January 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm #150080
On Tuesday, GovTech reported that YouTube agreed to change its terms of service in order to make the site more state government friendly.
“While use of YouTube is almost universal across state government, provisions of the standard terms are frequently in strong conflict with state laws and procurement guidelines, presenting significant legal risks to states,” said Doug Robinson, NASCIO’s executive director in a prepared statement. “With the amended terms struck with Facebook last year and now YouTube, we anticipate that other social media providers will agree to make similar modifications to their standard terms and spur adoption of these critical tools.”
The terms are different for state government agencies in the following ways:
- They don’t have to follow through the standard “click through” agreements
- They are not responsible for legal fees if the website gets sued over content they post
- They would have more control over which courts have jurisdiction over legal disputes
The CIO of each state has the ability to accept the new terms of service, or maintain the current ones.
NASCIO is now looking to other social media websites, such as Twitter, to strike similar agreements for state agencies.
Do you think all social media sites should have special terms of service for government agencies? Why or why not?
January 23, 2012 at 3:05 pm #150082
I do think social media sites should have special terms of service.
We ran into this sort of hangup with Facebook years ago. At the time their terms of service were written (as many sites are) to include compliance with several state laws (California in their case). At the DOD, we could not click “accept” on terms of service that would supplicate a department of the federal government to state laws (obviously).
Luckily Facebook capitulated and relented on several paragraphs and all was saved (or so I was told by the higher ups).
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