Social Media Policy


Next review
Thu, 04 March 2027

To provide clarity to all College staff (including volunteers) on the College’s social media policy and how to conduct themselves on social media. It is not the intent of this policy to prohibit the use of social media by members of the College community.  Rather, the policy establishes clear standards and guidelines in relation to the use of social media, where such use potentially impacts adversely upon: the operations, interests or reputation of the College; individual members of the College community; relationships with or between members of the College...

Approved on: 04 Mar 2024
Review cycle: 3 Years
Owned by

Chief Operations Officer

Approved by

Eastern Executive Team

Policy Contact: 
Chief Operations Officer

To provide clarity to all College staff (including volunteers) on the College’s social media policy and how to conduct themselves on social media. It is not the intent of this policy to prohibit the use of social media by members of the College community.  Rather, the policy establishes clear standards and guidelines in relation to the use of social media, where such use potentially impacts adversely upon: the operations, interests or reputation of the College; individual members of the College community; relationships with or between members of the College community. 


 The Social Media Policy applies to all staff and volunteers.
Social media tools are defined in this policy as all online media which allow user participation and interaction, including (but not limited to):

  • interacting with social networking sites and/or social networking applications (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, WhatsApp, and WeChat)
  • interacting with video and photo sharing applications/sites (such as TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest)
  • interacting with blogs, including corporate blogs and personal blogs
  • interacting with blogs hosted by media outlets (for example, through ‘comments’ or ‘your say’ features on
  • micro-blogging (such as Tumblr, X, Threads)
  • interacting with wikis and online collaborations (such as Wikipedia), and
  • interacting with forums, discussion boards and groups (such as Whirlpool, Reedit, Yahoo!)
  • online encyclopaedias such as Wikipedia

The College: Eastern College of Australia

inappropriate use of social media includes, but is not limited to, the use of social media in ways that threaten, abuse, bully, harass, frighten, incite violence or hatred, belittle, unfairly criticise, defame, exclude, insult, damage reputations, impersonate, misrepresent, convey sexual innuendo or proposition, communicate false pretences, encourage unlawful acts, violate privacy and confidentiality, or otherwise disrespect the College or the rights of others.


This policy does not intend to unduly restrict its staff from use of social media in their personal lives. However, where a staff member makes identifiable personal use of social media, this can have a significant impact on the College's reputation and other interests, directly or indirectly. Accordingly, staff members who engage in identifiable personal use of social media must minimise the risk of damage to the College.

Staff are personally responsible for anything published online and must not only consider how their posts reflect on them as an individual, but also about how they reflect on the College thus ensuring the College is not brought into disrepute.

It is expected that all usage of social media shall be in ways that are responsible, ethical, respectful, legal, and honouring to God. Inappropriate use of social media is not acceptable, and a breach of this policy may also involve a breach of one or more other College policies.

Social Media Code of Conduct

The College asks that all staff observe the following guidelines in their use of social media tools which includes the following:

  1. Be Respectful Social media should not be used inappropriately but in a way that is positive and respectful to individuals, cultures, and communities. Two tests to consider before commenting or publishing content on social media platforms are:
  2. Publicity Test: Does it pass the publicity test? If the content of your message would not be acceptable for face-to-face conversation, over the telephone, or in another medium, it will more than likely not be acceptable for a social networking platform.
  3. ​Value Test: Does it align with the College values and staff conduct guidelines? If the content of the message contains any inappropriate use (see above definition), then it will not pass the Value Test. Staff are encouraged to be sensitive, discreet and to exercise wisdom in expressing their views on social media. Even in robust debate online, dialogue should always be respectful, polite, and calm. A list of our values is in our Staff Handbook.

