University of Georgia Social Media Guidelines
The following are guidelines to help you use social media platforms effectively, protect your personal and professional reputation and follow university policies. The university expects all UGA faculty and staff participating in social media on behalf of UGA to understand and follow these guidelines.
If you have questions, concerns or suggestions, please contact Wendy Jones in Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-583-0370.
- Think before you post, remembering that anything you share within social media, even within a closed network like a Listserv, is not guaranteed to stay private, even if you adjusted your privacy settings to be as secure as possible
- Do not post sensitive or proprietary information about UGA, or personal, medical or financial information on its students, its alumni or your fellow employees.
- Be mindful of the copyright and intellectual property rights of others and of the university.
- Understand that you are responsible for what you post on your own site and on the sites of others.
- Be aware of liability. Be sure that what you post will not expose the university or you to legal liability.
- Participate in personal social media conversations on your own time.
- Secure the approval of your senior manager in writing before creating any pages or accounts to conduct university business.
- Make sure that your posts are accurate and factual.
- Correct errors quickly and visibly.
- Ensure all UGA-related social media sites meet the university’s Web Accessibility Guidelines.
- Remain professional in tone and maintain good taste to ensure any posts on social media sites protect the university’s institutional voice.
- Don’t publish content containing slurs, personal insults or attacks, profanity or obscenity, and don’t engage in any conduct on a social media site that would not be acceptable in UGA workplaces or classrooms or on official UGA websites.
Moderate user generated content and comments. UGA accounts reserve the right to remove any comments for any reason and will delete comments that:
- include violent, obscene, profane, hateful or racist comments
- use offensive or inappropriate language
- threaten or defame any person or organization
- include copyrighted material
- would be considered spam
- suggests or encourages illegal activity
- solicit, advertise or endorse a third-party business or service
- are multiple successive off-topic posts by a single user
- are repetitive posts copied and pasted by multiple users
- Follow the standards of nondiscrimination and social conduct outlined by UGA's Non-discrimination and Anti-harassment Policy when maintaining or contributing to university-managed social media properties.
- Do not share university-related information that is not a matter of public record.
- Respond to negative comments professionally and provide any additional information that may help resolve the issue.
- Avoid the matter in question if it involves a topic that can easily ignite debate (politics or religion, for example).
- All crisis and/or emergency communications will be generated by the Office of Public Affairs and be posted on the main University of Georgia Facebook page and @UniversityofGa Twitter feed with links back to additional information on www.uga.edu. Do not post any emergency information without approval from the Office of Public Affairs.
Social Media Users Group
The UGA Social Media Users Group provides guidance, training and best practices on a regular basis to help you make the most efficient use of social media. Contact Wendy Jones at email@example.com or 706-583-0370 to become a part of the group and learn more about sharing and training opportunities. Interested individuals may also join the UGA Social Media Users Group Listserv. This Listserv is used to share upcoming training opportunities and as a discussion forum for all campus social media users.
Anyone using social media at UGA should be aware that material published on these outlets may be subject to policies outlined in the UGA Human Resources’ Policies and Procedures, including but not limited to the Disruptive Behavior/Workplace Violence or the Conduct sections as well as any other applicable UGA policies or laws. Other UGA policies and documents that may govern the use of social media include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Use of Computers Policy: http://eits.uga.edu/access_and_security/infosec/pols_regs/policies/aup/
- Board of Regents HR Policy Manual: http://www.usg.edu/hr/manual/
Anything that would be deemed a violation of policies in a face-to-face or telephone communication would likely be considered a violation of those same policies if it took place within the social media environment.
UGA logo use
If you create a social media site on behalf of the university or a unit thereof, use simple graphics that represent the UGA brand. The identity guidelines website provides information on logo permissions and standards, and UGA registered trademarks must bear the “Circle R” registered trademark symbol. Official student organizations, club sports and other recognized groups may use the name “University of Georgia” or “UGA” in the name of their account or page but may not use UGA’s logo or the athletic logo without the permission of the UGA Athletic Association. Groups of students who are not recognized as official organizations by the Center for Student Organizations may not use UGA’s name, logo or any other university marks. A searchable database of registered student organizations is available at http://stuorgs.uga.edu.
Any questions related to usage may be directed to Chip Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-542-4583.
Social media when posting as an individual
In personal posts, you may identify yourself as a UGA student, faculty or staff member. However, please be clear that you are sharing your personal views and are not speaking as a formal representative of UGA. If you identify yourself as a member of the UGA community, ensure your profile and related content are consistent with how you wish to present yourself to colleagues. Please be aware that activity on behalf of the university on social media is subject to the employee code of conduct.
Use a disclaimer
If you publish content to any online platform outside of UGA and it has something to do with the work you do or subjects associated with UGA, use a disclaimer such as this: “The postings on this site reflect my own opinion and do not represent UGA’s positions, strategies or opinions.”
Don’t use the UGA logo or make endorsements
Do not use any UGA marks or images on your personal online sites. Do not use UGA’s name to promote or endorse any product, cause or political party or candidate.
UGA policies for reference
Information Classification Standard
Web Site Design, Templates and Policy