Social media editorial policy

In Montréal, the city clerk is responsible for organizing voting and acts as returning officer. As such, his main responsibility is to oversee the election in accordance with legislative requirements and the instructions of the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec. The returning officer is in charge of the Bureau des élections (the electoral office known as Élection Montréal). Its social media presence is governed by this editorial policy.

Élection Montréal publications and commentary in social media are drafted by authorized employees. For the purposes of this policy, the terms “social media,” “social networks” and “Web 2.0” refer to any participatory online mechanism involving written commentary, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flicker and YouTube.

Given the size, diversity and complexity of the Montréal electoral process and the logistics involved in polling operations, it is important to guide electors in exercising their right to vote. Since 2008, further to a recommendation from a City Council committee to this effect, measures designed to facilitate voting and encourage more citizens to participate have been introduced by Élection Montréal, in co-operation with other city departments.

Accordingly, the main reason for the presence of Élection Montréal on Web 2.0 is to inform the public about the upcoming election and to encourage electors to exercise their right to vote. Élection Montréal wishes to facilitate discussions by sharing useful content relative to its mission. It wishes to establish a climate of sharing and constructive exchanges with citizens. All of its actions are based on providing citizens with services and on being attentive to their needs.

The sharing and collaboration typical of Web 2.0 are strongly encouraged so long as interventions respect the rules of Netiquette. We accept the fact that it is impossible to control everything on the Web, and we agree to transfer some content control to the net surfer. Élection Montréal also accepts observations that are constructive and respectful.

The regular channels of communication used by Élection Montréal take precedence over the messages it publishes in social media. The content shared by Élection Montréal in social networks supplements the institutional website and in no way replaces it. Should any content found in the social networks managed by Élection Montréal differ from the content on its website or in its press releases, the latter content will prevail. Any change or evolution in the official position of Élection Montréal will be communicated first by official online and offline publications, including speeches, press releases and traditional statements to the media, as well as by the institutional website.

You are invited to join the conversation via the following channels:

  • Official institutional Twitter account: @Election_MTL

The content disseminated on the Élection Montréal official social platforms, as identified above, belongs to the public domain and may be consulted by anyone. Those not having access to such information must not be penalized.

Any content that is re-broadcast or re-transmitted must identify the original author. We promise to respect intellectual property. However, the ideas, scenarios, proposals, concepts, etc. that Élection Montréal receives from social media are provided freely and without charge. In no case will Élection Montréal provide any remuneration or compensation whatsoever for contributions of any kind.

We appreciate all observations and questions concerning the content that we share and will read all feedback and direct messages that we receive. Élection Montréal promises to reply to questions or, where appropriate, to refer them to the most suitable resource as quickly as possible.

Response time

Élection Montréal promises to respond within a reasonable time period, during normal working hours (Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in most cases). The response time may vary depending on current events.

Social platforms belong to third parties and may on occasion be unavailable. Élection Montréal cannot be held responsible for the lack of service during these times.

Tone of exchanges

The community manager responding to net surfers will always maintain a transparent and institutional level of discourse by using the formal “we” and the official name of Élection Montréal.

Official language

Notwithstanding the instantaneous nature of social communications, Élection Montréal is committed to maintaining a high quality of French at all times and will respect the rules of writing established by the various platforms. Our social media communications will be carried out in French, unless the net surfer asks a question or makes an observation in English, in which case Élection Montréal will reply in English.

Validity and availability of replies

Replies made to net surfers’ questions and observations are valid on the date that they are published. A net surfer may not use a message previously published by Élection Montréal as a reply to a current question. New replies that have been adjusted according to changes in legislation or context will be given for each new question. We reserve the right to remove replies that we deem out of date.

Referral of observations

In certain cases, it will prove necessary to pass on observations, i.e. when exchanges require more than a short explanation or personal information is requested. On such occasions, one of the following measures will be taken: net surfers may be referred to our customer service department (514-872-VOTE), or a private conversation may be sought (by way of e-mail, a private message, or an exchange of telephone numbers).

July 2013