SOUTH BEND, IN – New details uncovered about the South Bend Fire Department’s new Facebook policy
The South Bend Fire Department was supposed to implement a new Facebook policy Today but the local firefighters’ union has stepped in voicing serious concerns over the new social networking policy.
The union says the new policy is violating the firefighters’ First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech.
Right now firefighters are not sure what to do other than to wait to see what compromises are made between the fire department and the union on the issue.
In the meantime, ABC 57’s Jaclyn Kelley obtained documents that show the types of Facebook offenses that might have lead to the new social network policy.
According to the documents obtained by ABC 57 News, sensitive departmental communication being posted to Facebook is a problem the South Bend Fire Department has been dealing with for some time.
ABC 57 learned that in March 2010 an internal and confidential email from a South Bend firefighter was posted to Facebook by another firefighter. The post was then followed by snide remarks.
The posting of the internal department email violated both South Bend Fire Department’s standard operating procedures and the City of South Bend’s policy on all computer use.
In facet one clause in the City’s computer policy states, “deletion, examination, copying or modification of files or data belonging to other users without prior consent is prohibited.”
So far, no disciplinary action has been taken against the particular firefighter who posted the internal email to Facebook.
ABC 57 is still waiting to talk to South Bend’s fire chief to find out why no disciplinary action was taken in this case.