Guidelines for Content

Adapted from City of Houston Executive Order 1-18, Section 7, Policy on Use of Social Media: Design and Content of City Social Media Sites

Purpose for Staff: These guidelines have been developed for Houston Public Library staff who have been approved to post on or develop content for a Library-approved social networking site, including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, or blogs. These guidelines should also be used by staff who represent themselves as employees of Houston Public Library when posting or commenting on other accounts and sites.

Purpose for the Public: Additionally, these guidelines are intended for customers and members of the general public who post and comment on one of the Houston Public Library approved social networking technology tools.

The Houston Public Library is an organization whose staff and customers reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. The Library encourages lively discussion by all individuals in a respectful manner. Comments on a Houston Public Library social networking technology tool should be relevant to the post to which they are attached. Please see sections 7.5.1 and 7.5.2 of the City of Houston social media policy below. Comments must also meet the approved criteria below:

  • Content does not include racial, ethnic, or gender slurs.
  • Content does not include personal insults or obscenities.
  • Content reflects consideration for the privacy for all persons and businesses. Specifically, content should not include text or links providing personal information (e.g., phone numbers or addresses).
  • Content should be limited to the topic of the posting and must not contain new topics that are considered objectionable or inflammatory.
  • Content is not plagiarized or copyright-protected material. Links to an author’s work can be included in the blog.
  • Content is not a commercial promotion that advertises businesses, products or services.
  • Content does not include text or links that primarily contain inaccurate factual information.
  • Content does not disparage other participants who may offer opposing viewpoints.

Should any content fail to meet the above criteria, Houston Public Library reserves the right to edit, remove, or deny the offending post or comment.

Please Note: Comments are moderated from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, excluding HPL holidays.

If you have any questions or concerns about these guidelines, please feel free to contact us.

7.5.1 “Comments. The purpose of this site is to present matters of public interest in the
City of Houston, Texas. We encourage you to submit comments, but please note
that this is not a public forum.  

7.5.2 Comments posted to this page will be monitored. The City reserves the right to
delete comments that: contain false information, obscene language or sexual
content, threaten or defame any person or organization, support or oppose
political candidates, political organizations or ballot propositions, promote illegal
activity, commercial services or products, infringe on copyrights or trademarks or
are not topically related to the particular posting.