Gov. Mike Pence changes social media policy after criticism

Critical comments deleted from Facebook page

INDIANAPOLIS - Governor Mike Pence has posted his new social media policy on his website and believes it will properly express his desire for civility on his Facebook page.

The changes follow criticism from Hoosiers whose critical posts were deleted.

The criticism erupted last month following the United States Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decisions. 

Pence opposes same-sex marriage, and his staff deleted a number of critical comments about that stance from Hoosiers from his Facebook page.

The new policy he promised asks users to be civil and says that profanity, obscenity, vulgarity, nudity, defamation of character, advertising or political campaigning will not be allowed on his social media pages. Content such as that will be removed.

Pence said that it isn't his intent to stifle political discussion on his Facebook page, although the guidelines also state that the site's focus is to share information about his programs and that larger discussions of political views may be addressed elsewhere.

"And I think the objective is to have the broadest range of freedom, but to have a civil and a proper discussion. But I'm confident that we're gonna be able to have a presence on social media. People are gonna be able to be heard on a broad range of topics. And we'll air on the side of freedom," Pence said.

One person whose comments on the governor's same-sex marriage views were deleted from his Facebook page called the new guidelines vague. 
She said it appears he will still be able to delete comments at will.  And she said the instruction to discuss political views elsewhere is odd, given that the page promotes Pence's political views.

Follow Norman Cox on Twitter: @normancox6

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