website or via email — we use that information to respond to your message and to help us get you the information you have requested. We are required to maintain many documents for historical purposes, but we do not collect personal information for any purpose other than to respond to you. However, information we receive may be considered public information which is subject to disclosure under Texas law. Except for information disclosure required by Texas law, we only share the information you give us with another government agency, if your inquiry relates to that agency. Moreover, we do not create individual profiles with the information you provide, or provide such information to any private organizations. The City of Caldwell does not collect information for commercial marketing.
Protection of Minors
We are especially concerned about protecting children’s privacy. We hope parents are involved in children’s Internet explorations. It is particularly important for parents to guide their children when children are providing personal information on line. We specifically ask children to get their parents’ permission before providing any information on line — at our site or any other site — and recommend parents always be involved in those decisions. Most importantly, when children do provide information through the City of Caldwell website, it is only used to enable us to respond to the writer, and not to create profiles of children.
A cookie is a tiny piece of text that, with your permission, is placed on your computer’s hard drive. If your browser is set to notify you before accepting a cookie, you will receive a request for a cookie to be stored on your computer. This cookie, by itself, only tells us that a previous visitor has returned. It does not give us private information about you. You must, however, accept the cookie in order to access some applications on our website.
We want to be sure you understand that accepting a cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any personal information about you. We know that some citizens have concerns about cookies, but the benefit we both gain from their use is worthwhile. The following are situations where a cookie might occur:
- If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.
- If you visit our login page, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.
- When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.
- If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.
Embedded content from other websites
This site may contain links to other sites. The City of Caldwell is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.
Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.
How long we retain your data
If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.
For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.
What rights you have over your data
If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.
Where we send your data
Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.
Online Payments & Related Transactions
Providing you with a secure online experience is a high priority of the City of Caldwell. We recognize that your information security is of the utmost importance, and we have devoted a great deal of effort to ensure that your personal information is safeguarded.
Your online payment transactions are supported by industry-standard data encryption available through your browser called SSL encryption. These services are designed to ensure the privacy of your credit card information, name, address, email and other information you provide to us.
Please be aware that there is no refund or returns once you have completed your transaction. A payment in full will result in a “guilty” finding by the court and a conviction will appear on your driving record.
This site has security measures in place to protect from loss, misuse and alteration of the information to include data protected under HIPAA regulations.
Social Media Security
City staff needs to take every caution to prevent fraud or unauthorized access to social media applications. In almost every case where an attacker accesses a system without authorization, he/she does so with the intent to cause harm, including:
- Making unofficial posts, tweets or messages that will be seen by the public as official messages.
- Encouraging users to either click links or download unwanted applications that the attacker has added to the site.
- Accessing, compromising or disabling a city system.
- Redirecting users to sites that look like a city site but are used to gather data that could be used for unauthorized purposes (e.g. phishing)
- Using a compromised site to spread malware.
- Acquiring confidential information about city employees or citizens (e.g. social engineering).
How to Mitigate Security Risks
Security related to social media is fundamentally a behavioral issue, not typically a technology issue. In general, employees unwittingly providing information to third parties pose a risk to the city network. Employees need to be aware of current and emerging threats that they may face using social media sites and how to avoid falling prey. The following are best practices when using social media:
- A separate user ID and password must be used to access social media sites, NEVER use your City Network username and password
- Never duplicate user IDs and passwords across multiple social media sites
- Learn more about security awareness and risks when using social media
- Ensure privacy settings are set appropriately
- Review (and apply as appropriate) patches for Firefox, Adobe and Java as these software scans be common paths for security vulnerabilities.
Social Media Guidelines for Posting and Commenting
Content that is off-topic or not within the scope of the responsibilities of the City of Caldwell (or the specific departmental page) will not be tolerated or permitted:
- Abusive, profane, or insulting language
- Attacks on individual character or to the personality of individuals
- Commercial endorsements of products, services, organizations, or other entities
- Political endorsements of parties, candidates, or groups
- Content that infringes on copyrights
- Substantially repetitive content
- Solicitations of funds
- Speculative comments on any ongoing investigation
- Content that implies, promotes, or encourages illegal activity
- Sexual content
Public comments must adhere to the following, but is not limited to:
- Comments must be civil and may not contain slanderous, libelous, malicious, offensive, threatening, profane, or insulting language. And must be within the scope of the topic under discussion
- Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates 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 will not be permitted
- References to the personality of individuals, personal attacks, or potentially libelous statements will not be permitted
- Advertising or promotional announcements will not be permitted
- Comments cannot include personally identifiable information, such as an address, phone number, social security number, or other sensitive information of others
- Comments of a sexual nature or links to sexual content will not be permitted
- Comments containing links to other web sites or pages must be relevant to the topic
- Comments encouraging illegal activity will not be permitted
- Solicitations of commerce will not be permitted
- Comments must not breach any law, confidentiality, or copyright
Social media is an engaging medium and welcomes two-‐way and cross conversations, giving the City of Caldwell the opportunity receive and obtain comments and feedback from users regarding how the City is perceived, what it is doing right and what users think might be wrong or done more effectively or efficiently.
