ECP: CCSD Changes Its Facebook Policy

Last Sunday, at 12:29pm, this post appeared on the Cobb County School District Facebook page:

Due to recent offensive and/or inappropriate posts, CCSD Facebook page posting permissions have been changed to allow only comments on posts made by CCSD. Facebook does not provide an option for comments to be screened prior to posting, and the district does not have the resources to provide constant monitoring of the site. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Then on Monday, the CCSD removed all posts from their Facebook page that did not originate from the school district.  

This change in policy caused an uproar on Facebook, as people wondered why this happened.  Was the school board behind this?  Is the school district now censoring the community?

To get to the bottom of this, I called the school district office and spoke with someone in their communications department.  The answer about “why” turned out to be fairly mundane.  According to the School Board Policy Manual, section IJNDB, section F: Employee Created Web Pages and /or Blogs:

The District Web site and individual employee Web pages/blogs will not:
a. Contain public message boards or chat-room areas. ...
b. Allow the display of unsolicited comments from the general public. Any solicited
  public feedback should be reviewed by the employee before posting....

Translated to English, this means that the school district cannot have an open posting policy on Facebook.  So what can we, the community do, if we want to communicate about the school district on Facebook?

Make our own Facebook group.

So I did.  Last night, I created a group called “Cobb County School District Unofficial Community Page”.  Anyone is welcome to join the group, and anyone can post to the group.  Please feel free to post articles, opinions, events, and other information, just as you would have to the CCSD Facebook page.

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