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news details
Don’t criticize policies on social media: Govt warns employees
‘Anyone violating service guidelines would be terminated or retired prematurely’
3/24/2023 11:07:17 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Mar 24: Taking serious note of highly provocative and provoking posts of some employees on social media platforms authorities on Friday warned its employees against using media to criticize policies of the government.
The UT administration has come up with an elaborate set of guidelines regarding the use of media by government employees in Jammu and Kashmir.
A circular in this regard has been issued by the Commissioner Secretary General Administration Department Sanjeev Verma to warn employees against violating service rules and guidelines on social media.
“An elaborate set of guidelines regarding the use of social media by government employees have been notified for strict adherence/compliance vide Government Order No. 1646-JK(GAD) of 2017 dated 26.12.2017”, the circular reads.
In the circular, it is mentioned that despite the elaborate guidelines and governing legal framework, it has been observed that government servants often engage themselves with social media in a manner that is in contravention of service rules.
While using different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., or Instant Messaging applications like WhatsApp, Telegram, etc., employees have been seen to air disparaging views on subjects that they are expressly barred under rules to comment upon.
Employees have been seen to comment or act or behave in a manner that does not conform to the acceptable standards of official conduct, as envisaged in the service guidelines and the rules.
Such actions range from unauthorized communication of official information and/or dissemination of patently wrong or misleading information, airing of political or communal views, etc. under their real or assumed identities.
In view of the foregoing, it has been felt expedient to reiterate the main features of guidelines already notified regarding the use of social media for compliance by government employees:
Employees, directly or indirectly, shall not publish, post, or release any information on social media that is considered confidential or that is not meant for public dissemination, nor shall they pass any official document or any part thereof to any Government employee or any such person to whom he is not authorized to communicate such document or information.
No Government employee shall, through any post, tweet, or otherwise, discuss or criticize social media, any policy pursued or action taken by the Government, nor shall he/she, in any manner, participate in any such discussion or criticism on social media pages/communities/ microblogs.
No Government employee shall post, tweet, or share content that is political or anti-secular and communal in nature or subscribe to pages, communities, or Twitter handles and blogs of such nature.
No Government employee shall himself/herself or through any person dependent on him/her for maintenance, or under his care or control, undertake any such activity on social media which is, or tends directly or indirectly to be, subversive of the Government as by law established in the Country on in the Union territory.
A Government employee may, to remove misapprehensions, correct misstatements, and refute disloyal and seditious propaganda, defend and explain to the public the policy of the Government in his posts and tweets on social media.
Government employees shall not post on social media, any such content or comments about co-workers or individuals, that are vulgar, obscene, threatening, intimidating, or that violate the conduct rules of employees.
No Government employee shall post grievances pertaining to their workplace on social media in the form of videos, posts, tweets, or blogs, or in any other form, but will follow the already established channels of complaint redressal existing in the departments.
Government employees shall not indulge in sharing/partaking in so-called giveaways and contests on social media platforms, which are scams in disguise, as they could unknowingly spread malware or trick people into giving away sensitive data by sharing it on their profiles
It is, however, clarified in the circular that the above guidelines are not intended to dissuade employees or departments from using social media for positive and constructive purposes.
It is accordingly enjoined upon all employees working in various government departments PSUs or Corporations, Boards, Autonomous Bodies, etc. to strictly adhere to the guidelines and refrain from indulging in unwarranted debates/discussions and sharing/commenting/posting inappropriate posts/content on social media platforms. Violation of these guidelines/rules shall be tantamount to misconduct and invite disciplinary action against the delinquent official under the relevant rules.
All Administrative Secretaries/Deputy Commissioners/Heads of Departments/Managing Directors shall immediately proceed against the employees working in their departments/offices who are found to have violated the aforesaid guidelines and rules, in terms of the relevant disciplinary framework.
Further, in case of a violation committed on a group platform, the ‘Administrator’, if they are serving government/semi-government employees, shall also be liable for disciplinary proceedings.
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