Guideline: Social media participation by ANU staff
These guidelines apply to The Australian National University’s community members who create or contribute to blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds or any other kind of social media. If you log onto Twitter, Wikipedia, MySpace or Facebook pages, or comment on online media stories—these guidelines are for you.
- All staff are encouraged to participate in social media, and everyone who participates in online commentary should understand and follow these simple but important guidelines.
- Be transparent and state that you work at The Australian National University. Your honesty will be noted in the social media environment. If you are writing about ANU or another university, use your real name, identify that you work for ANU and be clear about your role. If you have a vested interest in what you are discussing, be the first to say so.
- Be aware that participating in online debate and posting to the Internet is a form of publishing. This means that the usual rules of publishing apply, including defamation and copyright.
- Never represent yourself or ANU in a false or misleading way. All statements must be true and not misleading; all claims must be substantiated. Any use of the University logo must be approved by the ANU Marketing Office.
- Post meaningful, respectful comments. In other words, no spam, and no remarks that are off-topic or offensive.
- Use common sense and common courtesy. For example, it's best to ask permission to publish or report on conversations that are meant to be private or internal to ANU. Make sure your efforts to be transparent don't violate the relevant University policies including the Code of Conduct, Use of the University Name and Insignia, University Records and Archives Management, and Acceptable Use of Information Infrastructure. Breaches may be considered misconduct and may lead to disciplinary action under the ANU Code of Conduct.
- Stick to your area of expertise and feel free to provide unique, individual perspectives. Academic staff are encouraged to participate in public debates in their areas of expertise. See the Academic Expertise and Public Debate policy.
- When disagreeing with others' opinions, keep it appropriate and polite. If you find yourself in a situation online that looks like it's becoming antagonistic, do not get overly defensive and do not disengage from the conversation abruptly.
- Be conscious of the sensitivities of debates in which you are engaged. Even anonymous comments may be traced back to the University.
- Be smart about protecting yourself, your privacy and the University's confidential and proprietary information. Remember that online content can, and will, live on forever as the information is backed up often and repeatedly, and posts in one forum are usually replicated in others. What you publish is widely accessible, and will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully.