After ACLU-DE legal director Rich Morse sent a letter to the Dover City Council, a city committee rejected a policy that would have restricted city employees from posting certain material or opinions on FaceBook and Twitter on their own time and using their personal electronic equipment.

"On Friday, City Council and the committee received a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware urging them to reject the policy because of the limitations it would have placed on free speech.

As written, the policy would have barred city employees from making any negative comments about individuals or groups based on race, gender or other legally protected characteristics on social media websites, blogs or other online forums.

The policy also said employees could not post disparaging comments about co-workers, superiors or members of the public they may interact with in the course of their jobs.

According to the policy, workers would be subject to those rules even when posting from their homes on their own time, regardless of whether they represent themselves as city employees in their posts.

Richard H. Morse, legal director of the Delaware ACLU, wrote the letter and attended the committee meeting to speak against the proposal.

He called the proposed rules a "clear violation" of First Amendment rights and told the committee that public employees are not subject to any special restrictions on their speech because of the nature of their positions."

- from The News Journal story of 9/13/11

 
Here are the News Journal stories and the rejection of the policy.
The original press release and letter to the City of Dover can be found below.

Stay informed

ACLU of Delaware is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National