Midwestern University acknowledges that the internet provides unique opportunities to participate in interactive discussions and share information using a variety of social media, such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, StudentDoctor.net, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, blogs, and wikis. Use of social media, however, can have risks to confidential and proprietary information, reputation, brands, and can jeopardize compliance with rules and laws.
To minimize the risks associated with using social media, the University has compiled the following guidelines for your reference. These guidelines are not intended to be policy and are applicable only to social media accounts administered by University programs and colleges, as opposed to personal social media accounts.
Comply with All Applicable Policies and Contractual Obligations
Please be advised that the University’s policies and procedures governing your conduct apply and will remain in full force and effect. And, be mindful that contractual obligations with University partners may impose additional and/or different requirements when incorporating them in social media publications. Be sure to review and understand all applicable policies. Generally, social media should never be used to:
- Breach confidentiality and proprietary rights policies.
- Breach ethics and standards of conduct policies.
- Engage in unlawful harassment.
- Breach policies prohibiting unlawful discrimination.
- Violate privacy policies.
- Violate any other laws, rules, or standards.
Protect Goodwill, Brands, and Business Reputation
Ultimately, use good judgment about what you post and remember that anything you say can reflect on the University and/or its partners. Posts can exist on the internet indefinitely, even when deleted. Professionalism and honesty is paramount. You should always strive to be factual and accurate in your communications.
Respect Intellectual Property and Confidential Information
- Do not disclose any trade secrets, confidential information, and intellectual property.
- Do not post confidential or proprietary information about Midwestern University, its students, its faculty/staff, and/or its alumni.
- Do not post any information that could be considered an education record and therefore protected under FERPA, unless a clear legal exception applies or you have the express consent of the student to make the publication.
- Do not publish any information protected by HIPAA, unless a clear legal exception applies or you have the express consent from both the covered entity and patient.
Be mindful not to post or express viewpoints that could be found offensive by others, including ethnic slurs, sexist comments, discriminatory comments, profanity, abusive language, or obscenity, or information that is maliciously false.
Use Common Sense
The keys to success in social media are being honest about who you are, being thoughtful about what you post, respecting the purpose of the community where you are posting, and appreciating the image you are cultivating through your virtual activity. Consider your audience and use privacy settings. Social media often span traditional boundaries between professional and personal relationships. Use privacy settings to restrict personal information on otherwise public sites.
Concerns and grievances should be handled through the channels prescribed by University policy and procedure.
Nothing in these guidelines is intended to limit, change, or otherwise affect any rights afforded by any policy, procedure, or applicable law.