Social Media Policy

​​​This memorandum constitutes the Office of the Governor’s Social Media Use Policy (the “Policy”). Given the evolving nature of social media and the laws and regulations that govern social media, the Office of the Governor1 reserves the right to amend this Policy at any time. The Office of the Governor will notify the public of any changes to this Policy, which shall be posted on the Governor’s website.

Governor’s Office Social Media Accounts. The current public-facing accounts on third-party websites (“Social Media Accounts”) belonging to the Office of the Governor and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor are listed below. This Policy applies to users of the following Social Media Accounts:

Purposes. The above official Social Media Accounts provide the Governor with web-based tools to share official and personal announcements, information on initiatives, and updates on current events. The Social Media Accounts are not intended to replace the channels currently in place for press and constituent communication. Rather, they are meant to augment the Governor’s ability to inform and empower Maryland residents and serve as limited public forums for discussion with and among users about the posted announcements, initiatives, and current events.

Third Party Platform Policies. The Office of the Governor uses third-party platforms to host and operate its Social Media Accounts. The Social Media Accounts are subject to these third-party platform policies, including privacy policies and terms-of-service agreements, which also govern the public’s use of the third-party platforms. The Office of the Governor and the State of Maryland do not endorse, and are not responsible for any content, viewpoints, products, or services offered or expressed by other users or by any third-party platform.

Comments. Constructive conversations on the Social Media Accounts are encouraged within comments, messages, retweets, and other user communications (“Comments”). Publication of Comments on a Social Media Account does not imply endorsement of, or agreement by, the Office of the Governor or the State of Maryland. Comments posted on a Social Media Account are the opinion of the commentator only. The Office of the Governor is not responsible for Comments generated by users on any Social Media Account. Comments and content should be understood to be entirely public; users should not include any confidential or identifying information in their Comments. The Office of the Governor is not responsible for content removed or hidden by any third-party platform.

The Office of the Governor does not discriminate based on viewpoint, but may remove Comments and restrict access to users for violating this Policy. While we are interested in hearing the public’s opinion through our Social Media Accounts, we expect conversations to follow the rules of polite discourse and ask that participants treat each other, as well as the Office of the Governor’s staff, respectfully. To facilitate the purposes of the Social Media Accounts, the Office of the Governor reserves the right to review and remove comments made on the accounts if they contain, constitute, or link to the following:

  • Threats of physical or bodily harm, or of violence to public safety;2
  • Malicious or harmful software;
  • Confidential, personally identifying, or private information as defined by State law;
  • Language and other content that is obscene or indecent as defined by State law;
  • Copyrighted materials in violation of State or federal law;
  • Persistent malicious conduct intending to harass, threaten, alarm or intimidate a public official, employee, or member of the general public;
  • Sensitive information that could reasonably compromise the safety of a public official, employee, or member of the general public;
  • SPAM consisting of disruptive and repetitive unsolicited messages;
  • Advertisements, promotions, or solicitations of a commercial product or service;
  • Deliberate misinformation including false content generated by spoofed email accounts, hoaxes, and spearphishing; and
  • Remarks that are clearly unrelated to the subject matter of any post ever made on the platform by or on behalf of the Office of the Governor.

Rules. Consistent with the following rules, a user or users may be temporarily or permanently restricted from accessing a Social Media Account if they repeatedly and consistently violate this Policy:

  • Upon discovering that a user may have made Comments in violation of this Policy, the Office of the Governor may immediately block the user and the user may remain blocked for a brief, reasonable period, in order for the Office of the Governor to make a determination as to whether the user’s Comments have violated this Policy.
  • If a determination is made that the user’s Comments on a Social Media Account constitute a violation of this Policy, the user will be notified through the same Social Media Account that their access has been restricted either temporarily (following a first offense) or permanently (if the user has had prior temporary restrictions).
  • To contest a restriction of access to a Social Media Account, the user must submit to the Office of Correspondence & Constituent Services at socialmedia.policy@maryland.gov a written statement providing grounds for reinstatement. Requests shall be responded to on a reasonably timely basis, and access shall be restored if it is determined that the grounds for reinstatement are sufficient. A statement that the user will abide by this policy in the future shall be sufficient, except when a user has continued to violate the policy after having made such a statement.

We understand that social media is a 24/7 medium; however, the Office of the Governor does not have 24/7 monitoring capacity. While every effort will be made to remove Comments or material that are inconsistent with this Policy promptly, we invite users to contact the Office of Correspondence & Constituent Service​s at socialmedia.policy@maryland.gov at any time to identify Comments or material in violation of this Policy.


1 References herein to the Office of the Governor or the Governor include the Office of the Lieutenant Governor or the Lieutenant Governor, unless expressly stated otherwise.

2 Users that make express or implied threats of violence or to public safety may be reported to the Maryland State Police and/or other law enforcement authorities for investigation.