Social Media Guidelines


Online social networking is changing the way we engage with the public, the courts, and each other. This page outlines the channel management strategy for two Social Media tools being adopted by the AOC: a California Courts YouTube Channel and a Twitter site. This page will be updated whenever new Social Media tools are launched or changes are made to existing technologies.


The AOC will engage Social Media technologies to promote comprehension and understanding of judicial branch initiatives.


AOC Divisions wishing to contribute to or develop Social Media outreach to the public or justice partners are required to consult and coordinate efforts with the Office of Communications. For requests of information about the California Courts Twitter site or for video hosting/production support, please e-mail: and your request will be routed to the appropriate staff person.


The California judicial branch is a registered government user on YouTube (username: californiacourts) and owner of the California Courts Channel.

Channel Management

The California Courts YouTube channel will be managed by the AOC Office of Communications. To maintain the quality of the California Courts YouTube channel, videos posted to our channel must meet the following criteria:

  • Tell a story exemplifying a goal of the judicial branch;
  • Present a public education message; or
  • Serve an instructional purpose, e.g., self-help video; and
  • Be limited to less than 10 minutes
  • Be produced by or in partnership with the AOC, and ; and
  • Submitted with Division Director approval (where appropriate).

The AOC has absolute discretion as to what is posted to our channel, and we reserve the right to accept or deny any video posting request.

For video hosting questions or inquiries, e-mail:

The Office of Communications will review and approve all videos before posting; please allow three business days for review (depending on the length of the video). In some cases, production assistance may be available to improve or edit content.

Comments: The comments function on the Judicial Branch YouTube Channel will not be enabled at this time. Ads are also blocked on government channels such as ours.

Building Community: The California Courts YouTube channel will connect and subscribe to other justice partners and other California state channels that reflect our mission and further educate our audience.

Trial Court Support: The Office of Communications will provide assistance and technical assistance for those courts interested in establishing their own government-branded channel.

Measuring Success: Video traffic from the California Courts public site is tracked automatically. The success of the branch’s YouTube effort will be measured by the number of views and channel subscriptions.


Twitter is a free microblogging platform that allows users to post short (140-character) messages known as “tweets.” Numerous other state court systems and hundreds of government agencies are actively using the platform. The AOC's Twitter account is @CalCourts

Channel Management

To ensure coordinated and consistent use, the AOC Web Communications team will post all AOC tweets to the AOC’s Twitter account.

  • Divisions or entities within the judicial branch can request a tweet be published by e-mailing the request to:
  • The AOC Web Communications team will provide editorial oversight and management of the Twitter channel.

Content Strategy: Twitter will be used to announce and promote new and updated content in the California Courts Website. Examples of content targeted for Twitter announcements:

  • News releases
  • New RFPs or RFQs
  • Meetings or conferences
  • Speeches and events of significance to the branch
  • Crisis communications, emergency or disaster response

Tweet Frequency: Minimum of three tweets per week and maximum of five tweets per day, with a minimum of 30 minutes between tweets.

Additional Accounts: The Web Communications team will evaluate requests for additional Twitter accounts based on business need.

Followers and Following: The CalCourts Twitter account will “Follow” other relevant government or nonprofit organizations, at the discretion of the Office of Communications. All followers will be accepted. Followers cannot comment on our Twitter page.

Promotion: The CalCourts Twitter account will be promoted via a link from the home page and by inclusion of our Twitter URL on staff e-mail signatures (optional). The Twitter URL should be added to all News Releases.