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Using the EPA Comment Policy

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External Social Media Tools that Allow Comments

Use the link for the EPA Comment Policy on all EPA external facing tools that allow comments. The Greenversations blog comment policy has slightly different wording so do not use the Greenversations Comment Policy.

Placement of the EPA Comment Policy link on pages that accept comments will depend on the tool, the page setup, and other considerations. Please refer to guidance for specific tools on the Social Media Blog, under Guidance. If you need additional assistance, contact the Office of Web Communications in OPA.

If comments are removed (after posting) or unapproved (not posted) because they do not meet the comment policy guidelines, then document using the process outlined below. Comments that are spam do not need to be documented.

Note: OPA and OEI are responsible for updating and revising EPA's comment policy with the assistance of OGC to ensure that there are no legal concerns or issues.

Internal Social Media Tools that Allow Comments

There is no standard comment policy language for internal EPA use. Feel free to borrow from the external comment policy. However, there must be a comment policy if you allow comments. This ensures that the EPA community understands the rules and expectations for the tool and employee behavior. Placement of the comment policy on internal pages/tools that accept comments will depend on the tool, the page setup, and other considerations; however, it must be clear that there is a comment policy.

If comments are removed (after posting) or unapproved (not posted) because they do not meet the comment policy guidelines, then document using the process outlined below.

Documenting Unapproved Comments Other than Spam

Copy the following text into a document and keep a copy of all unapproved comments, and why they were not approved:

Unapproved Comments Other than Spam

This document shows all comments, other than spam, that we haven't approved. Potential reasons for not approving a comment:

  • contains obscene, indecent, or profane language;
  • contains threats or defamatory statements;*
  • contains hate speech directed at race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, age, religion, or disability; or
  • promotes or endorses services or products. (Note that non-commercial links that are relevant to the topic or another comment are acceptable.)
  • duplicate comment
  • comment requesting that a previous comment from the same contributor be edited for typos or other minor errors
  • misrepresentation, e.g., falsely claiming to be a well-known person - the President, a celebrity, etc.

* When threats or violent comments are received, an incident report should be filed with the security office.

Paste in new ones at the bottom, number them, and add a reason.

Examples of Comment Violations

1) 3/15/2011
Live webcast: Join us March 17 and share your ideas. Help us design a plan we’ll use to periodically review regulations.

Comment: Joe Smith - count moldremoval.com to be a part of that I am the social media coordinator and love to be involved with this

Reason: Promotional

2) 3/18/2011
Have you seen our frequently asked questions about the Japan nuclear incident and our monitoring?

Comment: Joseywalesful Daniel - Quite right indeed because I'm stocking up on ammunition that's why I know. (^_^)

Reason: Threatening

3) 5/10/2011
Our new radiation monitoring map provides near-real-time levels in air and lab analysis of precipitation, milk, and drinking water. Each dot still links to a page showing all data, and you can search for your town to see how close the nearest dots are.

Comment: Nate Ham - Why do u think there is only 3 major cell phone companies? listen when all shit hits the fan like Egypt and the gov shut down the internet and cell phones think how easy it would be to do in the USA with everyone and there i phone i pad tablet black berry now they have tablet computers THINK how easy it will be for them to shut off your cell phone internet even power

Reason: Profanity

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