Monitors enforce this policy and guidelines to ensure content and posted comments are suitable for all readers, while respecting the gamut of opinions and points of view.
Prohibited, negative and/or inappropriate comments from users are to be expected given the deeply felt passion some individuals express about topics close to their hearts. Unacceptable forms of communication should not become a worrisome issue or treated as a sign of failure in social media strategies and usages. Instead, such comments can be reformed into positive effects, indicating to the online community that the city is professional, engaged in a dialogue with its users and that it values their concerns and opinions.
Typical scenarios with suggested outcomes –a guide
Identify the Type of Feedback
The first step in dealing with negative feedback is determining what type of comment has been received. Negative feedback comes in a few different forms, each of which is best dealt with by a different type of response.
Many users will use social media to suggest ways in which the City can improve upon services. While this type of feedback may point out flaws or issues, it can be extremely helpful to receive.
Essentially, the City of Caldwell or one of its agents did something wrong, and someone is unhappy. Again, while this type of feedback is not positive, it can serve as a means to convey information regarding solutions being worked, results achieved and ways that issues have been resolved.
Trolls and spammers will use a negative comment about the City, a political figure or provided service (whether true or false) to promote a competing entity, person or service.
Determine Best Approaches for Response
When responding to criticism, even the negative type, it is important to stay positive. Adding more negativity to the conversation or being drawn into a fight with a customer or user will likely reflect poorly on the organization.
A response is almost certainly necessary. Regardless, if a real problem exists, steps should be taken to remedy the issue, therefore it is important communication occurs between the social media moderator and department handling the problem. Sometimes, this type of feedback is the result of a perceived problem rather than an actual problem (e.g. someone who doesn’t like the method by which something was done). This type of complaint should be given a response, if only to say, “Thank you for bringing it to our attention, but here is why we have this procedure in place.”
There will be times when the organization will not want to implement the suggestion given, however, trust will be built by responding to criticism with a positive message.
This can be tougher to deal with, because comments are more likely to feel personal. It is important to keep in mind that this type of feedback, as harsh as it may be, has a basis in a real problem. It is best to respond promptly and with a positive tone (e.g. thank the user for the feedback and assure them that steps are being taken to correct the issue or mitigate their problem).
This is the only category of negative feedback that does not require a response. In fact, it is almost always best not to respond to these messages. This type of feedback isn’t really feedback at all. It is best to ignore this variety of feedback, and when appropriate, to remove it as soon as possible from the medium and/or report the user to appropriate application support.
The following shall apply regarding the retention of City business, information or public records of posts to social media applications and tools:
- All content published and received by the city using social media in connection with the transaction of the city’s public business are public records in accordance with the Texas Public Information Act (https://www.oag.state.tx.us/ag_publications/pdfs/publicinfo_hb.pdf)
- The city remains responsible for capturing electronic copies of its public records made or received using social media, including those records made or received using third-‐party websites. All City employees and users are prohibited from deleting, altering, or in any way destroying, obliterating or tampering with the social media posts once they have been officially entered into the social medium.
- All City employees are responsible for keeping their individual access information confidential and they will be held individually accountable for all entries made under their access data. It is no defense that the computer was accessible to others or that someone else might have tampered, deleted, or made an unauthorized post while the system was accessed by a third party, if the employee left the access open and/or unattended.
- The city retains public records and disposes social media public records in accordance with Texas State Records Retention Schedule (https://www.tsl.state.tx.us/slrm/recordspubs/rrs4.html).
Social Media Disclaimer
The City of Caldwell does not warrant or make representations or endorsements as to the quality, content, suitability, accuracy, or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links, and other items contained on a City social media site’s server or any other server. Such materials have been compiled from a variety of sources, and are subject to change without notice from the City. The City’s primary and predominant internet presence shall remain the City’s official website at www.caldwelltx.gov and no other website or social media site can characterize itself as such. The City reserves the right to completely delete or hide, when appropriate and as soon as feasible, any posting or content unrelated to the purpose and topical scope of the City social media site/page.
