POLICY 045 Social Media
A COMMITMENT TO FREE AND OPEN EXCHANGE OF IDEAS
West Liberty University is committed to a society that values the free and open exchange of ideas, including the use of social media by its students and employees.
REQUIREMENTS AND CONTROLS OF WLU SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
The purpose of this policy is to establish requirements and controls for the use of social media accounts that represent the organizations and offices of the University.
The University expects employees to behave professionally and students to follow the University’s Student Code of Conduct when posting content on behalf of the University. Those using social media on behalf of the University must assume that all postings will be automatically available for the public at large and that these may be republished and discussed in perpetuity via all forms of media.
DEFINITION OF USERS
- A social media manager is an individual charged with overseeing the social media account(s) of a University program, department, college, school, office, officially recognized organization, or the University as a whole. The social media manager is responsible for the supervision of social media agents. The social media manager also has administrative rights to create posts. A social media manager may be an employee or a student representative of an officially recognized organization who provides oversight for the content posted on University-related social media accounts.
- A social media agent is an individual who posts via social media on behalf of a University program, department, college, school, office, officially recognized organization, or the University as a whole. They are given administrative rights to post news and information by the social media manager. An agent may be a student or employee.
- Every social media account used by the University or one of its organizations must always have at least two individuals, agent/manager or manager/manager, with access to the site. Individuals may not share authentication credentials.
- Only official perspectives are to be posted on University-related sites. Personal perspectives must be reserved for personal social media accounts.
- Everything published via social media representing the University must be in compliance with WLU Board of Governors Policies as well as University Policies, Procedures, and practices.
- Because of HIPPA, FERPA, and NCAA regulations (among others), confidential information regarding WLU students, patients, employees, or alumni must not be posted on social media. Such information is protected by federal regulation. In some cases, even a person’s name or image is confidential. Students enrolled in a Practicum, internship, externship, student teaching, or similar activity must abide by appropriate regulations, including HIPPA, FERPA, academic program handbooks, and regulations provided by the overseeing outside agency,
- Content that would be considered offensive, including, but not limited to, content that diminishes others based on race, color, creed, sex, age, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, and/or mental or physical disability shall not be posted. Any such posts, when discovered, must immediately be removed by the social media manager or agent.
- Content that is threatening, obscene, injurious or illegal shall not be posted. Any such posts, when discovered, must immediately be removed by the social media manager or agent.
- Intellectual property rights and copyrighted material of others must be respected at all times. Using such material without permission is a violation of federal law.
- All University-related social media accounts must be linked to official University-issued email accounts and never to personal email accounts.
- No employee or student shall be required, asked, or permitted to use a private, personal email account to create a social media account on behalf of the University or be required, asked, or permitted to post official University material via a personal social media account.
- When a social media account is established for a program, department, college, office, or organization, it shall be registered with the WLU Office of Media Relations. The Office of Media Relations shall be apprised of the identities of the agents and managers for the account and be notified if this information changes.
- WLU trademarks and logos may not be used without approval. The WLU Marketing Office will supply approved logos and other images to agents/ managers of registered social media accounts upon request and will provide guidance on their use.
- Agents/managers must obey the terms of service of the social media tools they use at all times.
- Personal attacks on members of the University community are not considered appropriate criticism and are not permitted.
- University social media accounts shall not be used to advance personal views, political agendas, political candidates, or political parties.
- University social media accounts shall not be used to advertise commercial products or services.
- Comments related to any legal matters, litigation, or any parties with which the institution is engaged in litigation are prohibited.
- Any violation of the above items or other applicable policies, including but not limited to HIPAA, FERPA, academic program handbooks, and the WLU Student Code of Conduct, will result in the agent or manager of the applicable account being directed to remove the applicable social media posts.