Compliance, Privacy and Copyright

  1. Social media should not be used to disclose confidential information, proprietary or sensitive information. Information is considered confidential when it is not readily available to the public (For example, the departure or arrival of a staff member or confidential College Intellectual Property).
  2. Staff should not use the College logo or branding on any social media platform without prior approval from the Chief Operations Officer or Principal.
  3. Staff are expected to disclose their sources when quoting information. It is their obligation to ensure that all content published is accurate and not misleading and complies with all relevant College policies.
  4. Staff are expected to adhere to the Terms of Use of the relevant social media platform/website, as well as copyright, privacy, defamation, contempt of court, discrimination, harassment and other applicable laws, and the College’s Privacy Policy.
  5. Staff shall not engage in excessive non-work-related usage of social media during working hours lest it have an adverse impact on their work performance.


  1. Unless prior written permission is provided, when using social media, staff members and volunteers must not imply that they are authorised to speak as a representative of the College, nor give the impression that the views they express are those of the College. If they are expressing a personal view, they should make it clear that it is their opinion (for example, “in my personal opinion”)

If a staff member or volunteer becomes aware of unacceptable use of social media they must notify their supervisor, Human Resources or the IT Manager.

Official Use of social media on Behalf of the College:

Only employees authorised by the Principal and/or COO may create social media identities, profiles or accounts that use the College’s name, logo, or brand, or are designed to represent the College in any way.

Only authorised employees (For example, Communications Manager or Dean of Students) may officially represent the College, and only in authorised social media platforms, as outlined in this policy.

Employees authorised to use the College’s official social media platforms must:

  • maintain the same high standards of conduct and behaviour online as would be expected in a physical work environment,
  • behave impartially and professionally,
  • behave with respect and courtesy, and without harassment,
  • deal appropriately with information, recognising that some information needs to remain confidential,
  • be sensitive to the diversity of colleagues, peers, students and the community;
  • uphold the values of the College;
  • protect the integrity and reputation of the College, its students, its staff and community;
  • comply with applicable laws and legislation, including copyright, intellectual property, privacy, financial disclosure, defamation and other such applicable laws;
  • protect the privacy and security of the College, its staff, students, and stakeholders
  • Not provide incorrect, defamatory, or misleading information about the College’s work, the work of other organisations, or individuals.

Staff posting comments on official College communications should observe the standards of conduct and behaviour above. The College reserves the right to delete official posts or comments that are deemed to be defamatory or offensive.

Authorised employees using social media in an official capacity are given autonomy to represent the College’s views in an ongoing conversation with the public, the community and students. However, there are occasions when content must be reviewed by the COO or the Principal. This includes, but is not limited to, content that is:

  • politically or theological sensitive;
  • associated with a project or activity deemed to be high risk;
  • a response to an individual or group that is deemed to be high risk.

The authorised employee(s) will also be responsible for replying to comments and messages from the public on the College’s social media platform. There may be situations where the authorised officer will need the assistance from academics to assist with the reply to comments such as theological controversial comments or replies. In such a scenario, the authorised employee(s) must escalate this to the COO or the Principal to formulate a reply or course of action.

Student Led Social Media Community Groups and Channels

The College will not limit the use of social media for students who wish to create community groups or information channels with each other and, at times, include staff. The College encourages such use for students to connect with each other. However, it must be made clear that such student led community groups are not official College communication platforms and participation in such groups/channels is voluntary. There may be occasions where staff/volunteers/students can use these groups to share College news and/or announcements however they shall not be badged as official College communications. If a staff or volunteer is invited to have administrative rights to this channel, they must decline as this may be interpreted as an official College channel. The Code of Conduct above will continue to apply to staff and volunteers who are invited to be part of such student-led social media community groups and channels.

Policy Breach Consequences

Any staff member identified as breaching the Social Media Policy or committing unlawful behaviour may be subject to disciplinary action, and/or criminal prosecution (see Termination of Employment policy).

The College may request that a staff member or volunteer delete any information contained on any social media platform that is in breach of this policy.
Corrective disciplinary action will depend on the severity of the situation and may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following as deemed appropriate by the College:

  • counselling – which may be in conjunction with another disciplinary action;
  • transfer, reassignment of responsibilities or leave of absence;
  • verbal reprimand, written warning, probation, reclassification, suspension, or termination.