Social Media Policy

Status


Approved

To provide appropriate guidelines for staff use of social media.

Public
visibility
Approved on: 14 Apr 2015
Review cycle: 1 Year
Owned by

Chief Operations Officer

Approved by

Senior Leadership Group

Category: 
Policy Contact: 
Chief Operations Officer
Purpose: 

To provide appropriate guidelines for staff use of social media.

Scope: 

This policy applies to all College employees.

Statement: 

Introduction

As an employee of the College, you are seen by students and outside parties as a representative of the College. Therefore College staff members’ social media usage can reflect upon the College, whether or not the College is specifically discussed or referenced. Please bear in mind that, although you may view your comments, blog or site as a personal project, readers may assume you are speaking on behalf of the College. Information and views can be spread very quickly and very widely through online media and can easily be subject to distortion and misrepresentation. Importantly, once online material is in the public domain, there is little control or influence over how it might be used or modified.
Social Media tools include:

  • social networking sites e.g. Facebook, Google+
  • video and photo sharing websites e.g. Flickr, YouTube, Instagram
  • micro-blogging sites e.g. Twitter, Tumblr
  • blogs, forums and discussion boards such as Whirlpool, Yahoo! Groups or Google Groups
  • online encyclopaedias such as Wikipedia

any other websites that allow individual users or companies to use simple publishing tools.

Guidelines

The College asks that employees observe the following guidelines in their use of social media tools:

  1. Use it Positively: We believe that we should use every opportunity to promote the College, and as such would encourage our staff to raise the profile of the College and its activities. If it is part of your role and work related, then using social media in work time is a good thing.
  2. Show Leadership and Add Value. College employees are personally responsible for the content they publish.
    1. 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 not be acceptable for a social networking site. If you would not be comfortable with your manager, co-workers, or the College Board reading your words, our advice is – don’t write them. Be mindful that what you publish will be public for a long time—protect your privacy. Provide worthwhile information and perspective.
    2. Does it align with the College values and staff conduct guidelines? These apply to the whole of our life, not just to the time we spend at work, especially as it relates to harassment and illegal activities (including, in this case, spam and piracy). As with other forms of communication, do not engage in personal, racial or sexual harassment. Don't pick fights, or contribute negatively to hostilities. Be the first to correct your own mistakes, and don't alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so.

The guiding principle is RESPECT.

  1. Respect the College and its Staff. Since your site is a public space, we expect you to be respectful to the College and our leaders, employees, and students. Any employee who uses a personal website to disparage the name or reputation of the College, its practices, or its staff or students will be subject to discipline, up to and including immediate termination of employment. For this reason, we from your supervisor encourage you to first seek guidance or Human Resources if you have any questions.
  2. Respect Confidentiality. Be sure that what you are announcing has been officially approved. Otherwise, check with your supervisor.
  3. Respect Copyright. Disclose your sources when you quote information, and respect fair use and general financial disclosure laws. Don't cite or reference authors, College staff, or others without their approval.
  4. Respect Work Time and the Perception of Others about Work Time. All time and effort spent on your non work related social media should be done on your personal time and should not interfere with your job duties or work commitments. We know that many of our roles are not “office hours” roles, and we allow flexibility in terms of when many of our staff work. However please remember that most of our students and stakeholders work hard too, and they will notice when and how often, as well as what you are posting.

Examples of reasonable use during work time include:

  • re-tweeting content from the College account on your own Twitter account
  • updating Facebook status and posting messages during a lunch break.

It is not acceptable to spend hours using social media that is not related to your work.

Where your comments or profile can identify you as a member of the College staff:

  • only disclose and discuss publicly available information
  • ensure that all content published is accurate and not misleading and complies with all relevant college policies
  • expressly state on all postings (identifying you as a College employee) the stated views are your own and are not those of the department or the government
  • be polite and respectful to all people you interact with
  • 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.

 You should not:

  • post material that is offensive, obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, bullying, discriminatory, hateful, racist, sexist, infringes copyright, constitutes a contempt of court, breaches a Court suppression order or is otherwise unlawful
  • imply that you are authorised to speak as a representative of the College, nor give the impression that the views you express are those of the College
  • use your College email address or logos or insignia
  • use the identity or likeness of another employee, contractor or other member of the College
  • use your College email address or any College logos or insignia that may give the impression of official support or endorsement of your personal comment
  • use or disclose any confidential information or personal information obtained in your capacity as an employee/contractor of the College
  • post material that is, or might be construed as, threatening, harassing, bullying or discriminatory towards another employee/contractor of the College
  • make any comment or post any material that might otherwise cause damage to the College's reputation or bring it into disrepute.