These guidelines are related to the publication of and
commentary on social media by employees of Northeast State Community College
and its related entities ("Northeast State"). For the purposes of
these guidelines, 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, and YouTube. These guidelines are in
addition to and complements any existing or future guidelines regarding the use
of technology, computers, e-mail and the internet.
Northeast State employees are free to publish or comment
via social media in accordance with these guidelines and other related
policies. Northeast State employees are subject to these guidelines to the
extent they identify themselves as a Northeast State employee (other than as an
incidental mention of place of employment in a personal blog on topics
unrelated to Northeast State).
Before engaging in work related social media, employees
must obtain the permission of the Office of Community Relations or the Office
of Marketing. Also, you should ask yourself several questions:
- What are your goals in using Social Media
for yourself or department?
- Which Social Media Tools will you use
(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 carries similar
obligations to any other kind of publication or commentary.
All uses of social media must follow the same ethical
standards that Northeast State employees must otherwise follow.
By participating with Northeast State in social networking
communities, you agree to indemnify Northeast State 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.
The following are relevant college policies you should
06:01:00 – Community Relations and Marketing
06:02:00 – Computer Resources
06:03:00 – Duplication of Copyrighted Materials
06:13:00 – Conflicts of Interest
Setting up Social Media
Social media identities, logon ID's and
user names may not use Northeast State's name without prior approval from the
Office of Community Relations or the Office of Marketing.
Your profile on social media sites must be consistent with
your profile on the Northeast State website or other Northeast State
publications. Profile information may be obtained from the College's Web site
or the Policies and Procedures manual.
Be careful out there
It's perfectly acceptable to talk about
your work and have a dialog with the community, but it's not okay to publish
confidential information. Confidential information includes things such as
unpublished details about students, grades, financial information, etc. We must
respect the wishes of our students regarding the confidentiality of related
information. Please remember that all laws and Northeast State policies apply,
including but not limited to Privacy, HIPAA, Security and Safety. We suggest
that you take time to review these polices. Please consult your manager if you
have questions about the appropriateness of your comment.
Protect your own privacy
Privacy settings on social media
platforms should be set to allow anyone to see profile information similar to
what would be on the Northeast State website. Other privacy settings that might
allow others to post information or see information that is personal should be
set to limit access. Be mindful of posting information that you would not want
the public to see.
Do not blog anonymously, using pseudonyms
or false screen names. We believe in transparency and honesty. Use your real
name, be clear who you are, and identify that you work for Northeast State.
Nothing gains you notice in social media more than honesty - or dishonesty. Do
not say 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.
Respect 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 Northeast State own copyrights
and brands. You should never quote more than short excerpts of someone else's
work, and always attribute such work to the original author/source. It is good
general practice to link to others' work rather than reproduce it.
Respect your audience, Northeast State,
and your coworkers
The public in general, and Northeast
State's employees and students, reflect a diverse set of customs, values and
points of view. Don't say anything contradictory or in conflict with the
Northeast State website. Don't be afraid to be yourself, but do so
respectfully. This includes not only the obvious (no ethnic slurs, offensive
comments, defamatory comments, personal insults, obscenity, etc.) but also
proper consideration of privacy and of topics that may be considered
objectionable or inflammatory - such as politics and religion. Use your best
judgment and be sure to make it clear that the views and opinions expressed are
yours alone and do not represent the official views of Northeast State.
If you see misrepresentations made about
Northeast State 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 say 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.
Be the first to respond to your own
If you make an error, be up front about
your mistake and correct it quickly. 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), deal with it
quickly - better to remove it immediately to lessen the possibility of a legal
Think About Consequences
It’s all about
judgment: using social media to disparage or embarrass Northeast State,
co-workers, or students is dangerous and ill-advised.
Many social media
users include a prominent disclaimer saying who they work for, but that they're
not speaking officially. If you list Northeast State as your employer on a
personal Social Media site or account, you’ll need to add a disclaimer. If you
do not identify yourself as being affiliated in any way with Northeast State,
this guideline may not apply.
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.
Don't forget your day job.
Make sure that social media does not
interfere with your job or commitments to students, faculty, and staff.
The following tips are not mandatory, but
will contribute to successful use of social media.
The best way to be interesting, stay out of trouble, and have fun is to write
about what you know. There is a good chance of being embarrassed by a real
expert, or of being boring if you write about topics you are not knowledgeable
Quality matters. Use a spell-checker. If you're not design-oriented, ask
someone who is whether your blog looks decent, and take his or her advice on
how to improve it.
The speed of being able to publish your thoughts is both a great feature and a
great downfall of social media. The time to edit or reflect must be
self-imposed. If in doubt over a post, or if something does not feel right,
either let it sit and look at it again before publishing it, or ask someone
else to look at it first.
Policy violations will be
subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination for cause.