Social Media Policy

The State Office of Administrative Hearings may use official social media sites to provide information related to the State Office of Administrative Hearings and its services. The Chief Administrative Law Judge or designee will be responsible for approving the use of any social media sites by the State Office of Administrative Hearings. The State Office of Administrative Hearings will use the following policy to guide the use of the State Office of Administrative Hearings social media sites and services. This policy is based on the Texas.gov Social Media Policy and the Department of Information Resources Social Media Guidelines and may be revised at any time.

The State Office of Administrative Hearings defines social media as web-based sites or services that allow a person to create a profile and interact with other individuals. Interactions may take the form of chatting, instant messaging, or posting text, multimedia content, or other files. Examples of social media sites and services include but are not limited to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and online forums. These social media sites are hosted by third parties, and the use of those sites is governed by the social media providers’ own policies, such as their respective privacy policies and terms of service, and not by the State Office of Administrative Hearings or the State of Texas.

The State Office of Administrative Hearings is neither responsible for the content nor endorses any site that has a link to or from any official State Office of Administrative Hearings social media site. The State Office of Administrative Hearings may make available social media applications and may publish social media content to third party sites for informational purposes only. This does not imply the State Office of Administrative Hearings endorsement, agreement or support of any site content or sponsor. These sites are not official Texas government websites and therefore the external sites' policies apply. Please refer to the State Office of Administrative Hearings Website Linking Policy for more information.

Only public information is permitted to be posted on State Office of Administrative Hearings social media sites. If communication that takes place on State Office of Administrative Hearings social media sites involves or requires private information, communication will be redirected through other appropriate channels.

Postings from the public on State Office of Administrative Hearings social media sites become public record. All content, comments and replies posted are subject to Texas public information laws and may be subject to public information requests. For more information about public information requests, please refer to the State Office of Administrative Hearings Public Information Requests website.

The State Office of Administrative Hearings is not responsible for content posted by others to any State Office of Administrative Hearings social media sites. Social media site users that enter their own personal information on State Office of Administrative Hearings social media sites do so at their own risk; the State Office of Administrative Hearings is not responsible for the voluntary public display of such private information. The State Office of Administrative Hearings may remove postings to its social media sites that contain personally identifiable information, but neither the State Office of Administrative Hearings, nor its licensors or contractors are responsible for any damages caused by delays in such removal.

Social media content will be retained for at least the required period of time in accordance with the State Office of Administrative Hearings Records Retention Schedule.

The State Office of Administrative Hearings social media sites are third party sites and have terms of service and policies that are not governed by the State Office of Administrative Hearings or the State of Texas. These third party sites are not official State Office of Administrative Hearings websites and the third party’s website terms of service and policies apply.

Published content on any State Office of Administrative Hearings social media site is subject to monitoring. In order to preserve a respectful exchange of information on our page, the State Office of Administrative Hearings reserves the right to reject or remove any posts deviating from State Office of Administrative Hearings-specific topics, such as those related to agency’s services, and/or those which deviate significantly from a particular conversational thread.

User-generated posts will be rejected or removed if possible when the content of a post:

  • is off-subject or out of context;
  • contains obscenity or material that appeals to the prurient interest;
  • contains personal identifying information or sensitive personal information;
  • contains offensive terms that target protected classes;
  • is threatening, harassing or discriminatory;
  • incites or promotes violence or illegal activities;
  • contains information that reasonably could compromise public safety
  • advertises or promotes a commercial product or service, or any entity or individual (note that non-commercial links that are relevant to the topic or another comment may be acceptable); or
  • promotes, endorses, or denigrates political campaigns or candidates

In the above cases, the State Office of Administrative Hearings will normally reject or remove the content without notifying the poster. Due to legal constraints, the State Office of Administrative Hearings will not address questions or comments relating to matters or issues in pending or anticipated litigation. Anonymous comments are considered spam and will be removed.

The views expressed in user-posted comments, replies, retweets, likes, followers, favorites, and/or links reflect those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement or agreement by the State Office of Administrative Hearings, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and/or policies of the State Office of Administrative Hearings or the State of Texas. All content, comments, replies, and/or retweets, posted to any official State Office of Administrative Hearings social media site are subject to Texas public information laws.

Social media posts do not constitute official public comments and will not be included in the official record for the State Office of Administrative Hearings. The State Office of Administrative Hearings considers opinions expressed on any State Office of Administrative Hearings social media site as posted for discussion only and not a substitute for a formal statement in the public comment process. Comments by external parties on the State Office of Administrative Hearings social media sites, including but not limited to replies, retweets, favorites, likes and other similar secondary postings are not considered official public testimony concerning any project or program

Comments intended to become part of the official public comment records should be submitted in writing during applicable public comment periods to the State Office of Administrative Hearings via letter, fax, or email formats as directed for each specific document available for public comment.

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