Moray councillors and officers to be trained in social media usage
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MORAY councillors and officers will receive training on how best to use social media.
The move comes after an internal audit found that although the council had procedures in place for using platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, they were out of date.
It was also found there was no comprehensive record of the council’s social media accounts and that anyone could set one up without the need for authorisation.
At a meeting of the audit and scrutiny committee yesterday, Wednesday, October 27, senior auditor Dafydd Lewis said: "Social media has evolved quickly and is a main form of communication for a number of people.
"Officers can communicate with the world in a matter of seconds, and that raises a number of risks.
"We are looking to develop training for officers to make sure best practices are followed."
Conservative councillor for Elgin North Frank Brown asked if training could be extended to include councillors.
He said: "Elected members are encouraged to have a council social media account, and of course elected members are more likely to be the subject of unpleasant material."
SNP councillor for Forres Aaron McLean welcomed the move to have a register of the local authority’s social media accounts, and admitted falling foul of procedures after he "borrowed" another councillor’s photograph when sharing a council press release on Twitter and Facebook.
He said: "All the schools have social media accounts and the departments too. It will be a vast register but I think it will have to be done in the current climate."
Elgin South SNP councillor Graham Leadbitter raised concerns over people leaving a mobile phone or laptops unlocked that could lead to a breach of security.
He was advised that the issue was being looked at with additional security being considered.
Councillors unanimously agreed recommendations to collate a single social media guide, to provide training for officers and councillors, bring in extra security controls, for the corporate communications team to maintain a record of the council’s social media accounts and for that team to be informed prior to a service setting up an account.