Social Media and Employee Use Directive

This page establishes CPSC's guidance on the use of social media.
July 25, 2013

Order No. 1440.1

 

    1.PURPOSE.  This Order establishes the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) guidance on the use of social media.

 

    2.SCOPE.  This Order applies to any CPSC employee, agent, representative, contractor, or other person who uses social media on behalf of the CPSC (CPSC employee).  Appendix A of this Order provides guidance to CPSC employees using social media for personal use in a personal capacity. 

 

    3.OFFICES RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS DIRECTIVE.  Office of Communications (OCM), Office of Information and Technology Services (EXIT), and Office of the Executive Director (OEX).

 

    4.CANCELLATION.  None.

 

    5.AUTHORITY.  Not applicable.

 

    6.REFERENCES. 

    a.E-Government Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-347, 116  Stat. 2899.

 

b. Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002, 44 U.S.C. § 3541 et seq.

 

c.The Hatch Act, 5 U.S.C. § 7321 et seq.

 

    d. Section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2055(

 

    e. Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 C.F.R. Part 2635. 

 

    f. Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 5 C.F.R. § 8101.103. 

 

    g. OMB Mem. M-10-23 (June 25, 2010), Guidance for Agency Use of Third Party Websites and Applications. 

 

    h. Memorandum from the Executive Office of the President to the heads of Executive Departments and Agencies and Independent Regulatory Agencies (April 7, 2010), Social Media, Web-Based Interactive Technologies, and the Paperwork Reduction Act. 

 

    i. NARA Bulletin 2011-02 (October 20, 2010), Guidance on Managing Records in Web 2.0/Social Media Platforms. 
    j. U.S. Office of Special Counsel (July 27, 2010), Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Social Media and the Hatch Act. 

 

    k. CIO Council (September 2009), Guidelines for Secure Use of Social Media by Federal Departments and Agencies. 

 

    l. CPSC Order 0730.1 (August 4, 2004), Records Management Program. 

 

    m. CPSC Order 1435.1 (September 25, 2007), Policies and Procedures Pursuant to the Privacy Act. 

 

    n. CPSC Order 1450.2 (January 16, 2003), Clearance Procedures for Providing Information to the Public. 

 

    o. Commission Policy on Linking to Nongovernment Websites, Appendix to CPSC Order 1450.2 (January 16, 2003), Clearance Procedures for Providing Information to the Public. 

 

    p. CPSC Web Document Posting Policy and Procedures.

 

7. DEFINITIONS.

a. “Blog” means a Web-based forum with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other materials (such as graphics, audio, or video).

 

b. “Public Comments” means, in connection with Social Media or a Social Media Site or Tool, any postings, communications, replies, responses, and any other messages provided by an individual, other than the Social Media Specialist or Social Media User, on or through a Social Media Site or Tool used by CPSC.

 

c. “Social Media” means Web- or digital-based tools that facilitate collaboration and information sharing, including Blogs, microblogging services, social networking sites, video and photo sharing sites, wikis, widgets, and other emerging technologies.

 

d. “Social Media Site or Tool” means a Blog, website, or other Social Media application, platform, or technology where CPSC has an account or other presence.

 

e. “Social Media Specialist” means a CPSC Office of Communications employee, designated and authorized by the Director of Communications and/or the Executive Director, as the individual(s) acting in an official capacity who: (1) implements CPSC’s Social Media program on behalf of the agency, and (2) posts and manages information on or through approved Social Media Sites or Tools.  

 

f. “Social Media User” means a CPSC employee authorized by the Executive Director and/or the Director of Communications to post information on behalf of the CPSC on or through approved Social Media Sites or Tools.

 

g.“use”means, in connection with Social Media or a Social Media Site or Tool, establishing, contributing to, posting on, participating on, communicating on, creating a presence on, registering, creating an account, or otherwise using such Social Media or Social Media Site or Tool.

 

8. GENERAL POLICY. 

CPSC use of each Social Media Site or Tool; and the guidelines, rules, and conditions applicable to CPSC’s use of the Social Media Site or Tool.  The Executive Director, or the Executive Director’s designee, in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of Communications, and the Office of Information and Technology Services, must expressly approve:

 

The Office of Communications, through the Social Media Specialist, applies the requirements of this Directive in implementing CPSC’s Social Media program and in monitoring compliance with: (a) this Directive, and (b) the rules specified by the Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee applicable to such person’s use of a Social Media Site or Tool.  The Office of Education, Global Outreach, and Small Business Ombudsman, through its Social Media Users, is responsible for announcing CPSC initiatives, educational events, and other CPSC activities and informational resources through Social Media Sites or Tools, as appropriate.     All Social Media Users are responsible for complying with: (a) this Directive, and (b) rules specified by the Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee applicable to such person’s use of a Social Media Site or Tool. The Office of Information and Technology Services is responsible for the technical requirements of CPSC use of Social Media and for related privacy, security, information, and records management requirements.

 

Information that is posted or otherwise communicated through a Social Media Site or Tool by a Social Media Specialist or Social Media User shall comply with all applicable statutes and regulations, federal policies and guidelines, Terms of Service, and CPSC policies, rules, and guidelines, including those outlined in the References provision at Section 6 of this Directive and the rules specified by the Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee applicable to such person’s use of a Social Media Site or Tool. [Recall notices posted on or through Social Media Sites or Tools will be subject to applicable statutes and regulations.]

 

Information Posted or Communicated by CPSC. Only a Social Media Specialist or a Social Media User may post or otherwise communicate information on or through a Social Media Site or Tool on behalf of the CPSC.

