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small town news

Tennessee town bans city employees from making negative comments about it on social media

The government of South Pittsburg, Tennessee, a small town of 3,000 on the Tennessee-Alabama border, has made it illegal for city employees and vendors to speak ill of the town on social media. The ban covers anyone who is officially associated with the town or conducts any business with the city government.

Members of the city commission voted 4-1 to approve the new policy, claiming that online criticism makes it difficult for them to perform their duties. One of the five commissioners, Jeff Powers, said the ban does not mean town employees, contractors and other vendors can't post on Facebook; it means they can't "[shed] a negative light on any person, entity, board or things of that nature."