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Social Media Policy

The following is a preview of the forthcoming social media policy for the University of Idaho. This draft has been presented to general council and will be presented for adoption in the academic procedures manual. Your questions and comments on the proposed policy are appreciated.

Social Media and Web Communications Policy
Created/updated: March 4, 2010

Preamble: Third party community sites and social networks are becoming increasingly relevant to extending the University of Idaho’s reach in the areas of research, leadership, alumni relations, future student recruitment, community involvement and more.

Questions about any aspect of this social media policy should be directed to your Web Coordinator.

A. Definitions
B. Policy
C. Procedures
D. Specific Prohibitions
E. Other Related Policies

A. Definitions.
A - 1. Social Media - Any Web site or online medium (including video) that allows for open communication in a public space; this includes but is not limited to blogs, networking sites, photo sharing, video sharing, and microblogging.
A - 2. Post – Content published using social media. Posts may include dialogue, pictures or embedded videos, and URLs.
A - 3. Comment - Replies or opinions in reference to the author’s originating content; usually made by outside participants.
A - 4. Designee –an individual who has been authorized to produce and update social media content on behalf of the University of Idaho.
A - 5. Solicitation – Unsanctioned advertising or promotion of goods or services not related to the University.

B. Policy.
As use of social media increases, the purpose of this policy is to ensure responsible use of social media as it pertains to the University of Idaho as well as provide protection for faculty and staff who wish to engage audiences by using social media.
B - 1. Responsibility. When acting on behalf of the University, faculty and staff are responsible for content they cause to be published online. All statements must be true; confidential or misleading content is prohibited; all claims must be substantiated.
B - 2. Authenticity. When participating in social media on behalf of the University, designees shall identify themselves as employees of the University of Idaho including: their name, the name of the university and their role in social communications on behalf of the university. General identification on an “info” or “about” page is sufficient.

C. Procedures.
C - 1. Authorization. Designees must be given permission by the managing organizational leadership to participate in social media.
C - 2. Representation. To establish or maintain sanctioned social media, the medium(s) must be registered in a process defined by University Communications and Marketing (UCM). UCM reserves the right to deny said registration if the specific use of social media creates confusion on behalf of the University, branding guidelines are not followed (as published by UCM), or the level of organizational support within the requesting department is determined to be insufficient.
C - 3. Designee. At the time of registration, groups must identify a designee who will be responsible for updating content. If there is a change in designee, UCM must be notified of the new designee within two weeks.
C - 4. Orientation. Prior to engaging in a sanctioned social media site, designees must participate in an orientation provided by UCM. The requesting area should contact their Web Coordinator to schedule orientation.
C - 5. Moderation. Positive or negative, in-context content will be published regardless of whether it is favorable or unfavorable to the University. Offensive, profane, degrading, and out of context content will be rejected at the discretion of the designee or UCM. See also Specific Prohibitions.
C - 6. Removal and Retraction. Posts or comments that violate this policy, or any existing university policies may be removed by UCM in a reasonable timeframe. At such time, UCM will document removals.
C - 7. Maintenance. Designees should exercise reasonable efforts to moderate and keep content current on registered social media sites. UCM will notify the infringing party if absence of participation is observed. Inactive social mediums will be removed at the discretion of UCM.

D. Specific Prohibitions.
These specific prohibitions apply to university employees who utilize any form of social media:
D - 1. Postings shall not discuss personnel actions or other matters that are confidential in nature and covered by the university’s confidentiality policy.
D - 2. Solicitations are not allowed on University sanctioned social mediums and will be removed at the discretion of UCM. See APM 20.12 Sec. A

E. Other Related Policies.
It is your responsibility to be aware of any University of Idaho policies and any changes in those policies that may impact any form of University social media communications. If you are using social media under the auspices of the University of Idaho, either as a staff member, faculty member, or student, it is your responsibility to be aware of and adhere to these policies (this list is not all inclusive – please refer to the handbook for complete list of policies):
E - 1. University of Idaho Computer Use Policy
E - 2. University of Idaho Copyright Policy
E - 3. University of Idaho Intellectual Property Policy
E - 4. University of Idaho Public Records Policy
E - 5. University of Idaho Web site Disclaimer
E - 6. Employee Political Rights
E - 7. FSH 6620 Use of the University's Name and Symbols