Social media collides with Ohio laws

Elected officials advised to use caution

March 12, 2018 By D.Anthony Botkin
The Delaware Gazette

Social media use by elected officials has become a hot-button topic due to concerns over possible violations of Ohio’s Sunshine Laws.

“Social media is a good place to get information out,” said Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien. “The best thing to do is make sure it’s not running into the Sunshine Laws.”

Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General, states in the introduction of the Sunshine Laws 2017 Manual, “… Ohio’s Public Records Law and Open Meetings Law … are known as the ‘Ohio Sunshine Laws.’”

O’Brien said social media policies are the best way to help avoid violation of the Sunshine Laws.

“If a township uses social media, it needs to have policies and procedures in place,” she said.

Many elected officials, like President Donald Trump, have social media accounts to communicate with the public.

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