In a stunningly detailed memorandum, the aspiring apparatchiks in Kansas City, Missouri, have drawn a social media-proof iron curtain around City Hall.
Although some of the “guidelines” make sense–e.g., “make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the City of Kansas City”–many others seem designed to constrain speech along politically correct pathways. And these constraints are not exactly “guidelines.”
“Threats” is closer to the mark. Consider the following: “The City may require immediate removal of material and/or take disciplinary action for personal/private blogging or personal/private use of social media sites by employees that causes disruption of the workplace or impairs the mission of the City.”
City Hall would seem to have several motives in issuing this harsh a fiat. The legitimate one is to avoid legal trouble as a result of libelous or reckless posts. The self-protective one is to assure that what happens in City Hall stays in City Hall. The less obvious but more insidious one is to assure that liberal hegemony in the city goes unchallenged.
The symptoms of “hate speech,” for instance, are loose enough to encompass anything that questions the party line. Party bosses seem particularly concerned about posts that flout “the EEO policy and the violence in the workplace policy.” Yes, it makes sense to prevent violence in the workplace, but there is no reason the EEO (equal employment opportunity) policy should be above criticism.
Reading between the lines, one senses that any social media post that “creates dissension among co-workers” is subject to investigation. The easiest way to create dissension in a heavily Democratic workplace is to challenge any of a number of liberal sacred cows from racial preferences to sexual harassment concerns to bathroom policy.
Although the City Hall memo lacks specifics about “disciplinary action,” those who post a dissent from the part line will likely find out in a hurry what those specifics are.
Hat tip to Tony’s Kansas City.