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Response from USPS law/ethics department regarding the USPS social media policy

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My Question:  Does the new revised social media policy restrict craft employees from engaging with each other on social media sites..  My understanding is that the new policies are that postal employees are not to speak on behalf of the USPS or act like they are in an official capacity..   Can you possibly shed more light on this?

Answer from USPS law/ethics dept:  You are correct – the attached Social Media Policy mainly addresses the conduct of Postal Service employees who use social media in their official capacity to communicate with the public or Postal Service employees.  However, it also notes that Postal Service employees who choose to use social media in their personal capacity must not speak for or act on behalf of the Postal Service.

Concerning your question about communications with craft employees on social media sites, the policy states, “whether Postal Service employees chose to participate in social media on their own time is their decision.”  However, the misuse provision of the Standards of Ethical Conduct still apply.  Pursuant to the misuse provisions, employees may not use government property or time in an unauthorized manner.  5 C.F.R. Section 2635.704 and 705.  You can use government equipment and be on official time to access social media sites if you are doing so for official duties, assuming such duties attach to your position.  Otherwise, using social media sites for non-government purposes should be limited to off duty hours, using non-government equipment.

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