The Postal Service has issued a reminder that in their social media accounts, employees “should note that they don’t speak on behalf of the organization” and that they should not establish accounts purporting to represent the agency without high-level permission.
“Failure to follow this policy could result in corrective action, including removal from USPS,” says a posting on a site for postal employees. A USPS social media team “conducts routine audits of sites that claim to represent the Postal Service. Unverified sites are routinely removed,” it adds.
The notice follows a May report by the Postal Service IG finding “multiple employees using their social media accounts in an official capacity” without approval and “multiple fraudulent or deceptive websites and social media accounts purporting to be Postal Service sites.”
The guidance is the latest of recent cautions regarding social media use. The Defense Department recently issued an ethics notice telling employees to avoid creating even the appearance in their social media that their views represent those of that department or the government in general.
Also, the Office of Special Counsel recently released a summary of Hatch Act-related considerations of social media use by federal employees, following settlements earlier this year with employees who agreed to suspensions on charges of violations.