5-7 Use of Social Media

The Administrative Support Manual (ASM) Section 363, Social Media Policy, governs personnel use of social media when serving the Postal Service in an official or professional capacity and provides guidance to Postal Service personnel who use social media for personal purposes.

Personal use of Postal Service equipment for the purpose of participating in social media and other online activities may subject the Postal Service to legal and security risks. Therefore, the Postal Service restricts nonwork-related access to the Internet.

The ability to use Postal Service equipment to access restricted social media sites is a privilege, and the Postal Service may deny a request for access for any reason. If the request for access is granted, you should only use restricted social media sites for the purpose of fulfilling job duties and furthering organizational goals and objectives that are within the Postal Service’s authority. The Postal Service may revoke your access at any time and for any reason whatsoever.

The following guidelines apply to all Postal Service personnel who use social media in any capacity. In certain instances, organizations can be held liable for the conduct of their personnel even if their personnel were not acting in their official capacities. The purpose of these guidelines is to protect the Postal Service from such liability:

  1. Unofficial Use. Do not use social media to communicate on behalf of or express the official views of the Postal Service unless you are using social media in an official capacity as part of your official job responsibilities, and pursuant to your express authority to communicate on behalf of the Postal Service. Furthermore, in order to avoid consumer confusion, do not use social media to promote or make commercial claims about the Postal Service or Postal Service products, services, customers or competitors without, (i) disclosing your relationship with the Postal Service and (ii) including the following disclaimer in close proximity to such statement: “The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of the United States Postal Service.”
  2. Unofficial Accounts. Do not create, maintain, or administer any social media account that purports or appears to be affiliated with the Postal Service unless the account is established and administered in accordance with the ASM, Section 363. Only designated individuals may create, maintain, or administer an official Postal Service social media account.
  3. Legal and other requirements. Certain legal requirements (such as the Hatch Act and the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch) apply to Postal Service personnel even when they are not acting in an official or professional capacity. To the extent applicable, comply with such legal requirements when using social media.