Comments posted on this site by “friends,” “fans,” or “followers” or others will be monitored and any postings or comments that are deemed: inappropriate; an advertisement or commercial in nature; to imply, promote, or encourage illegal activity; contrary to the safety of City employees or the public; to oppose or support political candidates or propositions; violates the legal ownership of another party (such as copyrighted material); obscene; sexual; pornographic; malicious; offensive; threatening; profane; insulting; grossly inaccurate; proprietary; copyrighted; protected by the attorney-client privilege; or subject to state or federal confidentiality or privacy laws may be deleted without notice.
These guidelines are intended to supplement -‐not replace -‐the City of Caldwell’s Personnel Policies. Policies on confidentiality, controversial issues, personal use of city equipment, professionalism, references for former employees, publication of articles, unlawful harassment and other rules of conduct addressed in other policies are not affected, altered or amended by these guidelines. If not specifically addressed in this policy, an issue often can be clarified by reference to other City of Caldwell’s policies. Similarly, conduct that violates this policy will be subject to the same action as set forth in City personnel policies and may be disciplined accordingly. Questions, Comment and Concerns If, at any time, there is an uncertainty about how to apply these guidelines or questions arise regarding participation in social media, all employees are directed to seek the guidance of the City Manager or employee designated by the City Manager responsible for all social media assets.
Except to the extent required by law, communications made through e-mail and comments posted shall in no way be deemed to constitute legal notice to the City of Caldwell or any of its agencies, officers, employees, agents, or representatives with respect to any existing or potential claim or cause of action against the agencies, officers, employees, agents or representatives where notice to the City is required by any federal, state or local laws, rules or its regulations. Further, comments on a social media site should not be utilized as a method of contacting the City in case of an emergency. Requests for City services or aid should be directed to (979) 567-3271. In cases of an emergency, please call 9-1-1.
As stated in Social Media Guidelines: Content, users and visitors must be notified of the intended purposes of Caldwell’s social media applications. A Social Media User Agreement is to be placed or linked on all social media sites to be executed before access may be allowed.
Social Media User Agreement:
In an effort to communicate with a larger audience, the City of Caldwell maintains various types of social media applications. Be accessing these applications, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions stated below. The City of Caldwell intends to promote effective communication and maintain a respectful dialogue with users. In that spirit, the rules for posting external comments and content on Caldwell social media sites should maintain an open forum for community discussion and comment.
The City’s social media system is monitored to ensure that posted comments and included content are constructive and suitable for all readers and users, while respecting a wide and unfettered range of opinions and points of view. So that you are advised and comfortable to participate fully, the City of Caldwell’s social media system’s sites, comments, links and uploads containing any of the following prohibited material/matter shall NOT be allowed:
- Comments in support of or opposition to political campaigns or ballot measures.
- Profane language or content. Abusive or disparaging comments directed at individual(s).
- Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status or lack thereof, socio-‐economic status of individual(s), national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation.
- Sexual expression, discrimination, harassment or content of any kind or links to sexual content or pornography whether of an adult, minor or child.
- Any expression of conduct or encouragement of illegal activity.
- Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or the City’s public safety systems.
- Any expression of words that would disparage right, title or interest of a legal ownership of any other individual or business.
- Comments that do not pertain to the topic under discussion; including comments containing links to other websites or pages which are not relevant to the topic under discussion.
- References to or inappropriate characterizations of individuals including personal attacks upon any member of the public, City employee or City official.
- Advertising or promotional announcements of private or commercial enterprises, even if not for profit unless the City is co-‐sponsoring such activity or event. Only City business related advertising (services) or promotional announcements (special events) are allowed.
- Individually identifiable information (e.g. address, phone number and social security numbers) of specific individuals be they City employees, officials or members of the public.
By participating or attending an event conducted or hosted by the City of Caldwell and its departments, you are agreeing to let the City of Caldwell and all news media organizations use your and your children’s multimedia (photo and video images) and/or likeness for news, promotional purposes, and electronic materials now and in the future. Names of individuals will not be used in photo captions. No compensation will be given for the use of photo and video images taken during the event.
If you do not wish you and/or your children’s multimedia and/or likeness to be used in this way, please email the City of Caldwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a contact us form via the City of Caldwell website or contact the appropriate event personnel/ city staff.