View Current

Social Media Policy

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this policy to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Overview

This policy aims to ensure that all members of the University community using Social Media, have guidance about the University's expectations of online etiquette and responsible conduct within a social media environment.
The University acknowledges the capacity of social media in general, as a powerful communications channel with global reach allowing for direct, open dialogue and the interactive outreach and exchange of ideas between the online community and their contacts. Whilst engaging with social media can deliver significant benefit to the University, it is also a medium that due to its scale and speed of transmission, can magnify both positive and negative discourse and publicity. It therefore carries with it the potential for significant reputational damage and as a consequence, the use of social media should be approached with consideration, sensitivity and respect.
Top of Page

Section 2 - Scope

This policy applies to social networking and interactions in an online environment, where a participant is associated with the University and working, studying and/or publishing under the auspices of the University of New England. This policy does not apply to the personal use of social media where there is no consequence to UNE.
Top of Page

Section 3 - Policy

(1) Social media use by students and staff is to comply with the University of New England's policies listed at the end of this document (including those related to misconduct), the Copyright Act, 1968(Cwth), the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act, 1998 (NSW) , the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act, 2012 (Cwth) and any other applicable laws.

(2) Members of the University community engaging in UNE-related social media activities are responsible for ensuring the accuracy, transparency and truthfulness of their communications and for compliance with this policy and other applicable policies, laws and guidelines.

(3) Inflammatory, racist, sexist and offensive comments; confidential material or content that infringes copyright must not be posted or otherwise used. UNE Representatives posting to social media sites will be responsible in their capacity as a student or staff member (or as appropriate) for the content they publish and the comments they make.

(4) Intellectual freedom is recognised by the University as essential to the conduct of teaching, research and scholarship, it carries with it the responsibility for staff members (particularly within the context of a social media environment) to exercise that freedom with care, consideration and due caution. It is not intended that anything in this policy should detract from the University's commitment to intellectual freedom, as outlined in the UNE Academic and English Language Teaching Staff Enterprise Agreement 2020-2022.

(5) Staff should not make unauthorised comments on social media that could be construed as representing those of the University.  When staff provide comments using social media channels, they should:

  1. State that any comments they express are their own, and not those of the University (unless they have been authorised to make them); and
  2. Not make comments that otherwise breach University policy (eg. Harassment, Bullying and discrimination Policy) or the commitments included in clause 5 of the Enterprise Agreement (including intellectual freedom).

(6) Staff and students should check provider regulations and terms of service for media channels in use - as well as ensuring compliance with UNE policy. Where offensive or inappropriate conduct by either UNE staff or students as a representative of the University about the University or its representatives is observed and reported to UNE, a warning or takedown request will be forwarded to the staff member or student concerned if they are identifiable. If the staff member or student is not identifiable or if the request is unheeded, the takedown request will be forwarded to the social media provider.

Corporate Social Media Channels

(7) Corporate social media channels purporting to represent the University, carry endorsed content or any affiliation with UNE using third party software, social media platforms, vendors and/or applications are only to be used with the approval of the appropriate University authority and with the knowledge and approval of the Chief Marketing Officer in his/her role as Policy Administrator. Once approved, only UNE staff can create corporate social media accounts and must use UNE login credentials.

(8) The Executive Director of Marketing and Public Affairs in his/her role as Policy Administrator, or delegate, will require administration access to social media accounts generated on behalf of UNE to ensure support and continuity.

(9) The Chief Marketing Officer reserves the right to request staff channel administrators to correct, amend or remove erroneous content and to directly moderate or amend content using administrator privileges if a request is unheeded.

(10) All corporate records arising from social media activities, should be retained in accordance with UNE's Records Management Policy.

(11) Policy Compliance

(12) All UNE Representatives who are users of the University's online systems must comply with this policy. A failure to do so will be perceived as an act of misconduct and will be addressed via the appropriate misconduct procedures for UNE staff or students.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Definitions

(13) Social Media — electronic media that enables user-generated content, collaboration, exchange and the development of social relationships across an interactive, digital space from and to a variety of technological devices and platforms. Social media participants use, create and share content, opinions, insights, experiences and perspectives. This can take many forms* including text, images, audio, video and other multimedia communications. The definition of social media itself is continuing to evolve and the marketing around these networks and the content created on them is increasingly considered a part of social media.

(14) Student - means an Admitted Student or an Enrolled Student, at the relevant time.

(15) Admitted Student means a student who has been admitted to a UNE course of study and who is entitled to enroll in a unit of study.

Enrolled Student means a student who has been admitted to a course of study at UNE or elsewhere and who is enrolled in a unit at UNE.
UNE Representative - means a University employee (casual, fixed term and permanent), contractor, agent, appointee, student, UNE Council member and any other person engaged by the University to undertake some activity for or on behalf of the University. It includes corporations and other bodies falling into one or more of these categories.
University, corporate or institutional social media — is a work-related social media activity that is Faculty, School or administrative unit-based (e.g. Student Central) and is undertaken for the following purposes:
-academic (research, teaching and learning)
-student service and support
-business (including promotional activities)
-other University—related activities.
*Examples of social media environments include (but are not limited to) networking sites (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Foursquare), video and photo sharing sites (e.g. YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, SlideShare), industry specific information sharing sites (e.g. ResearchGate, bookmarking sites (e.g. Delicious, Pinterest) micro-blogging sites (e.g. Twitter, Yammer), blogs (including those hosted by UNE and personal blogs where the blogger is represented as an employee of the University), online forums and discussion groups and other websites allowing users and organisations to post information about the University using simple publishing tools (e.g. Moodle).