Keith's note: This was emailed by Michael Interbartolo to the members of the open/public Facebook group "Greetings from Mission Control". So much for transparency at Mission Control. Why not give Ellen Engleman Conners (the one who is ultimately responsible for this policy) a call at +1 281 483-8456 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
"I wanted to let you know that per new Mission Operations Directorate Social Media Policy I will no longer be posting any publicly available photos or videos whether it be on my own time or government time. Nor will there be any translation of the publicly released execute packages or the PAO media kit for the general public to better understand what is going on during a mission as it is not considered official PAO sanctioned release of information.
While I am disheartened with this policy and feel it goes against the mission statement of "To inspire the next generation of explorers... as only NASA can." I will comply and there will be no updates during the upcoming STS-127 mission. It is my hope in the future the Agency/Center/Directorate will find a way to harness this and other social media tools and not limit the interaction with the public to those solely in PAO or the Astronaut Office."
Update from Mike Interbartolo: "The policy which was internal to Mission Operations not handed down by PAO has been clarified and as long as myself or anyone else posts information that has already been released to the public (whether it be PAO websites, NASATV, MMT press conference etc) we are okay to engage the public on social media sites on a non-interference basis. Our prime job is still to ensure safe manned spaceflight operations."
Editor's note: JSC PAO is ultimately responsible for all such policies. If it was implemented with their knowledge then shame on them. If it was not, then shame on them.
"So Greetings From Mission Control will continue to post what it has for several missions pictures/videos and other mission ops data that folks could probably find on nasa.gov and elsewhere if they knew where to look or how to understand an execute package."
Editor's note: THAT is great news - but this dysfunctionality vis a vis PAO, MOD and policies needs to be addressed such that everyone knows what can and cannot be done - and why. The fact that there was this much confusion can - and should - be traced directly back to Ellen Engleman Conners.