Site Information

Washington State Department of Ecology Policy
External Content on Ecology's Internet Web Site

Purpose

The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) recognizes that "external content" — content that is provided by non-government entities -- may be placed on Ecology's public web site. Ecology does not intend that its public web site be an open public forum. External content on pages operated or controlled by Ecology will be permitted at the sole discretion of Ecology.

Applicability

This policy applies only to pages that are operated or controlled by Ecology. This policy is not intended, and shall not be construed, to prohibit external content that:

  • Is required or authorized by law;
  • Constitutes official government business or furthers the specific purpose of a government organization’s web page; or
  • Is published on web pages not operated or controlled by Ecology.

It may be in the public interest to include on Ecology's web site:

  • Links to resources that are provided by others on web sites outside of Ecology's control;
  • Public acknowledgement of sponsors or other contributors of resources to allow Ecology to expand on-line information and services; and
  • Advertising, branding and sponsorships to decrease costs and expand on-line information and services.

External content includes, but is not limited to, links, acknowledgements, and advertisements that propose a commercial transaction.

Content Guidelines

In exercising its discretion to allow external content on its web site, Ecology will be guided by the purpose of the web site. Ecology's web site is intended to support, as efficiently, conveniently, and cost effectively as possible, and in a manner of presentation befitting government, the following uses by citizens, businesses and public employees:

  • Location of web sites and access to useful public information provided by public agencies or non-profit, non-partisan organizations; and
  • Location and delivery of public services in general and in particular, the delivery of public services via the Internet.

Ecology, at its sole discretion, will determine whether external content, including advertisements and sponsorships, meets these purposes. Generally, external content that does not meet these purposes includes, but is not limited to, content that contains, suggests, or infers any of the following:

  1. Advocacy of or opposition to any politically or socially controversial subjects, issues, or candidates.
  2. Disparagement or promotion of any person or class of persons.
  3. External content not suitable for readers or viewers of all ages, or links to or other promotion of businesses whose products or services are not suitable for persons of all ages.
  4. Promotion or incitement of illegal, violent, or socially undesirable conduct.
  5. Promotion or availability of alcohol or tobacco products.
  6. Promotion or availability of illegal drugs.
  7. Promotion or availability of adult or sexually oriented entertainment or materials.
  8. Promotion, opposition, or availability of weapons.
  9. Promotion, opposition, or availability of gambling.
  10. Claims of efficacy, suitability, desirability, or other non-objective statements about businesses, products, or services.
  11. Content that infringes on any trademark, copyright, or patent rights of another.
  12. Claims or representations in violation of advertising or consumer protection laws.
  13. Content that a reasonable citizen may not consider to maintain the dignity and decorum appropriate for Ecology.

Oversight and Monitoring (added July 2002)

Ecology's Web Manager shall establish procedures to monitor the implementation and continuing oversight of this policy. These procedures shall include:

  1. A process for review of all new requests for external content links from an Ecology web page to another web page to ensure compliance with this policy prior to granting the request; and
  2. A quarterly review of not less than ten (10) percent or a quantity of fifty (50) of the then current direct external content links from Ecology's web site, whichever is less, to ensure that such links still comply with this policy.

Removal of Content

Ecology reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to withdraw external content that otherwise meets its guidelines. This discretion may be exercised if Ecology becomes aware, receives claims or allegations, or has reason to inquire whether, the content refers or links the viewer to content not on Ecology’s web site that is either in violation of any of the above listed guidelines, except No. 10, or would be reasonably likely to offend a reasonable citizen. Withdrawal of content on these bases will be permitted whether or not Ecology is legally obligated to act upon any information of which it is aware.

Contact Information

Questions concerning the above policy may be directed to Ecology's web communication manager.

 

Adopted: June 8, 2001
Revised: July 15, 2002
Updated: September 23, 2014

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