Associated Press Published

Ethics Commission: Limit Web Headshots, Avoid Trinkets


To comply with a new law, the Ethics Commission is advising public officials to limit use of their photos on websites and elsewhere.

Thursday’s advisory opinion addresses a new state law banning trinkets, from mugs to matchbooks, with officials’ names or faces on them.

The opinion says an official’s agency website can include a self-photo only on the homepage and in a biographical section.

If an official helps decide what’s in educational materials using private money, only one self-photo is allowed.

The commission advised officials to stop using self-identifying printed banners and table skirts, even ones bought before the new law. Their office’s name is permitted.

The same applies to trinkets.

The opinion says officials can be in YouTube videos and similar communications, but their names shouldn’t be overemphasized.