 

Only a Social Media Specialist or Social Media User can post information through Social Media Sites or Tools. CPSC employees using Social Media for personal use on a personal capacity should adhere to the guidance provided in the document, “Social Media – Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Use.”

CPSC will use Social Media to further the agency’s mission of protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of consumer products, where appropriate.  Information posted by CPSC on or through Social Media Sites or Tools shall relate to product safety, product recalls, agency safety campaigns, education, and other important issues related to the health and safety of consumers.

 

Prior to posting new information, the Social Media Specialist or Social Media User shall consult with other CPSC offices that reasonably may have an interest in the information to be posted to protect the accuracy and coordination of postings.  For all postings relating to product recalls or compliance investigations, the Compliance Officer for the matter must be consulted and must concur with the information to be posted prior to posting. 

 

CPSC’s use of Social Media will comply with all applicable statutes and regulations, federal policies and guidelines, and CPSC policies, rules, and guidelines, including those outlined in the References provision at Section 6 of this Directive. CPSC will use only Social Media Sites or Tools that have been approved for CPSC’s use in accordance with this Directive.  Such approval and CPSC use must be in accordance with: (i) approved Terms of Service (TOS) agreements; (ii) applicable legal and regulatory requirements, including records management, access for persons with disabilities, privacy and information security; and (iii) this Directive. 

 

CPSC will not knowingly use any Social Media Site or Tool to collect personally identifiable information (PII).     

 

9. GUIDELINES.  

 

a. Roles and Responsibilities.

 

(1)The Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee,  in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of Communications, and the Office of Information and Technology Services, must expressly approve: 

 

(a)               CPSC use of each Social Media Site or Tool; and

 

(b)               the guidelines, rules, and conditions applicable to CPSC’s use of the Social Media Site or Tool.

 

The Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee must authorize the use of Social Media on behalf of the CPSC by a Social Media Specialist or a Social Media User prior to its use, and specify the rules applicable to such person’s use of Social Media on behalf of the CPSC. 

 

At any time, the Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee may require the discontinuation of CPSC use of a Social Media Site or Tool.

 

(2)               The Office of Communications, through the Social Media Specialist, applies the requirements of this Directive in implementing CPSC’s Social Media program and in monitoring compliance with: (a) this Directive, and (b) the rules specified by the Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee applicable to such person’s use of a Social Media Site or Tool. 

 

(3)               The Office of Education, Global Outreach, and Small Business Ombudsman, through its Social Media Users, is responsible for announcing CPSC initiatives, educational events, and other CPSC activities and informational resources through Social Media Sites or Tools, as appropriate.    

 

(4)               All Social Media Users are responsible for complying with: (a) this Directive, and (b) rules specified by the Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee applicable to such person’s use of a Social Media Site or Tool.

 

(5)               The Office of Information and Technology Services is responsible for the technical requirements of CPSC use of Social Media and for related privacy, security, information, and records management requirements.

 

b.                  Federal-Compatible Terms of Service Agreements.  CPSC generally may use only Social Media Sites or Tools with TOS that have been negotiated and approved by the U.S. General Services Administration.  For Social Media Sites or Tools that have not been approved by the U.S. General Services Administration, the Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee, in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of Communications, and the Office of Information and Technology, must expressly approve the TOS. 

 

 c.                   Information Posted or Communicated by CPSC. Only a Social Media Specialist or a Social Media User may post or otherwise communicate information on or through a Social Media Site or Tool on behalf of the CPSC.

 

 

(1)               Information that is posted or otherwise communicated through a Social Media Site or Tool by a Social Media Specialist or Social Media User shall comply with all applicable statutes and regulations, federal policies and guidelines, Terms of Service, and CPSC policies, rules, and guidelines, including those outlined in the References provision at Section 6 of this Directive and the rules specified by the Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee applicable to such person’s use of a Social Media Site or Tool.

 

d.                  Use of Social Media Is on Behalf of the CPSC.  Use of Social Media or a Social Media Site or Tool by a Social Media Specialist or a Social Media User under this Directive is on behalf of the CPSC; all related assets, accounts, rights, and privileges remain with the CPSC upon the separation or departure of the Social Media Specialist or the Social Media User from CPSC, or upon a change in such person’s position, responsibilities, or title within the agency.

 

 e.                   Public Comments.  The Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee, in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel and the Office of Communications, must specifically authorize: (1) the use of a Social Media Site or Tool where public comments are visible, are accepted,  or otherwise are available, before the CPSC uses such Social Media or Social Media Site or Tool; (2) the continued use of a Social Media Site or Tool where public comments at a future date are accepted, or become visible or otherwise are available; and (3) the exercise or selection on behalf of the CPSC of any option or setting with respect to CPSC’s use of a Social Media Site or Tool that would result in public comments appearing or becoming accepted, visible, or otherwise available.  Use of Social Media Sites or Tools where public comments appear or are accepted, visible, or otherwise are available shall adhere to all applicable statutes and regulations, federal policies and guidelines, and CPSC policies, rules, and guidelines.

 

 f.                   Linking. Nonfederal websites may be linked, “followed,” or otherwise connected, in accordance with applicable CPSC policies, rules, and guidance.

 

 g.                  Employee Use of Social Media. CPSC employees must comply with the requirements applicable to the use of Social Media in the employee’s capacity as a CPSC employee or on CPSC time.

 

(1)               Only a Social Media Specialist or Social Media User can post information through Social Media Sites or Tools.

 

(2)               CPSC employees using Social Media for personal use on a personal capacity should adhere to the guidance provided in the document, “Social Media – Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Use.”