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Social Media Guidelines & Terms of Service

These guidelines are designed to help USAHS employees in making appropriate decisions when managing and/or developing social media initiatives on behalf of the university. Additionally, the guidelines are intended to advise USAHS employees who indicate an institutional affiliation on their personal social media profiles on how to balance their affiliation with personal conversation.


Social Media Guidelines

INTRODUCTION

These guidelines are designed to help USAHS employees in making appropriate decisions when managing and/or developing social media initiatives on behalf of the university. Additionally, the guidelines are intended to advise USAHS employees who indicate an institutional affiliation on their personal social media profiles on how to balance their affiliation with personal conversation.

These guidelines are intended to complement existing University policies. If there is a conflict between guidance in this document and a University policy, then the University policy prevails.

This document is designed to map out general considerations and does not provide specific guidance on planning, content, measurement or other topics related to the successful execution of a social media initiative.

This document is divided into four components:

  • Guidelines for all types of social media posting and activity
  • Guidelines when posting as a representative
  • Guidelines when posting as an individual
SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES FOR ALL TYPES OF POSTING AND ACTIVITY

These guidelines apply to all types of use of social media on behalf of USAHS, including departmental and individual professional use.

  • Adhere to the USAHS Code of Conduct, Information Security, and Privacy PoliciesAll relevant documents are available in your employee portal.
  • Do not use USAHS’s identity, such as name, color, and emblems, except as permitted by University name use, logo and trademark policies. Additionally, do not create or develop social media accounts, profiles or initiatives bearing the University’s name (without that of a school, unit, department, or the like) without prior approval from University Marketing. Social media accounts, profiles and initiatives from specific departments should be approved by the Director, Brand.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest. Do not engage in activities on social networks that raise actual or perceived conflicts of interest between your university obligations and your outside financial, business, consulting or other interests. Additional guidance is available in the University Code of Conduct and Ethics.
  • When in doubt, do not post. Members of the USAHS community are personally responsible for their words and actions. As online spokespeople, you must ensure that your posts are completely accurate and not misleading, and that they do not reveal non-public information about USAHS. Exercise sound judgment and common sense, and if there is any doubt, DO NOT POST. It’s perfectly acceptable to talk about your work and have a dialog with the community, but it’s not okay to disclose anything that contains confidential, proprietary, personal or private information about USAHS, its employees, students, affiliates, vendors or suppliers.
  • Be respectful of intellectual property rights and laws. Whether you are engaging professionally on behalf of the University, or personally, it is critical that you observe all relevant copyright, trademark and intellectual property laws.
  • Express political opinions and engage in political activities only in your individual capacity and avoid the appearance that you are speaking or acting for the University in political matters.
  • Use good judgment.Your actions and statements have the ability not only to affect yourself, but also others at USAHS and the University as a whole. Please bear in mind that posts on social media may be replicated quickly, be taken out of context, and will remain public for an indeterminate amount of time.
  • Minimize security risks to social media accounts and profiles that have the ability to affect USAHS’s reputation.Social networking services and accounts—and particularly those with a USAHS affiliation—are an attractive target. A compromised account can adversely affect USAHS’s reputation. To minimize risks to USAHS-branded social accounts and profiles, you should: (1) use strong passwords that are not easy to guess, ideally in concert with a password manager; (2) activate multi-factor authentication for all accounts where it is available; (3) register accounts using only usa.edu email addresses; and (4) regularly monitor social media accounts—especially when they are not used frequently. Finally, you should also maintain a plan for recovering social media accounts in the event they are compromised. If you suspect your official account has been compromised, please notify University Communications.
SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES WHEN POSTING AS A REPRESENTATIVE

All guidelines included in section one, above, plus:

  • Remember that you are representing USAHS.All of your posts, comments and actions on social networks have the ability to affect the reputation of the university as well as other individuals affiliated with USAHS.
  • Let the subject matter experts respond. It is important that any information you post or respond to has all the correct facts and information. There will be times when specific questions are asked that may be outside your area of knowledge or expertise. Unless you are the online spokesperson for a particular subject, avoid the temptation to respond yourself. Instead, try to direct these questions to the appropriate channels to which the question is referring.For example, if you receive a question regarding admissions, an appropriate response would be, “Hi, XXXX. You can find more information for prospective students, on the admissions page at https://www.usa.edu/admissions-aid/.”
  • Be thoughtful and discerning when engaging on social networking services.Write for your audiences but know your posts can reach anyone and may be misinterpreted or may show up outside of their original context. Messages should be tailored for each channel; not all messages belong on all channels.
  • Staff your effort appropriately.While student ambassadors can be tremendous collaborators on social media initiatives, they should not be the “owners” of official USAHS-branded social media accounts or profiles. Such profiles should be owned and maintained by staff and/or faculty as appropriate.
  • Moderate comments judiciously. Comments are an important part of social networking services. Do not delete comments simply because you disagree with the commenter’s point of view or because the commenter has reacted negatively. On the other hand, you should monitor social accounts or profiles for which you are responsible and delete comments that expose the private data of others, contain commercial solicitations, are factually erroneous/libelous, are off-topic, are threatening or abusive, or are obscene. If you encounter threatening comments on a post, please contact University Communications or Marketing. Please see USAHS’s Social Media Moderation and Escalation Guidelines for specific instructions.
SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES WHEN POSTING AS AN INDIVIDUAL

Faculty and staff are encouraged to share University news and events that are a matter of public record with their family and friends. Linking straight to the information source is an effective way to help promote the mission of USAHS and build community.

When you are using social media for personal purposes and might be perceived as an agent/expert of the University, you need to make sure it is clear to the audience that you are not representing the position of USAHS, or its policy. While the guidelines below apply to those instances where there is the potential for confusion about your role as a University agent/expert versus personal opinion, they are good to keep in mind for all social media interactions. When posting to a social media sites, you should:

  • Do No Harm. Let your Internet social networking do no harm to USAHS or to yourself, whether you’re navigating those networks on the job or off.
  • Does It Pass the Publicity Test? If the content of your message would not be acceptable for face-to-face conversation, over the telephone, or in another medium, it will not be acceptable for a social networking site. Ask yourself, “Would I want to see this published in the newspaper or posted on a billboard tomorrow or 10 years from now?”
  • Be Aware of Liability. You are personally responsible for the content you publish on blogs, wikis, or any other form of user-generated content. Individual bloggers have been held liable for commentary deemed to be copyright infringement, defamatory, proprietary, libelous, or obscene (as defined by the courts). Increasingly, employers are conducting web searches on job candidates before extending offers. Be mindful that what you publish may be public for a long time—be sure that what you post today will not come back to haunt you.
  • Maintain Transparency. The line between professional and personal business is sometimes blurred: Be thoughtful about your posting’s content and potential audiences. Be honest about your identity. In personal posts, you may identify yourself as a USAHS faculty or staff member. However, please be clear that you are sharing your views as an individual, not as a representative of USAHS. If you identify yourself as a member of the University’s community, ensure your profile and related content are consistent with how you wish to present yourself to colleagues.
  • Be a Valued Member. If you join a social network, make sure you are contributing valuable insights. Don’t hijack the discussion and redirect by posting self-/organizational-promoting information. Self-promoting behavior is viewed negatively and can lead to you being banned from websites or groups.
  • Take the High Ground. If you identify your affiliation with USAHS in your comments, readers may associate you with the University, even with the disclaimer that your views are your own. Remember that you’re most likely to build a high-quality following if you discuss ideas and situations civilly. Don’t pick fights online.
  • Respect Your Audience. Don’t use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, or engage in any conduct that would not be acceptable in the University’s community. You should also show proper consideration for others’ privacy and for topics that may be considered sensitive, such as politics and religion. You are more likely to achieve your goals if you are constructive and respectful while discussing a bad experience or disagreeing with a concept or person.
  • Correct Mistakes. If you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront and be quick with your correction. If you’re posting to a blog, you may choose to modify an earlier post—just make it clear that you have done so.
  • Protect Your Identity. While you should be honest about yourself, don’t provide personal information that scam artists or identity thieves could use. Don’t list your home address or telephone number. It is a good idea to create a separate email address that is used only with social media sites.
  • Don’t Use Pseudonyms. Never pretend to be someone else. Tracking tools enable supposedly anonymous posts to be traced back to their authors.
  • Use a Disclaimer. If you publish content to any website outside of USAHS and it has something to do with the work you do or subjects associated with the University, use a disclaimer such as this: “The postings on this site are my own and do not represent USAHS’s positions, strategies, or opinions.”A common practice among individuals who write about the industry in which they work is to include a disclaimer on their site, usually on their “About Me” page. If you discuss higher education on your own social media site, we suggest you include a sentence similar to this: “The views expressed on this [blog, website] are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAHS.” This is particularly important if you could be perceived to be in a leadership role at the University.

