Aberdeen City Council is set to include comments made on social media websites as coming under the scope of its staff disciplinary code of conduct.
Council employees could lose their jobs if they make offensive or derogatory remarks about, work, colleagues or council policy on sites such as Facebook or Twitter.
The new strict code of conduct will police use of the internet sites at home and in the office.
However union representatives have expressed concern that employees, many of whom also live in the city, may no longer be able to voice an opinon about the council’s policies or decisions.
But council officials have defended the new policy – claiming staff would still be able to express views as citizens, provided they did not make use of private information gained at work.
Council leader, Callum McCaig, explained: “This is to ensure employees are aware that they have certain responsibilities to the organisation, and those extend to not being overly critical or offensive about fellow employees or the council as a whole.”