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External Content Policy

Purpose

This policy recognizes that it is necessary to include links on the WSDOT Web site to Web sites outside WSDOT's control. The purpose of this policy is to clearly state that WSDOT Web site is not a public forum for communication and debate. Links to external Web sites from the WSDOT Web site are established and retained at WSDOT's discretion. This policy also provides guidelines on when links to external sources are inappropriate.

Use of information obtained from external Web sites is voluntary. Any information obtained from an external Web site is not guaranteed by WSDOT and the user should review the accuracy of any information before relying upon it. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, or otherwise does not represent endorsement or recommendation by WSDOT.

Content Guidelines

Guidelines for Establishing a Link from WSDOT to an External Website
Using the following acceptance criteria, WDOT will review every link and decide whether it is appropriate and relevant. An inappropriate external Web site may include, but is not limited to Web sites that:

  • Exhibit hate, bias, discrimination, pornography, libelous or otherwise defamatory content;
  • Advocates or promotes the use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs;
  • Lobby, advocate, or advance the policies and priorities of a particular industry, organization or enterprise. This may include sites of non-profit organizations;
  • Promote or makes available adult or sexually oriented entertainment or materials;
  • Promote, oppose, or makes available weapons or gambling;
  • Advocate for or against a candidate for public office or promote or oppose a ballot proposition.
  • Contain misleading or unsubstantiated claims.

Guidelines for Establishing a Link to WSDOT from an External Website
Advance permission to link to WSDOT is not necessary; however, WSDOT Web site users should be aware that WSDOT sub-pages may change at any time without notice. Anyone linking to WSDOT should continuously verify links to sub pages.

Anyone linking to WSDOT shall not display WSDOT Web pages within frames, present WSDOT content as its own, or otherwise misrepresent WSDOT content, and they should not misinform users about the origin or ownership of WSDOT content. Certain information on WSDOT Web pages may be trademarked, service-marked, or otherwise protected as intellectual property. Protected intellectual property must be used in accordance with state and federal laws and must reflect the proper ownership of the intellectual property.

Oversight and Monitoring
The Web Manager, Interactive Communications, shall establish procedures to monitor the implementation and continuing oversight of this policy. These procedures shall include:

  1. A process for review of all new requests for external content links from a WSDOT web page to another web page to ensure compliance with this policy prior to granting the request; and
  2. A periodic review to ensure that such links still comply with this policy.

Removal of Content
WSDOT reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to remove links if it determines that an external Web site contains misleading or unsubstantiated claims, or does not meet one or more of the criteria set forth herein.

Links from the WSDOT Web site will be reviewed regularly and may be removed for any of the following reasons:

  • The link no longer points to the original information or resource to which it was intended to point;
  • The Web site contains inaccurate or misleading information or has changed such that it is no longer in compliance with the acceptance criteria;
  • Access to the information has become difficult due to non-standard formatting, lengthy download times, or intrusive advertising;
  • The Web site is permanently unreachable or remains unavailable for a lengthy period.