Social Media – General Guidelines - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Social Media – General Guidelines

The following guidelines apply to all use of social media and should be read in conjunction with the University’s Social Media – Managerial Policy.

In addition to these general guidelines, staff are advised to consult the Social Media – Guidelines for USC Use provided by Marketing and External Engagement (available for staff access on MyUSC).

Acceptable use

When using social media in the context of education or research training, and when making identifiable private use of social media *, you must not:

  • make any comment or post material that is, or might be construed to be, racial or sexual harassment, offensive, obscene (including pornography), defamatory, discriminatory towards any person, or inciting hate
  • make any comment or post material that creates, or might be construed to create, a risk to the health or safety of a student, contractor, staff member or other person, including material that amounts to bullying, psychological or emotional violence, coercion, harassment, sexual harassment, aggressive or abusive comments or behaviour, and/or unreasonable demands or undue pressure
  • make any comment or post material that infringes copyright, is fraudulent, breaches intellectual property rights, constitutes a contempt of court, constitutes stalking, breaches a court order, or is otherwise unlawful
  • imply that you are authorised to speak as a representative of the University, or give the impression that the views you express are those of the University (unless you are officially authorised by the University)
  • use the identity or likeness of another student, contractor, staff member or other member of the University community
  • use or disclose any University confidential information obtained as a member of the University community
  • sell, purchase, post or offer to write assignments or other assessable work, or is considered to breach the Student Academic Integrity – Governing Policy. Furthermore, students are required to take steps to minimise opportunities for others to cheat by, for example, not saving work to a shared network drive that is accessible by others and not sharing work on social media sites
  • post answers to practice questions, tutorial questions, practice exams or other such material issued by the University
  • use the University's logo without permission, or use the University's name, directly or by association, in a manner that is likely to be misleading or bring the University into disrepute
Using images and video

In most cases, prior permission (ie a release) must be obtained to post, share or distribute images of individuals whose images are identifiable, including video footage.

Social media users should not post content that might be embarrassing to an individual or that could be construed as placing an individual in a negative or false light.

Special care must always be taken when dealing with the personal information of individuals (as defined under the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld). With regard to the images of "special populations", eg minors, patients or research subjects, this should only be done upon receipt of a signed Photo Release Form, available from Marketing and External Engagement and may require other approvals (eg Research Ethics).

* identifiable private use of social media is use of social media in a way that may associate the user with USC and/or may have an impact on the University or on members of the USC community.