The Social Media Policy aims to provide guidance for staff about using social media, so that they make informed choices when on social media platforms.
The University recognises and embraces the benefits and opportunities that social media can bring as a communication channel. It can be used to share news, information and successes, keep staff up-to-date with important developments and promote healthy academic debate about subjects and areas of research.
There remains, however, an inherent risk involved in using instantaneous and far-reaching forms of communication and inappropriate use can affect staff, students, the local community and the University’s reputation.
We encourage colleagues to engage, collaborate and innovate through social media, but when doing so, to also remain aware of the potential impact on themselves, others and the university community. Please read the Social Media Policy and make yourself familiar with expected standards.
Social media in your personal life
As a member of staff, you should be aware of your association with, and responsibilities to, the University when using social media. Social media posts which could bring the University into disrepute or impact the safety of the University community, are not permitted.
Remember that anything you post can reach a wider audience than you originally intended. While it is encouraged that people keep their online profiles under strict privacy settings where appropriate, using privacy settings does not necessarily prevent your content from reaching a wider audience via screenshots, bystanders or compromised security.
Your responsibilities on social media
You are personally responsible for your own communications on social media. You should take extra care when you can clearly be identified as a member of staff at the University. You should refrain from posting:
- confidential information
- personal information about another person
- anything from a fake account or an account using another person's name
- anything that is illegal, threatening, harassing, discriminatory, obscene, indecent, defamatory or hostile
- anything that will compromise the safety or reputation of the university or anyone associated with it
Using social media as a teaching tool
Staff who intend to use social media as a teaching and learning tool should use this Social Media Policy as a guide.
Freedom of speech & academic freedom
Freedom of speech and academic freedom are cornerstones of academia. This Social Media Policy in no way seeks to restrict staff members’ freedom of speech - the University’s commitment to freedom of speech is covered by our Freedom of Expression protocol and the Social Media Policy makes reference to this protocol.
Incidents and response
Staff should report potential breaches of the Social Media Policy to their line manager, who will take advice from HR. Social media abuse should also be reported directly to the social media platform for investigation and potential action.
Policy breaches may be investigated under the relevant disciplinary, grievance, or dignity procedures, and content which compromises the University’s reputation may be escalated. Disciplinary action may be taken regardless of whether the breach was committed during working hours or using work equipment. If you have any concerns specifically about safeguarding, please use the University’s report and support tools.
Staff who are experiencing challenges with their wellbeing as a result of social media may wish to consult Health and Wellbeing to access sources of support. Incidents should be reported to Security if there is an immediate personal safety risk while on campus.