Edmonds Public Works Twitter account raises eyebrows after employee mistakenly ‘likes’ Trump tweet

The City of Edmonds Public Works Twitter account attracted some attention earlier this week when it was discovered that an employee operating the account had accidentally “liked” a well-publicized tweet from President Donald Trump that criticized former FBI Director James Comey as “a slimeball.”

Some local followers of the @edmondspw account pointed out the “like” to Public Works Director Phil Williams, asking whether it was appropriate for a city-sponsored account to take such a position.

In a follow-up tweet on @edmondspw account, Williams stated that a city employee “inadvertently ‘liked’ a tweet from @realDonaldTrump. Our employee was viewing a Google page with a Twitter page embedded in it (and) mistakenly liked it while scrolling the page.”

The city’s IT staff has reviewed the incident and “guidance will be sent to all employees about avoiding this problem in the future,” Williams said in a follow-up tweet. “The City has a social media policy that clearly prohibits political statements on City-sponsored sites.”

“We apologize for any misunderstanding this may have caused,” Williams said on Twitter.

Responding by email after the incident, Williams said he was glad that the department was able to figure out how the mistake occurred “and that it was not more nefarious like a hack of our Twitter account or a deliberate violation of our Social Media Policy.”



8 Replies to “Edmonds Public Works Twitter account raises eyebrows after employee mistakenly ‘likes’ Trump tweet”

  1. Oh good grief..we are so politically correct we can’t even have an open opinion. Pathetic!..everybody grow up and let us all live in freedom.


  2. This is not a personal account; partisan postings – no matter which party – would be inappropriate.


    1. He is certainly entitled to an opinion. No one disputes that. But personal opinions must be expressed as personal, not on public boards payed for by all of us, otherwise it looks as if, in this case, the city was endorsing the view.

      Yes, many employees spend time on computers; what is your point?

      No, it’s not a joke. This incident, though accidental, conflicts directly with city policy, as well as with American traditions that public entities should remain politically neutral – one of those traditions our country was built on. Judging by the posts here, one might come to think that some advocate “freedom for city employees to post anything they want on official websites.”

      But yes, some of us get wound up when our fundamental principles are under threat.


  3. Sorry, C and J, it’s clear you are in the wrong:

    1 The city already explained it was a mistake
    2 Had it been intentional, it would have been a violation

    Pretty weird battle for you to pick, calling for more or intentional violations of city policy?

    I also don’t understand being angry about what sounds like good news?

    An article reassured the community that what at first seemed a troubling partisan violation or cybersecurity threat was in fact a simple error. PWD Williams quickly apologized and corrected, transparently explained and implemented new guidance to prevent this from happening in the future.

    Great news! I’m proud to be part Edmonds!


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