Social Media Terms and Conditions
An important goal of Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue is to support lines of communication with members of the public, and to do so with a level of transparency that encourages citizen interaction. The use of social media enhances our ability to do this, particularly through social networking sites. We also respect the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the constitutional right to freedom of speech. These terms and conditions establish guidelines for the public’s use of social media that balances these values. Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue offers social media pages as a limited public forum as a public service to the community.
These accounts are not monitored in real-time. To report an emergency, please dial 911.
These terms and conditions apply to all our social media sites. Where possible, a link to these terms and conditions will be made available as a hyperlink or posted as text somewhere on our social media account(s).
Postings made by Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue to our social media pages are done so with the intention of providing the public with information we believe is important or newsworthy, and in certain cases is necessary to release in the interest of public safety. Therefore, Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue reserves the right to limit posts from members of the public to those which directly relate to our postings, and which conform to our guidelines. It is not the intent of Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue to provide a venue or forum for the expression and/or postings of unlimited comments, videos, or links simply for the convenience of the public.
Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue makes reasonable efforts to check all posts for accuracy, veracity and completeness when posted; however we make no guarantees or warrant posting reliability. Postings are made in “good faith,” though circumstances may arise that cause details to change over time, with new information being developed. Should information from a posting change, become stale, or be deemed inaccurate, we will make reasonable efforts to update it as soon as practicable, upon such discovery.
We welcome the posting of relevant comments to our social media pages. However, comments made by users do not necessarily reflect the views of Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue or its members, and shouldn’t be deemed as an endorsement by Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue or its members, nor should they be considered as being accurate or verified. This also applies to any advertisements or third-party links that may appear on our social media pages.
All content on Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue social media pages, to include user comments, is subject to disclosure under the State of Washington Public Records Act. Comments posted on Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue social media pages are not considered private and are available for viewing by anyone accessing said pages. We urge you to protect your privacy and not list any personal or sensitive information about yourself when commenting on a post. The Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue does not and cannot guarantee your privacy when using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Users should familiarize themselves with, and abide by, the terms and conditions set forth by social media platforms when using those applications.
At times, we may choose to reply to user comments to answer a question or to offer an update on a posting. Unfortunately we cannot reply to every comment, due to time constraints and emergency response needs. Though we welcome your comments, there are certain guidelines we require when posting.
Comments must not contain any of the following things:
- Obscene, vulgar, sexually explicit or otherwise offensive language/content, or links to such material;
- Threats of any kind, particularly toward any other user or Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue and its members;
- The advocating of criminal acts or other illegal behavior;
- Material that has the potential to compromise public safety or the safety of emergency response personnel;
- Remarks that disparage or discriminate against anyone based upon their sex, race, creed, religious views, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, etc.;
- Comments that advocate that we illegally discriminate based on race, age, religion, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other legally protected class;
- Remarks that may be considered libel, made toward any person or organization;
- Anything that is clearly off the intended topic of discussion;
- Information that is clearly inaccurate, unverified, and purposefully designed to mislead others;
- Campaigning of any type, political or otherwise;
- Links to other third-party sites that are not reputable or relevant (at our sole discretion) or advertisements;
- Any form of solicitation; and
- Any other language/material deemed inappropriate or offensive.
Any comments that violate these guidelines may be removed by Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue at its sole discretion, and without prior warning or notice, but will be retained for the applicable retention period. The law permits us to hide and/or delete comments that are not protected speech under the First Amendment and relevant case law. We will not hide and/or delete comments solely because such comments are critical of Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue or its officials or employees.
If our staff hides or deletes a user’s comment pursuant to these terms and conditions, that user has the right to appeal that decision by sending an email or letter to Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue, 701 Vine St, Kelso, WA 98626 within five business days of our action.
Upon receipt of an appeal, our attorney will determine whether the comment at issue contained content protected by the First Amendment. If the appeal is successful, the comment may (if possible) be restored for public view, or the user may be permitted to repost the comment. Upon a determination that the comment was not protected by the First Amendment, the user will be notified that the appeal was denied. The return correspondence, sent within a reasonable amount of time, will provide the user with a legal explanation for the action taken.
Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue also reserves the right to block access to our social media pages to any user who consistently violates these guidelines, without prior warning or notice.
Blocking or Banning a User. When we determine that a user has violated these terms and conditions on three or more occasions within a twelve month rolling period, we may block or ban the offending user from the social media account where the violations occurred. If we block or ban a user, we will reasonably attempt to notify the user and describe the violation.
If the appeal is successful and the user has not violated this policy three times within a rolling 12-month period, we will unblock or unban the user from the social media account. If the appeal is not successful, our decision will stand.
We understand that some topics may bring about strong feelings from users, but we ask that you please exercise good judgment, common courtesy and reasonableness when posting your comments. Thanks for your understanding in this matter.
Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue reserves the right to make changes to these guidelines without notice, and when it becomes necessary to do so. Changes made to these guidelines will take effect the moment they’re updated on the official Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue website (www.c2fr.org) and viewable to the public. Please check these guidelines periodically for possible revisions.