GETTING HELP

If you need assistance on a matter related to social media, please contact the us at [email protected].


Social Media Terms of Service

Your use of University of St. Augustine social media properties, referred to here on out as USASM, (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, etc.) is governed by these University of St. Augustine Social Media Terms of Service, together with the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences Privacy Policy (collectively, the “Terms”). The Terms describe the permitted and prohibited uses of USASM, among other things. Your access or use of USASM evidences your acceptance of the then-current version of the Terms, and any related rules and guidelines posted on University of St. Augustine’s branded websites. By Posting, using, accessing and/or viewing any content on or to the USASM you accept, without limitation or qualification, the following Terms. If you do not agree to the Terms, then you may not view or post any content on or to the USASM. Your use of USASM constitutes full acceptance of the Terms and has the same effect as if you had actually physically signed a written agreement.

University of St. Augustine for Health Services (USAHS) reserves the right to modify the Terms at any time, effective upon posting of the modified Terms on USAHS or, in the case of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences Privacy Policy, on any other USAHS sponsored website. USAHS also reserves the right to apply, waive, or modify these Terms as they apply to a specific posting and user without affecting the application of these Terms to all other postings and users.

“Posting” means, but is not limited to, any text, links, images, videos, communications, opinions, software, data, and any other content any person provides on any USASM, including, but not limited to message boards, chats, blogs, walls, timelines, channels, platforms, groups, ad comments, or otherwise. Your use of USASM, or any materials or services accessible through it, after a Posting or notification regarding modifications to the Terms constitutes your acceptance of those modifications. Your violation of any of the Terms may result in the suspension or termination of your access or use of USASM.

Participating in USASM

USAHS social media properties are intended to provide participants with the opportunity to exchange useful and helpful information. All participants must be above the age of fourteen. We may edit or remove any posting we consider, in our sole discretion, to violate the Terms or be inappropriate for any reason.

Appropriate Conduct

Users of USASM are responsible for exercising careful and appropriate judgment in evaluating and taking action based on other participants’ postings on said properties, since such postings may reflect significantly different levels of knowledge and experience by participants. Users of USASM agree that USAHS is not responsible for the accuracy of the content of USASM and will not be liable for any damages incurred as a result of their use of any such content. Participants may post hypertext links to content hosted and maintained by third parties as long as those links contain appropriate content as per the “Posting to USASM” section below. USAHS has no obligation to monitor these linked sites, and is not responsible for them. Accessing any such linked sites is done entirely at the user’s own risk.

Posting to USASM

Users of USAHS social media properties agree not to upload, post, or otherwise transmit any content (including but not limited to text, links, communications, software, images, videos, sounds, data, or other information) that includes any of the following inappropriate content:

  1. Any personal information belonging either to the poster or another person, such as full name, address, phone number, personal email address, and student identification numbers;
  2. Spam such as advertisements for other web sites and services, or other commercial solicitation; chain letters, or pyramid schemes;
  3. Flooding, such as excessive posting, padding posts, or cross-posting;
  4. “Bombing” USASM or individual threads with repetitive or meaningless postings, postings unrelated to the purpose of USASM;
  5. Profanity; material that is libelous, fraudulent, unlawful, defamatory, pornographic, obscene, profane, abusive, offensive, threatening, hateful, or otherwise objectionable;
  6. Discussion of illegal activities or providing links to other websites containing such information;
  7. Discussions that veer off topic, are unrelated to resolving the issue at hand, or abuse any company or product;
  8. Discussions of designated representative actions. If you need to comment on a designated representative action, please send a message to [email protected];
  9. Discussions about student performance or student records;
  10. Material, the posting of which violates any party’s copyright or other intellectual property rights;
  11. Posting, publishing, uploading, reproducing, transmitting or distributing in any way any content belonging to USAHS, or derivative works with respect thereto;
  12. Posting or transmitting any information or software containing a virus, worm, Trojan horse, or other damaging or destructive component;
  13. Posting a link directing users to any information or content that, if posted on USASM, would constitute a violation of the Terms or of any State or Federal law;
  14. Attacking (aka “Trolling”) another user or entity in such a way as to incite or perpetuate an argument or conflict. This includes creating usernames to attack other users’ identities, impersonating other individuals or falsely representing one’s identity or qualifications, posts made under secondary user names or other aliases for the purpose of either endorsing or denigrating others, and posts that breach any participant’s privacy by including name, address, phone, email address, or any other identifying information;
  15. Posts that describe how to violate any USAHS policy, term, or condition are considered unacceptable and will have the offensive language deleted.

Privacy Concerns

USAHS does not recommend users post personally identifiable information in any social media property. Any information posted on USASM is at the user’s own risk. USAHS respects and protects the privacy of our students and prospective students and those who use our websites, and the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences Privacy Policy provides details of our approach to privacy and how we collect, use and protect personal information. But information posted on USASM is not protected and can be easily obtained and used by others.

Designated Representatives

USAHS reserves the right to manage the postings on any of its social media properties to provide an orderly presentation of information. To effectively manage said properties, USAHS may designate staff, faculty, or others to act as designated representatives and administrators for its properties. These Designated Representatives are the only representatives of USAHS authorized to manage USAHS social media properties and are chosen through the marketing department through the office of the Chancellor. Authorized USAHS staff or faculty always disclose their affiliation with USAHS before posting. USAHS is not responsible for content provided by any USAHS staff or faculty who is not designated as a Designated Representative.

Community Monitoring

Users are asked to help USAHS keep its social media properties a valuable and enjoyable information resource for all participants by notifying us of any offending messages or other violations of these Terms. To advise us of such a posting, email us at [email protected] with a link to the applicable post. Repeat offenders will be contacted by email and eventually banned from USASM. If violations are egregious in nature, we will contact the appropriate authorities.

Right to Use

By posting any content on USASM, you grant to USAHS the irrevocable right to reproduce, distribute, publish, and display such content and the irrevocable right to create derivative works from your content, edit or modify such content, and use such content for any USAHS purpose.

The Terms do not limit any rights that USAHS may have under trade secret, trademark, copyright, patent, or other laws as to content posted on USASM.

Modification and Discontinuance of USASM

USAHS reserves the right at any time to delete, modify, suspend, or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, USAHS social media properties (or any part of said properties, including any postings) with or without notice. Users agree that USAHS will not be liable to users or third parties for any modification, suspension, or discontinuance of USASM.

Termination

A user’s privilege to utilize or access USASM may be terminated by USAHS immediately and without notice if the user fails to comply with any term or condition of the Terms. Upon such termination, the user must immediately cease accessing or utilizing USASM and agree not to re-register or otherwise make use of USASM. Furthermore, the user acknowledges that USAHS reserves the right to take action — technical, legal, or otherwise — to block, nullify, or deny the user’s ability to access USASM. If any provision of the Terms is invalid or unenforceable under applicable law, then it is to be, to that extent, deemed omitted, and the remaining provisions will continue in full force. The user understands that USAHS may exercise this right in its sole discretion.

