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Social Media Guidelines

College Social Media Guidelines\

These guidelines are intended to guide faculty and staff in the College of Arts and Letters (CAL) in using social media in a manner that maintains legal and professional standards. Social media are defined as online technologies used to share information, resources, and opinions. Examples of social media include social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn), content sharing sites (e.g., Pinterest, YouTube), micro-blogging sites (e.g., Twitter), and blogs, forums, discussion boards, and Wikis. Principles of academic freedom and free exchange of ideas apply to these guidelines.

Every private person has the right to express their opinions and exchange ideas freely on all social media! However, public employees are obliged to follow institutional policies and uphold professional standards when using social media (ISU Policies and Procedures IV. Section I). Use of social media is guided by the same principles as the use of written or electronic media which include the following rules and prohibitions:

  • If using ISU accounts for social media postings, ISU IT policies (Part 3, Section VIII) apply.
  • Do not use of the name of the University, college, department, or your program to endorse products, causes, political parties or candidates.
  • Do not speak on behalf of CAL or ISU unless authorized to do so on social media sites. When acting as an ISU or CAL representative on social media networks, adherence to the guidelines is expected.
  • Do not release “any information from a student's education record” in a social media network. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) ensures the privacy of educational records of students.
  • Do not utilize ISU logos that do not comply with the marketing and public affairs standards of the University.

Users are responsible for their own behavior; this includes knowledge of laws and policies that apply to the use of electronic media and knowledge of privacy settings in social media.

Suggestions

  • Use care in the language or depictions one uses in postings so as not to put oneself in a position to be accused of libel, defamation of character or other legal violations. Language or depictions used should avoid abusive, insulting, attacking or threatening messages toward others.
  • As nothing that is posted on the Internet is truly private, post only content that one is comfortable in sharing with the general public, including with current and future employers, colleagues, and students. Also remember that anything that exists on a server is there forever and can be reconstructed later, even after deletion. Data can always be recovered and may be discoverable in a court of law.
  • o If you note a breach of confidentiality or privacy in postings, you should report them to the appropriate authorities.
  • Information and data presented should be accurate.
  • o Postings on social media which can identify an individual’s association with CAL or ISU should include a disclaimer that the opinions expressed are not coming from the CAL or the University. A University email address can be sufficient to identify an individual as associated with the University.

Approved by the Chairs Council on December 3, 2015.

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