New Disclaimer Proposed for Highlands Residents on Facebook

my opinion What you need to know about R- 14- 220:

Highlands New Jersey Facebook “Group”

The Borough of Highlands wants to mandate that any elected official, official, employee, agent, representative, and volunteer must include a disclosure on any post to the Highlands, New Jersey Facebook page (which there actually isn’t one, there is a Highlands, New Jersey Facebook Group – you can tell by the word groups in the url) OR any other social media site (pretty loose scope).

The proposed disclosure shall read “the following is a statement, comment or posting of [your name here] only and does not represent an official statement, comment or posting on behalf of the Borough of Highlands.”

A few things here:

a) All of the things that need to be accomplished in Highlands: Flood mitigation, Town Hall & PD station repaired, Tax stabilization, Attracting businesses to Bay Ave, and they chose this as a priority??  Really?

b) The proposed resolution is so broadly written it opens the door to selective enforcement, which in I’m guessing was purposefully done.

c) It appears to be another way to gag residents. First they limited the amount of time you have to ask questions in a council meeting. Now they are trying to legislate how you communicate on social media.

HB fb page
Highlands Blog Facebook “Page”

d) If their assertion that people are getting “confused” because Highlands is in the title of the social media site, then ask the social media site owner to disclose its not an Official Highlands Borough Social Media site.  I know this should be obvious already to anybody going to the said page/groups etc. But some people apparently get easily confused.  This Blog has a facebook page. (You can tell because it has the word “page” in the url) and its always had in the header “Personal Blog”)

e) A better way to handle it would be to have an official Highlands Borough Facebook Page & Twitter Account. (Like other towns, i.e. Middletown, or Hazlet) for “Official communication”.

f) Another potential way to handle it would be to have “officials” put a disclaimer up when they are posting “official” business. This way its a much narrower scope, easier to enforce and doesn’t force 1/2 the town to write a disclosure when they post anything anywhere.  Have you ever volunteered for anything in town, ever? Well then my fellow resident, you would be considered a volunteer under this proposed resolution.

g) The disclaimer doesn’t fit in a Tweet – (which is only 140 characters), what happens there?

h) Its on the Highlands Agenda for Wednesday Night’s Council Meeting at 8pm HES. If you feel like this is a joke and want our elected officials to spend more time fixing our town, getting grants and stabilizing taxes, you might want to come and speak out. (But do it in 3 minutes or less.)

i) This resolution seems to be counter productive.  If you volunteer you’re not allowed to post on social media with out disclosure, and if you post on certain outlets, you can’t volunteer. Here are some of the social media outlets that could be considered if you ever volunteered and post on:

Instagram (You want to post a pic of Twin Lights, make sure you disclose that’s your pic and has nothing to do with the Town.)
Google +
Any Comments section of any web site
Google Talk
Yahoo Buzz


  1. The proposed resolution is blatantly unconstitutional as it is an impermissible limitation on free speech. thankfully we still have 1st amendment protections in this the U.S. of A.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. just another way they are trying to gag people. the heat got turned up on them so now more desparate and dispicable attempts to shut people up. didn’t they take an oath of office to uphold things like the first amendment????

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So many violations on so many levels. First Amendment protecting free speech and freedom of expression. The Sunshine Law entitling the public’s right to be involved in the policy and decision making process of THEIR governing body. This resolution was snuck under the consent agenda where public comment is not allowed at our council meetings …. really???? Who is behind this? It’s nothing but a knee-jerk reaction by a select few who are uncomfortable with hearing opinions and facts that residents speak out on. Our officials are elected to serve OUR interests and to be open to taxpayers input. This is not a throne to arrogantly hide behind. Social media policies written by municipalities pertain to officials and paid employees on a TOWN OWNED site. Highlands cannot hold jurisdiction with any form of censorship or individual disclaimer of comments made on public sites they do not own.


  4. I wish I could vote in Highlands!!! Your vote is the key to changing what you disagree with as a voting citizen. Democracy depends on the actions of the PEOPLE, making change by using your vote against those who do not believe in majority rule. Favoritism has consequences.
    Good luck with your ability to rally voters. Good luck in rocking the Status Quo! Get out the vote!


  5. So sad that we’ve come to this when so much more needs to be done. We are truly the laughing stock of the shore.


  6. Glad that we moved into USA Today , Florida media, NJ 101.5 talk radio today. It seems every where I turn people are appalled by the behavior of the 3 council members and our borough attorney..I will not rest until this blatant, ridiculous, violation of our First Amendment rights is removed. Funny I have been talking with some local veterans and the repeated comment from them was ” I fought for our country to PROTECT the First Amendment.” One veteran even went so far as to say to me our council made a “mockery” of what he fought for. Certainly made me more committed to following through what I started.


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