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Internet Policies

NASA Contractor/Civil Service Social Media Guidelines Released

By Keith Cowing
August 3, 2010
Filed under , , , , ,

Message to NASA Civil Service and Contractor Employees: Social Networking Tools and Web 2.0 – Appropriate Use of Web Technologies
“The use of Web 2.0 tools can significantly enhance NASA’s ability to communicate with employees and the public about its mission. The purpose of this memorandum is to provide guidance to NASA civil service and contractor employees regarding the use of these Web technologies to facilitate collaboration and information sharing within NASA. These Web technologies include tools such as wikis, blogs, mash ups, web feeds (i.e., Really Simple Syndication and Rich Site Summary (RSS) feeds), social networking sites (e.g., Facebook), and forums, which are often collectively referred to as Web 2.0.
NASA Headquarters and the NASA centers are encouraged to use Web 2.0 tools. Employees implementing Web 2.0 technologies or integrating these tools into the NASA environment are responsible for posting and using content in accordance with applicable ethics, information assurance (IA) and privacy laws, regulations, and NASA policies. They also must adhere to IA, records management and privacy policy guidance. Policy regarding the appropriate use (both personal and professional) of government equipment with regards to Web 2.0 can be found in NPD 2540.1.
Using social media in a professional capacity (e.g., creating a Twitter feed for a mission) is an example of an official NASA communication. The informality and enforced brevity of such media notwithstanding, NASA personnel using Web 2.0 tools are representing the agency, and their communications must be professional and factually accurate.”

Keith’s note: An example of the implications of this policy: those of you who have Twitter accounts that you use to relay information about NASA can no longer block people from following you. You need to be open and transparent about the information you relay as a NASA employee (civil servant and contractor). If you cannot refrain from Twittering about both personal and work-related stuff then a remarkably simple solution is to get another Twitter account for your personal use.

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.