Effects of FDA Social Media Policy

Effects of FDA’s Social Media Policy

FDA’s social media policy was published on November 13, 2015.  The policy outlines the roles and responsibilities of the parties involved in publishing official social media posts, which includes:

Office of External Affairs:

  • Develops the overall communications strategy and priorities for the Agency.

OEA Web & Digital Media Staff (OEA Web):

  • Develops policy and procedures for social media use in consultation with OIMT.
  • Develops the social media strategy for OEA.
  • Provides oversight for all social media activities in the Agency.
  • Reviews/authorizes all social media channel/account requests for the Agency. Authorization is based on the request meeting Federal/FDA requirements and providing a social media strategy and social media plan.
  • Reviews all Agency procurements and contracts, including Terms of Service (TOS) agreements, related to social media tools and services to ensure necessity and reduce duplication.
  • Coordinates and manages the Agency’s primary social media channels (currently Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter account @US_FDA, and Pinterest).
  • Leads the monthly meeting of the FDA Social Media Working Group.
  • Serves as the Agency liaison for social media to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Digital Communications Division and GSA Social Media Community of Practice.

Office of Information Management and Technology:

  • Applies the requirements of this policy in its functions of providing appropriate Agency-wide web technology services and security, including technical assistance, to program offices.


  • Prior to initiating social media accounts or procurement actions and contracts, Centers/Offices meet with OEA Web.
  • Develops the social media strategy for the Center/Office and ensures that it aligns with Agency priorities, their office or center communications strategy, and is coordinated with OEA Web. The strategy should include why social media is being used to meet the stated goals. The social media strategy must be submitted to OEA Web for review.
  • Develops social media plan in order to most effectively implement and manage the Center/Office’s social media presence including best practices, guidelines for consistency, how these mechanisms will support the goals outlined in the social media strategy.
  • The social media plan must be submitted to OEA Web for review.
  • Completes a privacy impact assessment and operates in compliance with HHS and the FDA’s social media policies.
  • Coordinates with and contributes content to OEA Web for posting on the FDA’s Agency-wide social media channels (Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, @US_FDA, Pinterest).
  • Assists with the dissemination of information on the FDA’s social media policies, guidelines, and best practices within the Center/Office.
  • Follows approved procedures for collecting and managing records associated with any social media accounts owned by the Center/Office.

Office of the Chief Counsel (OCC):

  • Provides legal advice relating to the web and social media.

Office of Operations, Division of Ethics and Integrity:

  • Oversees ethics requirements for FDA employees, including requirements pertaining to the use of social media. Office of Information Management (OIM),

Records Management Staff:

  • Oversees records management requirements for the FDA, including requirements pertaining to web records.

For more information on FDA’s social media policy, view our FDA News article here.