Social Media Policy
This policy guides all University students, faculty and staff who engage in social media use on behalf of Barry University or for official University purposes. Social media describes forms of electronic communication (such as websites or applications for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos) with others in a contemporaneous manner.
Social Media at Barry University includes, but is not limited to the following forms of social media:
- Social & Professional Networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, MySpace, Ning, etc.)
- Blogs (Wordpress, Blogger, LiveJournal, Xanga, etc.)
- Micro-Blogs (Twitter, Plurk, Tumblr, etc.)
- Content (Wikipedia, Wetpaint, Scribd, Docstoc, etc.)
- Social Bookmarking (Digg, Delicious, StumpleUpon, etc.)
- Opinion Site (Yelp, MouthShut, Epinions, etc.)
- Multimedia Sharing (Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)
- Virtual Worlds (Second Life, Active Worlds, etc.)
- Maps and Navigation (Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, etc.)
- Social Aggregators (Netvibes, Twine, Friendfeed, etc.)
University presence or participation on social media sites includes, but is not limited to:
- Official Barry University social media sites/pages established by the University on University-owned domains;
- Official Barry University accounts on external social and professional networks and media sharing sites;
- Barry University professional accounts on external sites that are required or approved for use or participation by employees as part of their job duties; and
- Sites that support teaching, research and scholarly activities by Faculty.
Posting in Social media platforms includes, but is not limited to the following forms of communication: Posting, Re-posting, Sharing, Liking, etc.
All members of the Barry community (faculty, staff, and students) are encouraged to become aware of the opportunities associated with the use of social media. Social media can facilitate sharing of information and knowledge and can foster learning, collaboration, scholarship and engagement with others, as articulated in the university’s mission statement and core commitments.
This policy applies to all social media use on behalf of Barry University. It includes social media content created or posted on university-sponsored websites and social media accounts as well as social media content created or posted by members of the university community in a personal capacity, if that content incorrectly creates an appearance of an endorsement by the university or if it violates applicable law or university policies.
Conditions of Use
The following conditions apply to the professional use of social media on behalf of Barry University as well as the personal use of social media when referencing Barry University.
- Although not an exclusive list, the following are examples of prohibited social media conduct: posting commentary, content, or images that are false, misleading, pornographic, proprietary, harassing, or that can create a hostile work environment.
- Social media sites affiliated with the University will not be used to promote or endorse products, external businesses, or personal opinions. Advertisement of items for sale is expressly prohibited.
- Employees will not publish, post, or release any University information that is considered confidential or not public. If there are questions about what is considered confidential, employees should check with the Human Resources Department and their immediate supervisor.
Employees should be aware that HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which protects personal health information), FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, which protects the rights of students), NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association, regarding student athletics) and other confidentiality rules apply to social media. Users who violate laws may be subject to disciplinary action.
- Social media networks, blogs and other types of online content sometimes generate press and media attention. Employees should refer such inquiries to the University’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Social media activity generated during a crisis is to be immediately referred to the University’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) via email to email@example.com.
- During emergencies, such as tropical weather events or safety threats, update messages distributed by the University’s emergency communications group via the University’s official social media channels may be shared, reposted, or re-tweeted by registered social media accounts.
- Personal social media may not interfere with an employee’s responsibilities at Barry University. When using Barry University’s computer systems, use of social media for University purposes is allowed (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Barry University blogs and LinkedIn), but personal use of social media networks or personal blogging of online content is discouraged and could result in disciplinary action.
- Employees will keep Barry University social media accounts separate from personal accounts. Personal accounts shall not include the use of official Barry University marks or images that suggest the account is being used on behalf of the University. If you identify yourself as an employee of the University or publish content that involves activities or subjects that could be associated with Barry University, the following disclaimer is to be used: “The postings on this site are my own and may not represent Barry University’s positions, or opinions.”
- Site administrators of registered University social media accounts will not post under their own name on accounts they oversee or manage. For example, Jane Doe, Administrator for BarryU on Facebook, would not appear under her own name making comments on the University’s behalf on a Barry registered site, but would instead appear as BarryU. Exceptions might include emergencies and use by employees in senior administrative roles. In the case of senior administrators, professional social media accounts are recommended, and if used, they would be maintained separately from personal social media accounts.
- Barry University is a 501(c)(3)tax-exempt organization. As a condition of maintaining its tax-exempt status, the University is prohibited from intervening in political campaign activities, either directly or indirectly, in support of candidates for any elected public office. The prohibition on political campaign interventions is absolute, covering all uses of University assets and resources.
Employees may not participate in political campaign activities when acting as a representative of the University. Any employee who makes personal political statements through social media and has identified her/himself as an employee of the University, must expressly state that she/he is not speaking on behalf of the University.
