Patrick Nip, the civil service chief, said on Monday that civil servants must be aware that their online media comments are "highly transmissive" and need to pay attention to the consequences of how others will view their comments.
He made the comment while taking part in a RTHK radio programme which was discussing his controversial remark on Sunday about a “dual role” for Hong Kong government servants. Several civil servants’ unions had expressed concerns over this.
Asked about civil servants who express their views on social media or sign petitions at street booths, Nip said content on online media is "highly transmissive" and people need to be mentally prepared that their online comments may not remain private.
They need to pay attention to the consequences of how others will view their comments, he said.
Though civil servants may make what they believe are personal comments ... these comments can spread very quickly and they will eventually become "not so personal", said the civil service chief.
Nip again defended his "dual identities" remark regarding government workers, saying it isn't a new concept.
He said Hong Kong's civil service system is different from that on the mainland and will remain so under One Country, Two Systems.
But Nip said civil servants should think not just about the SAR when making policies. Instead, they should consider how Hong Kong can contribute to the mainland.
He added that public officials' freedom of speech is restricted, as what they do or say should not lead people to question whether they support the government.