Website linking policy

It has become a common practice for organizations publishing documents on the Internet to include hypertext links to other websites that have related information. The inclusion of such links on the City of Vancouver website is for the convenience of visitors to the site. The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by the City of Vancouver or any association between the City and the operators of the site. The linked sites are not under the control of the City of Vancouver and the City is not responsible for the content of any linked site, or any link contained in a linked site, or any changes or updates to such sites. Visitors to external sites linked from the City’s site are advised to contact the operators of those sites with any questions about accuracy, copyright compliance, legality, or privacy.

The City of Vancouver website is not intended to be an open public forum. Links to external content on Web pages operated by the City of Vancouver will be permitted at the City’s sole discretion.

Applicability

This policy applies to the City of Vancouver website and all pages and subsidiary websites operated and maintained by City departments, including, but not limited to, the following:

http://www.cityofvancouver.us The City’s primary website
http://www.cvtv.org City/County cable television service
http://www.vanparksrec.org City Parks and Recreation Dept.
http://www.vanfire.org Vancouver Fire Department
http://www.vanhr.org City Human Resources Department
http://www.vanpolice.org Vancouver Police Department
 
Content Guidelines

In determining whether to allow external content links on the websites it operates, the City of Vancouver will be guided by the purpose of the City’s website.

The City of Vancouver website is intended to provide a broad range of useful information that enhances the connection between City government and local citizens, and to serve as a resource for people who are interested in, or need the details of our organization, community, and region.

The City, at its sole discretion, will determine whether external content meets the purposes of the City of Vancouver website. Generally, external content does not meet the purposes of the City of Vancouver website if the content contains, suggests, or infers any of the following. (This list is a nonexclusive list.): 

  1. Advocacy of or opposition to any politically, environmentally, or socially controversial subjects, issues, or candidates. 
  2. Disparaging or promoting any person or class of persons. 
  3. Content not suitable for visitors of all ages, or links to or other promotion of businesses whose products or services are not suitable for persons of all ages. 
  4. Promoting or inciting illegal, violent, or socially undesirable conduct. 
  5. Promotion or availability of alcohol or tobacco products. 
  6. Promotion or availability of illegal drugs. 
  7. Promotion or availability of adult or sexually oriented entertainment or materials. 
  8. Promotion, opposition, or availability of weapons.
  9. Promotion, opposition, or availability of gambling.
  10. Promotion of any religion or religious viewpoint.
  11. Claims of efficacy, suitability, desirability, or other non-objective statements about businesses, products, or services. 
  12. Content that infringes on any trademark, copyright, or patent rights of another. 
  13. Claims or representations in violation of advertising or consumer protection laws. 
  14. Content that a reasonable citizen may not consider to maintain the dignity and decorum appropriate for government. 

As a general rule, links from the City's website are only provided to local non-profit or other government organizations. However, exceptions will be made for public acknowledgement of sponsors or other contributors of resources to City events or programs; and for commercial sites of news media organizations providing coverage of the local community.

Link requests

Links FROM the City of Vancouver website: Website operators who wish to have a link from the City of Vancouver site to their website must read and comply with this policy and provide contact information.

Required contact information includes:

1. Name of the organization operating the website.
2. Physical address (i.e., a postal address) of the organization.
3. Name of the person responsible for the website.
4. Email address of the person responsible for the website.
5. Telephone number of the person responsible for the website.
6. Internet address (URL) of the website.

The City reserves the right to amend these contact information requirements at any time. 

In addition, for external websites linked from the City of Vancouver website, the specific page that is opened when a visitor goes to the URL provided (usually referred to as the “home” or “start” page) must meet the following technical requirements:

1. The page must contain a valid HTML title tag that provides the name of the site or the organization that operates the site.
2. The page must provide contact information available to any visitor to the site. This contact information may be in the form of an email address, postal address, or telephone number.

Requests for links from the City of Vancouver website will not be granted automatically and are not guaranteed for website operators who provide the required contact information. Links to external content on Web pages operated by the City of Vancouver will be added at the City’s sole discretion.

Links TO the City of Vancouver website: Website operators who want to provide a link from their site to the City of Vancouver website are requested to provide the same contact information as listed above.

Link requests that include the required contact items listed above may be sent to:

webmaster@cityofvancouver.us

Web Content Manager
City Manager's Office - City of Vancouver 
PO Box 1995
Vancouver, WA 98668-1995

The City of Vancouver will establish procedures to monitor the implementation and continuing oversight of this policy. These procedures will include:

A process for review of all new requests for links from the City of Vancouver website to other websites to verify compliance with this policy prior to granting the request; and 

A periodic review of a sample of existing external website links from the City of Vancouver website, to ensure that the links still comply with this policy. 

The City of Vancouver reserves the right to remove links to an external website that otherwise meets its guidelines. This discretion may be exercised if the external website is either in violation of any of the above listed guidelines; or would be reasonably likely to offend a reasonable citizen.