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Carolina city has strict rules for its Facebook page

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The city of Charlotte plans to bar public viewing of comments on its Facebook page when it is up and running, a policy that runs counter to other major cities in North Carolina.

The Charlotte Observer reported Monday that only city staff will be allow to view citizens' comments because officials fear they'll be sued if they delete comments that are deemed inappropriate.

City attorney Bob Hagemann says court precedents say the city can't stop someone from talking - or posting - just because it doesn't like what the person says.

Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Asheville allow citizens to post comments that other Facebook users can see, as does Mecklenburg County.

The city adopted its policy last month. The city-sponsored Facebook page and Twitter feed could be running in the next couple of months.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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