Cambridge tables ordinance relating to use of city’s name, logo on social media sites

The First Amendment was called into question during the Feb. 21 Cambridge City Council meeting.

In recent months, the council has been discussing the use of the city’s name, logo and seal on social media sites, advertising and other marketing purposes.

This ordinance was originally brought up during a Dec. 6, 2016, meeting when City Administrator Lynda Woulfe provided the council with branding examples and communication policies.

The council has been working on a new ordinance that would make it illegal for private citizens to use the official city name, logo and seal without permission from the city.

According to a report by Woulfe, “The council embraced this philosophy due to the importance of having an effective public relations-communications program which was officially attributable to the city of Cambridge.”

Council members are concerned that a growing number of Facebook pages with the city’s name in their title may cause confusion for residents. Council members are concerned that incorrect information published to these pages could be damaging to the city.

Former City Council Member Howard Lewis was present during the public comment portion of the meeting to express his concerns with the new ordinance. He urged the council members to see how this type of ordinance conflicts with the freedom of speech.

Lewis stated he would rather see the City Council members focus their time on other issues, saying that this is simply a “waste of time.”

The discussion of the ordinance was tabled until the next council meeting.