- University social media sponsorship assets will be reviewed and approved by Marketing and/or General Counsel prior to solicitation. Authorized University representatives (designated by Major Gifts and Sponsorships) selling sponsorships will have the right to include sponsor information and/or logos on designated social media pages (e.g. athletics, alumni), and general University initiatives following the execution of the sponsorship package.
Sponsorships will not be construed as endorsements of any particular product and/or company – refer to Guidelines for Sponsorships.
A Title Sponsorship or a Presenting Sponsorship (e.g. the Ryder-Benjamin Golf Tournament), is automatically included in all social media with regard to the event.
Starting a Social Media Account
The social media team within the Marketing Department maintains a master list of all University social media sites and current contact information for designated site administrators.
Faculty, staff, and registered student organizations that seek to create a social media account on behalf of the University will submit their requests online by visiting http://vbucwis.barry.edu/socialmedia. Upon submission, the social media team in Marketing will review the request and follow up as needed with any questions.
A supervisor within the requestor’s unit/department will assume responsibility for familiarizing faculty, staff, and students who are creating or posting social media content on the registered social media account with all applicable policies and procedures. Providing the name of the primary account administrator and the department supervisor (or club advisor for student-run accounts) is part of the request process.
Administrative credentials for access to social media pages or sites created on behalf of the University will be provided to the supervisor associated with the request and the social media team within Marketing. Detailed instructions will be provided by Marketing on how to submit the credentials in a secure format when the request is received for processing.
Student organizations must coordinate with their advisor to register accounts for student clubs and organizations.
Please visit http://vbucwis.barry.edu/socialmedia for details on the registration process, social media toolkits, and best practices for postings.
Account Administration and Content Management
Officially registered groups, sites or pages on social media platforms will be maintained by the department establishing the account and will be tied to an official University email account (firstname.lastname@example.org). The use of a generic University mailbox facilitates the seamless transfer of account oversight responsibilities if the initial site creator is no longer able to maintain the site for any reason.
When an employee leaves the University, access to active social media accounts are to be discontinued immediately.
Advisors for student organizations are responsible for ensuring that they have current administrative access to social media accounts created for student organizations and that account access is limited to current members of the organization.
Changes to login credentials for registered accounts must be reported to the social media team as soon as the change is made. Please visit http://vbucwis.barry.edu/socialmedia for details on how to provide credentials securely.
Each department or program that maintains an official social media presence must have a designated person empowered to respond to comments and questions, and otherwise ensure that the content posted to the site is consistent with this policy. Questions about appropriateness of topics are to be adressed with the site supervisor or department head before posting.
Social media site administrators are to maintain and update the sites regularly. The Barry University social media team will notify administrators of an inactive site after three months of inactivity. If a site remains inactive for over six months, action will be taken to disable the site, unless a specific exemption is granted.
The Marketing Department is authorized to establish and update posting guidelines, social media toolkits, best practices and standards for maintaining an effective social media presence on all networks and platforms. When unsure about what or how to post, please contact the social media team in Marketing via email to email@example.com.
Social media sites or pages found to be non-compliant with this policy will not be linked from University websites or social media sites.
The University reserves the right to delete content that is not in compliance with this policy. The University will contact social media platforms to request the removal of pages or sites that violate this policy or to request access to any orphaned accounts in need of maintenance.
Respect Copyright and Fair Use Laws
Employees will obtain appropriate permission before referring to, or posting, images of current or former employees, students, vendors or suppliers. Additionally, employees will obtain appropriate permission to use third-party copyrights, copyrighted material, trademarks, service marks or other intellectual property. If in doubt or appropriate use, refer to the University's Copyright Policy or contact the Office of Legal Affairs for guidance.
Social Media and Academic Freedom
In addition to the uses of social media described above, Barry University recognizes that social media outlets have become integral to teaching, research, and other scholarly activities of the faculty. As such, the choice to use social media falls within the sphere of academic freedom and has
the potential to support the teaching and learning missions of the University as articulated in Section 2.2 (Academic Freedom) of the Faculty Handbook.
Such activities include uses of social media to present and discuss research and other forms of scholarship and artistic activity, instructional uses of social media to augment and extend the classroom experience, and activities relating to the service component of faculty responsibilities. Along with all other University employees, faculty use of social media should be informed by the General Posting Guidelines described in this document. Social media usage that violates relevant laws or University policies will be investigated under established procedures for employee disciplinary action.
Content published on any University social media site is subject to all University policies with special attention to the employee and student handbooks. In general, any activity that would be deemed a violation of policy in a face-to-face or telephone communication is likely to be considered a violation if it took place within social media sites or platforms.
Social media administrators or social media users will be responsive to accessibility needs. Videos, in particular, are to be close-captioned before uploaded to social media platforms, sites, or media networks (or before they are sent to the Barry University Marketing department for uploading to social media sites or platforms).