Concern over Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s social media policy

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A Mid and East Antrim Councillor has raised concerns over the local council’s social media policy.

Councillor Jim Brown spoke out outduring a discussion on the council’s Social Media Policy, Social Media Guidelines for Elected Members and Equal Opportunities in Employment Policy report.

During the meeting at The Braid on July 6, Cllr Brown said there was a “contradiction” in the policy.

“This policy tells us to be confident and tells us that we could get into trouble,” he stated.

“I don’t want this policy to be used to attempt to silence members, and I’m concerned about who will decide if there has been a breach of the policy.

“Would it be the Omudsman?”

Councillors voted to send the Social Media and Equal Opportunities report to the council’s Policy and Resources Committee for further consideration.

Three other draft reports on social media policy officers, social media guidelines for elected members and equality of opportunity in employment were passed by the councillors present.

After hearing complaints that the council’s website was “unimaginative” and “unappealing” at last month’s Policy and Resources Committee, the local authority is taking steps to improve the service.

It is also aware of the importance of making use of popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

At that meeting, Cllr Brown stated that the local authority needed to “spice up” its website by adding a “splash of colour and some photographs”.

Speaking at the same meeting, Cllr Gordon Lyons claimed that Mid and East Antrim was lagging behind other councils when it came to social media, and encouraged the local authority to consider setting up a Twitter handle.