Col. AG reaches agreement with Facebook, plans own page

Jessica M. Karmasek Jan. 7, 2011, 12:23pm


DENVER (Legal Newsline) - Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced this week that his office has worked with Facebook to modify its stated terms and conditions for state agencies.

The arrangement will allow the Attorney General's Office, as well as other state agencies in Colorado, to engage with the public through Facebook in accordance with the site's terms of service agreement.

Suthers worked with the National Association of Attorneys General and the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.

"We are pleased that Facebook has responded to Colorado and the other states' concerns about the provisions of its terms of service agreement," Suthers said in a statement Wednesday.

"We look forward to continuing to work with Facebook and starting a new dialogue with the people of Colorado through the company's website. Social media is a great way to keep the public apprised of the important work we and other public entities do on behalf of the people of Colorado."

Colorado led the multistate discussions between Facebook, the National Association of Attorneys General and the National Association of State Chief Information Officers. The Washington Attorney General's Office co-chaired the negotiations. The 13 other states participating in the negotiations were: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Utah.

Suthers' office began discussions with Facebook roughly a year ago after it discovered conflicts between the company's terms of service agreement and provisions of the Colorado Constitution.

The new terms mirror a similar agreement the social media company reached with the federal government more than a year ago, which allowed 33 federal government agencies to connect with their constituents through Facebook.

According to the Attorney General's Office, Facebook has specifically agreed to modify the provisions of its terms and conditions to:

- Strike the indemnity clause except to the extent indemnity is allowed by a state's constitution or law;

- Strike language requiring that legal disputes be venued in California courts and adjudicated under California law;

- Require that a public agency include language directing consumers to its official website prominently on any Facebook page; and

- Encourage amicable resolution between public entities and Facebook over any disputes.

The modifications will immediately apply to state and local government agencies already on Facebook.

Suthers said his office will "soon" launch its own Facebook page.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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