AS-11 MCCCD Social Media Best Practice Guidelines

AS-11 MCCCD Social Media Best Practice Guidelines danim94751

Social media web sites or on-line communities, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr are being used increasingly by students to communicate with each other, and by MCCCD to post events and content to reach students.

As part of MCCCD’s commitment to building a community in which all persons can work together in an atmosphere free of all forms of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation when using MCCCD technology resources to access on-line social media, MCCCD community members (academic and staff employees, students and community members) are expected to act with honesty, integrity, and respect for the rights, privileges, privacy, sensibilities, and property of others. By doing so, individuals will be abiding by applicable laws, including copyright law, and MCCCD policy.

The following information was developed to provide you with some guidance as to what type of behavior is appropriate relative to online social media. These guidelines are not all inclusive.

Employee Best Practices

The web is not anonymous. Everything written or posted on behalf of MCCCD can be traced back to the institution and to a specific individual. Before launching a social media site:

  • Notify your supervisor or division/department chair
  • Vow to keep MCCCD contact information accurate and current
  • Understand that passwords and administrator access to the site must be carefully managed
  • Establish criteria for replying to comments, including timeliness and appropriateness
  • Avoid duplicating efforts. Be aware of current initiatives under way in MCCCD and its member locations
  • Provide a link back to the department or institution’s web site
  • The social media site should look like the institution’s web site with appropriate branding and sanctioned graphics
  • Use an official email address for communication
  • Any identifiable individuals in posted photos must sign an approved MCCCD release form. Release forms are the responsibility of the posting department or individual and should be kept on file

Both in professional and institutional roles, employees need to follow the same behavioral standards online as they would in real life. The same laws, professional expectations, and guidelines for interacting with students, parents, alumni, donors, media, and other MCCCD constituents apply online as in the real world. If you have any questions about whether it is appropriate to write about certain kinds of material in your role as an MCCCD employee, ask your supervisor before you post.

Student Best Practices

Educating and protecting MCCCD students is a primary concern, so please keep in mind the following guidelines as you participate on social media web sites:

  • Before participating in any online community, understand that anything posted online is available to anyone in the world.
  • Do not post your home address, local address, phone number(s), birth date or other personal information (e.g., class schedule, social plans).
  • Do not post any information that would violate student codes of conduct and/or state or federal laws.
  • Do not post any information, photos or other items online that could embarrass you, your family, or your school. This includes, but is not limited to information, photos, quotes and other items that may be tagged to you from another user.
  • Do not add a "friend" unless it is actually someone you know.

Basic Privacy Guidelines

The options for communicating and interacting online are continuously advancing and changing at a fast pace. It is within each individual member's best interest to be aware of issues related to privacy online.

  1. Be familiar with privacy options on social networking sites, e-mail, blogs, etc. Set appropriate privacy guards for your personal comfort level.
  2. Be aware that no privacy option protects you 100 percent from personal information being shared beyond desired boundaries. Information shared online, even with the highest privacy settings (including e-mails intended for a specific individual or individuals), cannot be protected.
  3. Be aware that information posted online may be perceived differently depending on the viewer despite intended effect or outcome.

General Use

Below are some common sense approaches to general use of social media sites:

  • Tell the truth.
  • Write deliberately and accurately.
  • Acknowledge and correct mistakes promptly.
  • Disagree with other opinions respectfully.
  • Disclose conflicts of interest.
  • Keep private issues and topics private.

Incidents reported to MCCCD officials that may violate MCCCD policy are subject to review and investigation.

ADOPTED by the Administrative Regulation Process, November 7, 2011