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Media - Appropriate Use of Social Media Guideline

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Section 1 - Purpose/Objective

(1) To provide guidance for staff on the appropriate use of social media.

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Section 2 - Scope/Application

(2) All staff.

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Section 3 - Definitions

(3) Nil

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Section 4 - Policy

(4) See Media Policy.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(5) See Media - Social Media Procedure.

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Section 6 - Guidelines

(6) Be respectful - Content posted on the internet is in the public domain and Victoria University (VU) cannot, and should not, control what students say. Students should post both positive and negative experiences with the understanding that inappropriate, defamatory, offensive, racist, obscene or spam will be removed in accordance with Commonwealth and State Legislation. The intent for many social networking sites is to have an open discussion so students may be reluctant to contribute if they feel that their freedom of speech is being moderated. It is important to be transparent about what will and will not be tolerated. Do not discredit other universities or Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). Friendly rivalry between Uni sports teams is okay but degrading them is not.

(7) Remember your audience - Posting content to the social networking sites often requires a different approach. The content should be engaging and be written in a conversational tone. What does your audience expect from the page, what information do they want? Deliver it.

(8) Link back to the University website - When organisational units post discussion topics, they should keep the information concise, clear and provide a link to the www.vu.edu.au site that students can refer to for further information. Post all the info as an event item, a success story or on the vu.edu.au/sport site. Post a concise status up date and then link back.

(9) Be informative and accurate - Staff are encouraged to add links that students would find interesting but not necessarily directly linked to VU. Students should be encouraged to promote activities linked to their studies. This may include, but not limited to, calling for research participants, an event they have organised as part of their assessment, calling for submissions for student run publications (e.g. Offset, SEED, PLATFORM).

(10) Personal privacy - Most websites require staff to create a profile before they are able to participate and search engines can turn up posts years later. Staff should consider their privacy settings and the information that colleagues and students will be able to view before posting. Staff should read the sites terms and conditions.

(11) Protect confidential, proprietary information and intellectual property - Do not post confidential or proprietary information about VU, students, employees, or alumni. Employees who share confidential information do so at the risk of disciplinary action or termination. Please refer to the Intellectual Property Regulations 2013 and Privacy Policy.

(12) Respect copyright and fair use: When posting, be mindful of the copyright and intellectual property rights of others and of the university. Refer to the online content management resource page first.

(13) Respect university time and property: University computers and time on the job are reserved for university-related business as approved by supervisors and in accordance with the IT Appropriate Use Policy.

(14) Seek advice - Users may generate inappropriate or questionable content that may need to be referred on. In the first instance, contact the Online Community Coordinator and your line manager.

(15) Cyber-bullying - If you become aware of users harassing or bullying another user seek advice immediately. Current staff and students may be subject to disciplinary action. Staff who are being harassed can contact the Senior Employee Relations consultant in P&C. Staff can contact the Student Matters Office for advice relating to students bullying other students. All students can be referred to the Student Advisory Service.

(16) Public relations - If you are concerned that the University is being misrepresented on an issue or content could damage the University's reputation, staff should refer to the Media Policy. In the case of an emergency or critical incident, contact the External Communications Manager to arrange for an official statement to be posted if appropriate.

(17) User generated content that is deemed to be discrimination, harassment or bullying will be removed once a screen shot of the offending post is taken. Keep a record of removed posts. If appropriate, the poster will be notified that such content will not be tolerated, condoned or ignored and the poster will be reported to the appropriate authority.

(18) User generated content that promotes illegal activity or links to inappropriate sites will be removed once a screen shot of the offending post is taken. If appropriate, the poster will be notified that such content will not be tolerated, condoned or ignored and the poster will be reported to the appropriate authority.

(19) If a student posts content that indicates their mental health or emotional wellbeing could be at risk, including self-harm or harm to others, the moderator will follow the student incident protocols.

(20) If a staff member posts content that indicates their mental health or emotional wellbeing could be at risk, including self-harm or harm to others, the moderator will contact EAP Hotline for advice. If the threat is of an immediate nature, the crisis assessment and triage (CAT) team and police should be contacted immediately, followed by Vice-President: People and Culture.

(21) If a staff member is inappropriate in their conduct, keep a record of the offending behaviour and contact People and Culture.