Social Media Policy
POLICY NUMBER: UComm-3
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 25, 2013
RESPONSIBLE OFFICER: Senior Vice President, University Communications
This Policy establishes the position for the University and its subsidiaries on the use of social media for the official business purposes of Drexel University, including the promotion of the University, colleges and schools, departments and offices, programming, faculty and staff of the University.
For the purpose of this policy, "social media" refers to, but is not limited to blogs (web-based journals) and microblogs (e.g. Tumblr), collaborative websites (e.g., Wikipedia, etc.), message boards, social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter), podcasts (multimedia distributed over the internet), video sharing (e.g.,YouTube), and photo sharing (e.g. Instagram).
This policy applies to the University community, including—but not limited to—administrators, faculty (including non-compensated faculty), and staff. The University respects your right to interact knowledgeably and socially, however interaction with social media can greatly impact you, our colleagues and our students. Therefore, the entire University community has a responsibility to maintain the integrity of the institution no matter where, when or how they interact with social media.
The Office of University Communications is responsible for the enforcement of this policy and can be a resource to the University community for launching social media initiatives. Employees and departments within the College of Medicine seeking to engage in social media should contact the College of Medicine Marketing & Communications Department. Section A of this policy addresses social media policies specific to Health Sciences and Patient Care.
The University has the right to amend this policy at any time.
Failure to comply with this policy will be considered actionable behavior by senior management and could result in disciplinary action up to and including suspension or termination, and in some cases civil and/or criminal liability.
Mandatory Policies for Social Media
- Drexel University Official Facebook and Twitter Accounts
The University’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts will be maintained by the Office of University Communications, which uses social media to supplement traditional media relations and marketing efforts.
- Setting Up Social Media Accounts
Before setting up any social media accounts to use for the official business purposes of the University, you must seek approval and guidance from University Communications. Please fill out the Social Media Questionnaire.
- Usage of Drexel’s logo and name must be properly adhered to by following the University Identity Guidelines.
- It is the responsibility of the administrator of a social media account to actively monitor the social media site; content must be current and accurate.
- Posting on behalf of the University, in addition to its colleges and schools, departments and programs, is not a right; it can be rescinded at any time.
- Be responsible for your posts and remember, what you post is a reflection upon the University and you.
- Protect Proprietary Information
Do not violate intellectual property rights of the University or any third parties, or disclose confidential or private information of the University or third parties.
- Compliance with all University Policies
Communications on social media sites for University purposes must comply with all applicable University policies.
- Media Interaction
Social media may generate interest from the press (print, television, radio, online). If you are contacted in any way by a member of the media about a University-related posting, you are required to immediately contact University Communications before responding.
- Posting on Personal Sites
Employees are encouraged to share University news and events that are a matter of public record, with their family and friends. We strongly advise linking straight to the information source as the most effective way to pass along news on personal sites and to avoid potential issues with copyright infringement.
- Do not use the University logo on your personal site;
- Do not use the University logo or name to promote or endorse any product, cause or political party or candidate; and
- Make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the University. A disclaimer, such as, "The views expressed on this [blog; website] are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer," may be appropriate.
Guidelines for Social Media
- Before Using Social Media
The University encourages all employees to be thoughtful in decisions to “friend,” “like,” “link,” “follow,” or accept a request from another person. It is important to recognize that there is the potential for misinterpretation of relationships such as faculty-student, supervisor-subordinate and staff-student in social interactions. If you are in doubt, please contact University Communications.
- Think Before Posting
Take great care and be thoughtful before placing your identifiable comments in the public domain as these posts will be permanently connected to you.
- Understand Your Responsibility and Know You Are Liable
University employees are personally responsible for the content they publish on their own social media sites and the sites of others. All copyright infringement, defamatory, proprietary, libel or obscene (as defined by the courts) laws apply. You are responsible for monitoring your social media site(s) and for deleting posts that do not adhere to these guidelines.
- Social Media Is a Public Forum
There is no such thing as a private social media site. Show respect to others and don't use language that is vulgar, threatening or intimidating. If you make a mistake, admit it and correct it as soon as possible. If you join a social network, make sure you have the time to contribute on a regular basis.
Best Practices Reference Guide for Social Media
University Communications has compiled a list of general and outlet-specific “best practices” and recommendations regarding social media. Before beginning any social media program or endeavor, the University community members should read, review, and abide by these recommended practices.
These best practices may be accessed by visiting the Office of University Communications Social Media page.
Health Sciences and Patient Care
Social Media Policy Addendum
In conjunction with the official University policy above, this addendum provides additional policies specific to colleges, schools and administrative units in the health sciences, for example Drexel University College of Medicine, College of Nursing and Health Professions, and the Dornsife School of Public Health.
The Drexel University College of Medicine Marketing & Communications Department is designated to review and approve all social media matters and policies for the College, departments within the College, physicians, faculty and staff of the College, and medical practices related to the College. This policy applies to the College of Medicine community, including administrators, physicians, faculty (including non-compensated faculty), staff, residents, and fellows.
The Drexel University Office of University Communications serves as the point of contact for medical, healthcare, and related matters that may arise in all other colleges, schools and administrative units, College of Nursing and Health Professions, and the Dornsife School of Public Health.
Privacy Protection & HIPAA Requirements
- Protect Privacy
- It is never permissible to share patient information under any circumstances. All HIPAA rules apply to social media outlets.
- Refrain from sharing information about patients' families, or staff, employees and donors without attaining proper permission from them or the College of Medicine Marketing & Communications Department or Office of University Communications, as appropriate.
- Provider – Patient Communications
Provider – Patient Communications must not take place on social media sites. Providers must redirect any patient communications to the clinical practices, so that no medical advice or protected health information is communicated to a patient on a social media site.
- Media Interaction
Social media may generate interest from the press (print, television, radio, online). If you are contacted in any way by a member of the media about a posting, immediately contact the relevant Marketing & Communications Department at the College of Medicine or the University before responding.
- Before Using Social Media
Be thoughtful in decisions to “friend,” “like,” “link,” “follow,” or accept a request from another person. It is important to recognize that there is the potential for misinterpretation of relationships such as doctor-patient, faculty-student, supervisor-subordinate and staff-student in social interactions. If you are in doubt, please contact the relevant Marketing & Communications Department.
Inquiries regarding this section should be directed to the College of Medicine Marketing & Communications Department at 215-255-7330 or the Office of University Communications at 215-895-1530, as appropriate.