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Media - Social Media Procedure

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) The purpose of this Procedure is to:

  1. provide direction on how to create and maintain Victoria University (VU) social media accounts; and
  2. ensure staff and students are aware of their responsibilities when using social media.
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Section 2 - Accountability

Accountable/Responsible Officer

Role

Accountable Officer Executive Director, Marketing and Communications
Responsible Officer Manager, Communications
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Section 3 - Scope

(2) This Procedure applies to:

  1. all staff of the University (including VU agents and contractors e.g. advertising and creative agencies); and
  2. official VU social media channels and other social media that has a connection to VU.
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Section 4 - Definitions

(3) Social Media

(4) Limited amount of personal use (staff use of ICT facilities)

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Section 5 - Policy/Regulation

(5) See Media Policy.

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Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

Roles

Responsibilities

Manager, Communications Approves official VU social media accounts.
Executive Director, Marketing and Communications Arranges and approves official VU statements to be posted on social media in the case of an emergency or critical incident.
 

Personal Use

(6) As set out in the IT Appropriate Use Policy, staff may use the University's ICT facilities for a limited amount of personal use.  This includes the use of personal social media.

(7) VU IT must not be used to run a private business whether for profit or not-for-profit.

(8) If in doubt regarding appropriate personal use, students can seek guidance from teaching staff and Student Services.  Staff and other Users can seek guidance from the relevant Departmental Manager, Director or Dean.

(9) Any use of personal social media via the University’s information technology services or facilities must comply with this Procedure, the IT Appropriate Use Policy and other relevant University rules, policies and procedures, including:

  1. the Appropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy and Student Charter Policy; and
  2. the Bullying Prevention and Management PolicySexual Assault Response Policy, Sexual Harassment Response Policy, and the Discrimination and Harassment Prevention and Management Policy.

(10) Staff and students should also be mindful that their social media use in their private time can have, or can be construed as having, a connection to VU. Students must ensure that their private use of social media does not create a connection with the University which is, or is likely to be, detrimental to the University or its members. Such behaviour may constitute student misconduct as defined in the Student Misconduct Regulations 2014 and can give rise to disciplinary action.

(11) Similarly, staff must ensure their private use of social media does not damage the reputation of the University or bring it into disrepute. Such behaviour may breach employment obligations and give rise to disciplinary action.

Official VU Social Media

(12) Social media is a communication platform that VU uses to connect with students, alumni, University partners and other members of the broader University and external community.

(13) The University has a number of official VU social media accounts which are used to represent the University as a whole, or a significant part of it. Official VU social media accounts are either managed by the Social Media Team or by approved account owners.

Creating and Maintaining an Official VU Social Media Account

(14) All official VU social media accounts must be approved by Manager, Communications.

(15) In order to create an official VU social media account, the specific request must be discussed with a member of the University’s Social Media Team (Social.Media@vu.edu.au).

(16) Following discussion with the Social Media Team, the Social Media Application Form must be completed and submitted to Social.Media@vu.edu.au.

(17) All requests for an official VU social media account must clearly specify who the intended owner of the account will be.

(18) The Manager, Communications will consider the request and determine whether it is appropriate.   The Manager, Communications will respond to the application within ten (10) working days.

(19) Owners of official VU social media accounts are ultimately accountable for the social media account/channel and must:

  1. grant administrative access to the Social Media Coordinator;
  2. ensure University branding is evident and contact information is prominently displayed; 
  3. ensure published content is accurate and not misleading;
  4. link to an official University response where there is one (e.g a University press release or statement on the VU website);
  5. monitor the social media account daily; 
  6. respond to requests for information, questions or comments in a timely fashion;
  7. ensure compliance with the the University’s Privacy Policy
  8. concerns regarding content are escalated to the Social Media Coordinator;
  9. ensure potentially fake reviews are reported to the Social Media Coordinator.

