Govt warns employees against discussing, criticizing its policies on social media

Srinagar: The government on Friday directed its employees not to discuss or criticize on social media any policy pursued or action taken, warning them with ‘disciplinary action’ for non-compliance of the instructions.

In a detailed circular issued here, the government has asked employees not to participate in any manner in any such discussion or criticism on social media pages, communities or 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,” the circular

No Government employee, it said, shall himself or herself or through any person dependent on him or 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, for the purpose of removing misapprehensions, correcting mis-statements, and refuting disloyal and seditious propaganda, defend and explain to the public the policy of Government in his posts and tweets on social media,” the circular reads.

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 or employees, it said.

“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,” it reads, adding, “Government employees shall not indulge in sharing/partaking in so-called giveaways and contests on social media platforms, which are actually 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 that the guidelines are not intended to dissuade employees or departments from using social media for positive and constructive purposes, it said.

“It is accordingly enjoined upon all employees working in various government departments/PSUs/Corporations/Boards/Autonomous Bodies etc. to strictly adhere to the guidelines and legal principles and refrain from indulging in unwarranted debates/discussions and sharing/commenting/posting inappropriate posts/content on social media platforms,” the circular reads, adding, “Violation of these guidelines/rules shall 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 have been asked to “immediately” proceed against the employees working in their departments and offices who are found to have violated the 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,”. It added. (GNS)

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