Update: State of Utah CTO Dave Fletcher reached out and let me know that they removed the document, revised and properly credited the original source, and the process has been reviewed with the staff.
On September 29th, the State of Utah (where I reside) issued a document setting forth their guidelines for appropriate use of Social Media by the various government agencies. An article on GovTech.com entitled Utah Creates Social Media Guidelines for Employees Who Blog, Tweet, Etc. broke the story to the general masses, and so far there has been a fairly positive response. Why wouldn’t there be? What a progressive thing for a government agency to do, right?
The document entitled State of Utah Social Media Guidelines (pdf) (update – this document has been removed) was issued by the Department of Technology Services, and contains information for public officials on when to engage in social media and good advice on how to do so. And it really is good information.. sections on Transparency and Judicious behavior, as well as being knowledgeable and how to handle mistakes show that the DTS really did their homework.
To be fair, in the aforementioned article on GovTech.com, Utah CTO Dave Fletcher did say, “We looked at what other businesses have done, and we looked at the few government entities that had something … We also thought it through from our own perspective.”
Let’s take a look, shall we? Let’s see what Intel created and what the State of Utah added as “their own perspective”:
Be transparent. Your honesty—or dishonesty—will be quickly noticed in the social media environment. If you are blogging about your work at Intel, use your real name, identify that you work for Intel, and be clear about your role. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, be the first to point it out.
State of Utah:
Transparency. Your honesty will be quickly noticed in the social media environment. If you are blogging about your work at the State, use your real name, identify that you work for the State of Utah, and be clear about your role. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, be the first to point it out.
I mean wow. Is that plagiarism? I’m not really sure, but it’s not right. Want another?
Write what you know. Make sure you write and post about your areas of expertise, especially as related to Intel and our technology. If you are writing about a topic that Intel is involved with but you are not the Intel expert on the topic, you should make this clear to your readers. And write in the first person. If you publish to a website outside Intel, please use a disclaimer something like this: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent Intel’s positions, strategies, or opinions.” Also, please respect brand, trademark, copyright, fair use, trade secrets (including our processes and methodologies), confidentiality, and financial disclosure laws. If you have any questions about these, see your Intel legal representative. Remember, you may be personally responsible for your content.
State of Utah:
Knowledgeable. Make sure you write and post about your areas of expertise, especially as related to the State and your assignments. If you are writing about a topic that the State is involved with but you are not the State expert on the topic, you should make this clear to your readers. Write in the first person. If you publish to a Website outside the State, please use a disclaimer something like this: “The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the State of Utah’s positions, strategies, or opinions.” Respect brand, trademark, copyright, fair use, disclosure of processes and methodologies, confidentiality, and financial disclosure laws. If you have any questions about these, see your agency legal representative. Remember, you are personally responsible for your content.
Seems like the “perspective” that the DTS added was changing the word “Intel” to “State of Utah”. What about the rest of the document? Let’s look just the main topics – in order – for each:
|State of Utah||Intel|
|Introduction Engagement Rules of Engagement - Transparency - Judicious - Knowledgeable - Perception - Conversational - Excitement - Value - Leadership - Responsibility - Pause - Mistakes Moderating Comments||Introduction (untitled) When You Engage Rules of Engagement - Be transparent - Be judicious - Write what you know - Perception is reality - It’s a conversation - Are you adding value? - Your Responsibility - Create some excitement - Be a Leader - Did you screw up? - If it gives you pause, pause Moderation Guidelines|
Woo.. they got a little nuts there and changed the order of a few Rules..
For heaven’s sake. It’s like a 10th grader copying their homework out of Wikipedia. Utah DTS, you know what else is a really good guideline you can add to your list? Giving credit where it’s due. It’s one thing to adopt Intel’s fantastic guidelines as policy, but it’s a whole other thing to plagiarize and publish them as your own. Almost word for word. Your high school English teacher would be so disappointed.
Oh, one more thing, Utah DTS. It seems your document has an error, and at the end of page 3 is cut off mid sentence. Let me help you out by pulling what you meant to say from Intel’s guidelines:
Responsibility. What you write is ultimately your responsibility. Participation in social computing on behalf of the State is not a right but an opportunity, so please treat it seriously and with respect..