Social Media in Learning and Teaching and other University Activities

Learning and Teaching 

(20) The University encourages the use of social media as an effective complementary teaching strategy to practice critical thinking and problem-solving skills in collaborative environments. VU acknowledges the positive impact that the use of social media in learning and teaching can make to student engagement and experience, active learning, digital literacy and citizenship.

(21) Staff or students who wish to use social media in a Learning and Teaching context can refer to the Social Media in Learning and Teaching Guidelines for advice on creating and maintaining social media in the Learning and Teaching space.

(22) The Social Media Team will work collaboratively with Learning Innovation and Quality to ensure a consistent, quality University social media presence.

(23) If a Learning and Teaching social media presence is deemed to be inappropriate or in conflict with the Appropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy or Student Charter Policy, the Social Media Team has the authority to close or absorb the presence, where appropriate.

Other University Activities

(24) Other social media that has a connection to VU must comply with this Procedure and other relevant University policies and procedures.  Circumstances where social media could be considered to have a connection to VU include:

  1. social media that is part of University business; and
  2. where staff represent themselves on social media in their professional capacity.

Part B - Social Media - Standards of Conduct

(25) Social media is simply another platform for communication. The University expects students and staff to conform to generally accepted standards of behaviour when posting content and communicating via social media.

(26) The University expects all staff and students to:

  1. Be respectful.
  2. Report cyberbullying.  If students are involved, staff and students should contact the Integrity Office.  If staff are involved, People and Culture should be contacted.
  3. Maintain privacy. Personal contact information should not be shared on social media without the person’s consent.
  4. Ensure content is accurate and not misleading.  Ensure information about the University, particularly its course offerings, is accurate and up to date.
  5. Report issues. If you are concerned that the University is being misrepresented or see content damaging to the University's reputation, a screen shot should be taken and the Social Media Coordinator should be contacted immediately.

(27) For further information about Appropriate Use of Social Media please refer to the Social Media intranet site.

Part C - Monitoring and Review of Social Media Accounts

(28) VU reserves the right to restrict or remove any content that does not comply with this or any other University policies and procedures.

(29) Where there is no intention to continue updating the content, the social media account owner should deactivate the account.  Prior to deactivating an account, staff must check whether the content needs to be retained in accordance with the University's  record keeping obligations.

(30) Inactive social media accounts should be reported to the Manager, Communications.

(31) The Social Media Team reserves the right to delete inactive social media accounts and/or transfer the ownership to a relevant University spokesperson.

Part D - Record Keeping Requirements 

(32) The Public Records Act 1973 (s2) defines a public record as “any record made or received by a public officer in the course of [their] duties.”  This definition includes all messages sent, and responses received, by public officers when carrying out their duties, regardless of the medium used.

(33) Social media posts are therefore public records because they are created or received by staff in the course of their duties and are evidence of the University’s business.

(34) Social media content must be recorded and sent to the Social Media Coordinator for archiving centrally when it:

  1. relates to a distressed user;
  2. relates to a crisis on campus;
  3. relates to a breach in Media Policy, with potential legal liability stemming from the misuse of social media; and/or
  4. is required to support a legal, compliance or regulatory request or defence.

(35) VU does not mandate any specific capture technology as this will change depending on the social media used. A social media record must contain:

  1. the content (i.e. the information sent or received);
  2. the format (text, visual, sound or video) of the original content metadata such as:
    1. who sent or posted the content;
    2. the date and time it was posted;
    3. the name of the staff member and community members exchanging messages;
    4. the context of the exchange;
    5. the social media platform on which it was created;
    6. the relationship between the record, the context in which the social media was used (e.g. a statement or a reply) and any other related documents that help make the social media usage understandable.

Deletion of Social Media Content

(36) Where a social media account is to be closed down and the content associated with the account does not have business or historical value, the social media content can be deleted without archiving.

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Section 7 - Guidelines

(37) See Media - Appropriate Use of Social Media Guideline.