Social Media Policy

The official corporate 'Northumberland County' social media channels are managed by the County's Communications team. Other official channels for County programs and services are managed by their departmental staff. For a full list of County social media channels, visit our Social Media Centre page.

In March 2022, County Council adopted an updated Social Media Policy to outline expectations and guidelines for County representatives on social media, as well as the following terms and conditions of use for community members posting to County social media channels.

Terms and conditions of use

The following terms and conditions are in place to govern the use of social media channels managed by Northumberland County (‘the County’). By visiting and/or posting on these channels, users agree to follow the terms and conditions below. 

Hours of operation

The County is committed to using its social media channels as an effective method of communication with interested users. All sites will be monitored during regular business hours of Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Excellent customer service is a priority for Northumberland County, and every attempt will be made to respond to inquiries via social media in a timely manner during office hours. However, turnaround times are impacted by staff availability and resources across the corporation, and there will be instances when response times may be extended. 

In addition, there are some situations that are best dealt directly with specific departmental staff, and responses may therefore be limited to providing relevant department contact information for further discussion. The County encourages members of the public to contact us with official communication via traditional channels (phone, email, in-person). 

The County assumes no responsibility for lack of service due to channel-related downtime or issues.

Code of conduct

Northumberland County seeks to foster an inclusive and welcoming online community where people interact and share perspectives and ideas in a thoughtful and respectful manner. To build and maintain such collaborative spaces, the Code of Conduct requires those posting to County social media channels to adhere to the following: 

  • Be fair and respectful 
  • Aim for accuracy 
  • Add value 
  • Follow the law 
  • Stay on topic and avoid inappropriate topics 
  • Respect intellectual property 
  • Do not post spam or other commercial messages 
  • Protect privacy – your own and others’ 
  • Protect confidential information

Guidelines for participation

Content, comments, or links posted to County social media channels that contain any of the following will not be acknowledged, and may be modified or removed: 

  • Any illegal activity or encouragement of illegal activity; 
  • Solicitation of commerce; 
  • Any confidential information including but not limited to any personal information or personal health information of others; 
  • Promotion of political candidates; 
  • Content that violates legal ownership interests of any other party including but not limited to any unauthorized use of copyrighted materials or trademarks.

Users may not use the County name or any related moniker to endorse or promote any product, opinion or cause. Representation of users’ opinion as endorsed by the County is strictly prohibited. 

The County is not responsible for the authenticity or suitability of content posted to its social media platforms by users.

Health and safety

In accordance with Northumberland County’s vision, mission and core values, and with the commitment to protect County employees from harm and harassment in the workplace, the County will not condone any of the following on social media: 

  • Abusive, profane, derogatory, or offensive comments; 
  • Slanderous or defamatory remarks, obscene language or sexual content; 
  • Content that promotes, fosters, or encourages discrimination based on race, creed, colour, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation; 
  • Information that may compromise the safety or security of the public, public systems or employees of the County.

Channel moderation

Should comments or other content posted to a County-managed social media channel violate the Code of Conduct or Guidelines for participation, the following steps will be taken: 

  1. The County will remove the comment/post/tweet without notice (if not possible to remove directly, the County will request that the source remove the post). In the event of a second offence, the County will remove the post and advise the source that they will be blocked if the conduct continues, as per the Terms and Conditions of Use. 
  2. If the County’s request does not result in the removal of the offensive content/the discontinuance of the offending conduct, the County will block the user account. 
  3. The Social Media Account Manager will retain a record of the content along with supporting documentation, including the time, date, identity of poster, reason for removal, and any required incident reporting. 

The County reserves the right to block specific user accounts from the County’s social media channels whose activities do not comply with the County's Social Media Policy.


The County will adhere to all applicable legislation regarding privacy and freedom of information. The County is subject to Ontario’s Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.56 (“MFIPPA”) and other privacy legislation.

Users should be aware that personal and other information contained in electronic correspondence (or printed copies of this electronic correspondence) directed to the County is subject to MFIPPA. This information may be deemed releasable under this legislation and the anonymity of the sender and confidentiality of any information contained in the correspondence cannot be guaranteed.

Records retention

All content created and collected through social media is subject to the County’s Records Retention By-Law No. 27-12. 

For any content posted by a member of the public to a County social media channel that is removed because it is deemed in violation of this policy or any applicable law, a record will be retained by the Social Media Account Manager, and have supporting documentation, including the time, date, identity of poster, reason for removal, and any required incident reporting.

Use of collected information

Unless explicitly stated, the County does not collect or distribute information garnered through the use of social media platforms for commercial or marketing purposes. 

The County will not use any information provided by users for any purpose that is not consistent with the purpose for which the information was provided as stated on the social media platform. 


  • The third party social media sites that the County chooses to use are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis. The County makes no representations or guarantees around the site’s security, operation, information, privacy setting changes, content, or material included on these sites.
  • Any comments, images or videos that are posted by any third parties are not representative of the County. The County cannot guarantee the privacy of users on any third party owned sites. Users are subject to the terms and conditions of the social media application on which they post information. Users should be sure to review the third party terms and conditions on social media sites prior to agreeing to engage in posting comments or information on their site.
  • The County is not responsible for any losses or damages incurred as a result of using third party social media sites. Individuals who choose to use these sites do so at their own risk and are aware of the potential liabilities; as such they accept that they have no legal recourse against the County related to such use.
  • The third party site is able to change their settings without sending notification to the County or to users. The County is not responsible for the lack of notification around these changes and as such will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising from the use or inability to use these sites.
  • If another social media site lists the County or any of its departments, programs or services as a link on their own site, it does not imply an endorsement or sponsorship by the County of that website or its creator.
  • By interacting via the County’s social media channels, users are aware and give their consent to have their information become a part of the public record and may be used in County documentation. The County has the discretion as to which information and comments are saved from social media sites to become a part of this documentation. 
  • By using this social media platform you acknowledge that you have read and are agreeing to the Terms and Conditions of Use for County social media channels and for the third party social media site.

Modification of terms and conditions of use 

The County reserves the right to change the Terms and Conditions of Use at any time and at its sole discretion. Continued use of a social media site constitutes a user’s agreement to all of the aforementioned terms and conditions of use.