SNP candidate for Hamilton North and East Barry Douglas was forced to apologise for calling a friend a “retard” on the site while Labour’s Monica Lennon came under fire for liking a group called “Help stop children becoming Rangers fans”.
In the policy, councillors are told: “social media could play a very positive role in encouraging engagement with constituents.”
Access to social media sites is barred through the council’s network, but members can request to have them made available.
They are warned: “Councillors are advised to be thoughtful about how they present themselves online and take steps to protect their privacy.
“They should be comfortable that all content associated with them is consistent with their position as an elected representative and does not breach the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.”
Councillors have also been told not to update pages during council meetings or committees or to use council facilities for party political or campaigning purposes.
Rutherglen South Lib Dem Robert Brown and Labour’s Richard Tullett in Cambuslang West have Twitter accounts, but Councillor Tullett has never posted.
Councillor Brown told the Reformer he believes social media has had a positive impact on politics: “Most of it is common sense.
“You’ve got to be courteous and have regard to your duties in the same way you would in private behaviour and conduct.
“I think I am responsible and cautious about these things.
“It is a modern communication technique and there is a lot of value to it.
“They have a lot of positive uses and I think people sometimes can be a bit obsessed with the negative side to them.”
The council currently manages a number of social media outlets including Twitter, YouTube and Filkr while different resources can apply to operate their own.
Council workers will be told: “Comments posted on social networking sites can travel far and be difficult to remove, so employees should take care.”