Facebook launches government page

Site now offers agencies tips and inspiration to set up and run their own pages

The federal government is looking to make a big splash in social media by launching a Facebook page aimed at giving agencies the tips and inspiration to set up and run their own pages on the social-networking site.

The page, called Facebook and Government, offers links to agencies’ existing Facebook pages, helpful guides and updates on what else the government is doing on Facebook.

So far, 23 agencies have set up Facebook sites, said Tim Sparapini, the company's Washington representative, when he announced the new page’s launch last week.

Initial response to the fledgling page has been healthy, with 424 Facebook users signed on as fans as of late last week. Fans receive regular updates, and they can post comments and gain access to other resources.

"This is a great step forward by Facebook to make it easier for [U.S. government] agencies to leverage the power of social media to reach out to their constituents," Ed Buclatin wrote on the Facebook and Government page’s Wall.

Commenting on a post that links to the Army's Facebook comment policy, the Environmental Protection Agency's Jeffrey Levy wrote, "Very good! We send people to our blog's comment policy, which also includes some privacy info."

Levy went on to explain that EPA links to its comment policy in a box on its Facebook page, a potentially useful tip for other federal Facebook pages.

About the Authors

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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Reader comments

Wed, Sep 23, 2009

I think that facebook could be used as a great recruiting tool for the government. There are so many government workers retiring now and in the near future that the work force needs to be replaced. Hopefully with facebook some younger folks can get in the government and maybe enact some of the change that the administration is looking for.

Wed, Sep 23, 2009

I work for the govenment; however, I facebook site if blocked. Is not that ironic.

Fri, Sep 18, 2009 Priyanka D http://www.deskaway.com

will be great if the 'government is accessible through social media. But it will be really useful only if there is a mechanism which takes the suggestions on facebook into consideration while policy forming etc...

Thu, Sep 17, 2009 Andrew

Yeah, my agency blocks Facebook also...so much for open government.

Wed, Sep 16, 2009 Tommy Cicala 302 katie lane Clearville /Chaneysville,Pa.

Facebook is obviously a viable communication means of the future .While I am aware it has been monitored for sometime,I am pleased to see it is being used as part of the information network of the U.S.Government.

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