The Obama administration announced new policies today intended to make it easier for federal agencies to use social media, and for people to use government websites.
The administration views sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as a good way to improve government transparency, participation and collaboration. But a memo from Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag directs agencies to be cautious when establishing a Facebook page or posting a video on YouTube. Agencies must examine privacy policies of third-party websites they plan to use and update their own privacy policies to address the use of social media.
Many government agencies already connect with the public through privately operated websites: for example, the Federal Emergency Management Agency hosts informational videos on disaster response on YouTube, and the State Department launched a program on Facebook called the Virtual Student Foreign Service.