Policies and Procedures Manual

Chapter 4: Business & Administration

04:62:01   Social Media

Related Policies

04:62:00 - Web Standards

04:07:00 – Community Relations and Marketing
03:02:00 – Computer Resources
03:02:08 – Violation of Copyright
04:10:00 – Conflicts of Interest

05:04:03 – Harassment: Sexual, Racial and Other 

Purpose

This policy is related to the publication of and commentary on social media by faculty, staff and students of Northeast State Community College (NeSCC) and its related. For the purposes of this policy, social media means any facility for online publication and commentary, including without limitation blogs, wiki's, social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. 

This policy is in addition to and complements NeSCC Policy 04:62:00 Web Standards

Policy

NeSCC faculty, staff and students are free to publish or comment via social media in accordance with this policy and other related NeSCC and Tennessee Board of Regents policies.

NeSCC faculty, staff and students are subject to this policy to the extent they identify themselves as a NeSCC employee (other than as an incidental mention of place of employment in a personal blog on topics unrelated to NeSCC).

Before engaging in work related to social media, faculty and staff must obtain the permission of the Office of Community Relations and/or the Office of Marketing.

Student organizations must seek permission from the Director of Leadership Programs prior to the creation of a student organization site. The Director of Leadership Programs will obtain the names of the student advisor and students responsible for the development and maintenance of the site. The Director of Leadership Programs will provide the information to the Office of Community Relations and/or Office of Marketing. No unauthorized student will be permitted to manage a social media site sanctioned by NeSCC.

Decision Making

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to use good, sound judgment when creating and maintaining a NeSCC social media site. The following questions should be considered:

  • What are your goals in using Social Media for yourself or department?
  • Which social media tools will be used (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)?
  • Who will post and administer the account?
  • Are you committed to maintain the account and be an active participant?

Publication and commentary on social media carry similar obligations to any other kind of publication or commentary.

All uses of social media must follow the same ethical standards that NeSCC employees must otherwise follow.

By participating with NeSCC in social networking communities, faculty, staff and students agree to indemnify NeSCC against any damages, losses, liabilities, judgments, costs or expenses arising out of a claim by a third party relating to any posts you have made.

Setting up Social Media

Social media identities, logon ID's and user names may not use NeSCC's name or logo without prior approval from the Office of Community Relations or the Office of Marketing. 

A profile on social media sites must be consistent with the profile on the NeSCC website or other NeSCC publications. Profile information may be obtained from the College's website. In addition, for those organizations with multiple sites, the information must be updated and remain consistent across all media. 

Confidential Information

The publication of confidential information is prohibited. Confidential information includes, but is not limited to, unpublished details about students, grades, financial information and certain contact information. In addition to NeSCC policy, various federal laws protect confidentiality, including but not limited to, Privacy, HIPAA, Security and Safety. 

Privacy Settings

Privacy settings on social media platforms should be set to allow anyone to see profile information similar to what would be on the NeSCC website. Other privacy settings that might allow others to post information or see information that is personal should be set to limit access.

 Honesty

Blogging anonymously, using pseudonyms or false screen names is prohibited. We believe in transparency and honesty. Use your real name, be clear who you are, and identify that you work for NeSCC. Do not state anything that is dishonest, untrue, or misleading. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, point it out. But also be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy. What you publish will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully and also be cautious about disclosing personal details.

 Copyright Laws

It is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use or fair dealing of copyrighted material owned by others, including NeSCC-own copyrights and brands. Never quote more than short excerpts of someone else's work, and always attribute such work to the original author/source. When possible, link to others' work rather than reproduce it. 

Please see policy 03:02:08 – Violation of Copyright. 

Respect

The public in general, and NeSCC's employees and students, reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. Do not state anything contradictory or in conflict with the NeSCC website. Do not be afraid to be yourself but do so respectfully. Discrimination and harassment via blogging will not be accepted. The use of ethnic slurs, offensive comments, defamatory comments, personal insults, and obscenity will not be tolerated.) If an opinion is offered, make certain that it is introduced as an opinion. 

Please see policy 05:04:03 – Harassment: Sexual, Racial and Other. 

Controversial Issues

If you see misrepresentations made about NeSCC in the media or on social sites, you may point that out. Always do so with respect and with the facts. If you speak about others, make sure what you state is factual and that it does not disparage that party. Avoid arguments and make sure what you are saying is factually correct. If you are unsure how to respond please contact the Office of Community Relations or the Office of Marketing.

 Respond to Own Mistakes

If a social media manager makes an error, acknowledge the mistake and correct it immediately. If you choose to modify an earlier post, make it clear that you have done so. Please do not delete the post entirely but offer corrections. If someone accuses you of posting something improper (such as their copyrighted material or a defamatory comment about them), manage it quickly to lessen the possibility of a legal action. 

Consider Consequences

Using social media to disparage or embarrass NeSCC, co-workers, or students is dangerous and ill-advised.

 Disclaimers

Many social media users include a prominent disclaimer saying who they work for, but that they're not speaking officially. If a blogger lists NeSCC as an employer on a personal social media site or account, add a disclaimer. 

The Office of Community Relations or Office of Marketing can provide you with applicable disclaimer language and assist with determining where and how to use that. 

Social Media Use during Business Hours

Faculty and staff must ensure that social media use does not interfere with regular work duties. If social media updates are not part of one’s job description or functions, updates should be conducted after business hours. 

Enforcement

Policy violations will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination for cause. Staff and faculty advisors for student organizations with social media sites are responsible for the review and posting management of students. In addition, student advisors should be administrators of the accounts and therefore monitor the sites frequently. 

It is important to note that a portion of our content is intended for and will be reviewed by minors. Therefore, appropriate filters should be utilized. 

The posting of commentary, content, or images that are defamatory, pornographic, proprietary, harassing, libelous, or that can create a hostile work environment are prohibited. 

NeSCC utilizes the Associated Press (AP) Style Guide as it standard for language, style and grammatical use.



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Divisional Review Responsibilities Checklist: Advancement, Student Affairs

Revision History: October 2014