New Social Media Rules at Baltimore Fire Dept.

Firefighters must show "good judgment" and "courtesy and respect for the public and to fellow employees"

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    The Baltimore Fire Department is implementing a strict new social media policy it began devising in the spring to regulate what firefighters post on Twitter and Facebook.

    The Baltimore Sun reports that the policy is drawing criticism that it violates First Amendment rights.

    The policy says firefighters can be reprimanded for anything they write online about their jobs that doesn't show "good judgment" and "courtesy and respect for the public and to fellow employees." They are restricted from sharing information about fire scenes.

    Attorney Bradley Shear who has advised state legislators on social media policy says the provisions are troubling and may be unconstitutional.

    Fire Chief James Clack began drafting the policy after fire personnel complained online about city leaders and their decisions to close fire companies.