Lafayette to examine social media rules for elected leaders

Colorado Hometown Weekly: A free speech lawsuit playing out in Virginia has prompted Lafayette to examine new policies for how its city leaders use social media.

Lafayette spokeswoman Debbie Wilmot and City Attorney Dave Williamson will present draft language surrounding potential policy guiding how City Council members navigate both their personal and public online presence on Tuesday.

Some of the proposed language includes rules regarding the need for officials to separate their private and public accounts as well as what they can discuss online, draft language suggests.

“We felt like there are always questions about what (elected officials) can and can’t we do online,” Wilmot said, “so the city attorney and I felt it was a good idea to help give council some direction.”

It’s unclear if similar policy exists among surrounding Boulder County communities such as Boulder and Longmont, though Louisville and Erie both contain social media guidelines.

Lafayette does not currently have any such regulations in place.

The process was born from a lawsuit late last summer in Loudoun County, Va., where a federal district court ruled that a local elected official violated the free speech rights of a constituent when she banned someone from her Facebook page.

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