Disclaimer of Warranties and Limitation of Liability

MOST OF THE CONTENT POSTED TO UNIVERSITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE FOR HEALTH SCIENCES SOCIAL MEDIA PROPERTIES IS PROVIDED BY THIRD PARTIES NOT AFFILIATED WITH USAHS. THIRD-PARTY CONTENT IS THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PERSON ORIGINATING THAT CONTENT. THE USER AGREES THAT USAHS DOES NOT CONTROL, AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE IN ANY WAY FOR, THIS THIRD-PARTY CONTENT. ADDITIONALLY, THE USER AGREES THAT USAHS IS NOT LIABLE FOR, AND THE USER SHALL INDEMNIFY AND HOLD USAHS, AND ITS SUBSIDIARIES, AFFILIATES, OFFICERS, AGENTS, STAFF, AND FACULTY HARMLESS FROM ANY CLAIM, INCLUDING REASONABLE ATTORNEYS’ FEES, MADE BY ANY THIRD PARTY RELATING TO OR ARISING OUT OF CONTENT SUBMITTED, POSTED, TRANSMITTED, OR MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH USASM, USE OF USASM, VIOLATION OF THE TERMS OR VIOLATION OF ANY RIGHTS OF ANOTHER. THE CONTENT ON USASM IS “AS IS” AND CARRIES NO WARRANTIES. USAHS DOES NOT WARRANT OR GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY, RELIABILITY, COMPLETENESS, USEFULNESS, NON-INFRINGEMENT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, OR QUALITY OF ANY CONTENT ON USAHS SOCIAL MEDIA PROPERTIES, REGARDLESS OF WHO ORIGINATES THAT CONTENT. USAHS DOES NOT WARRANT THAT USASM ARE SECURE, FREE FROM BUGS, VIRUSES, INTERRUPTION, ERRORS, OR OTHER LIMITATIONS. YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT YOU BEAR ALL RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH USING OR RELYING ON THAT CONTENT. USAHS IS NOT LIABLE OR RESPONSIBLE IN ANY WAY FOR ANY CONTENT POSTED ON OR LINKED FROM USASM, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN CONTENT, OR FOR ANY LOSSES OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE USE OF OR RELIANCE ON ANY CONTENT. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, USAHS AND ITS REPRESENTATIVES ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING DAMAGES RELATING TO LOSS OF BUSINESS, TELECOMMUNICATION FAILURES, LOSS, CORRUPTION, SECURITY OR THEFT OF DATA, LOSS OF PROFITS OR INVESTMENT, OR THE LIKE), WHETHER BASED ON BREACH OF CONTRACT, BREACH OF WARRANTY, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), STRICT LIABILITY, PRODUCT LIABILITY, OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF USAHS OR ITS REPRESENTATIVES HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES AND EVEN IF A REMEDY IS FOUND TO HAVE FAILED OF ITS ESSENTIAL PURPOSE. THE LIMITATIONS OF DAMAGES SET FORTH ABOVE ARE FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS OF THE BASIS OF THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN USAHS AND THE USER.

Miscellaneous

  1. Complete Terms. The Terms are a complete statement of the agreement between you and USAHS, and set forth the entire liability of USAHS and your exclusive remedy with respect to your access and use of USAHS social media properties. In the event of a conflict between these, the Terms, and the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences Privacy Policy or the applicable to USAHS, these Terms of Service prevail.
  2. Only Authorized Modification of Terms. The agents, staff, and faculty of USAHS (including Designated Representatives) are not authorized to make modifications to the Terms, or to make any additional representations, commitments, or warranties binding on USAHS. Any waiver of the Terms by USAHS must be in writing signed by an authorized officer of USAHS and expressly referencing the applicable provisions of the Terms.
  3. Dispute Resolution.   You agree that any claims, disputes, actions or proceedings, whether under federal or State law, relating to, regarding or arising from your posting of any content on USASM shall be construed under the laws of the State of California and shall be fully and finally determined or adjudicated by binding arbitration to be conducted in San Diego County, California, before a mutually agreeable arbitrator selected from the either Judicial Arbitration and Mediation services or the American Arbitration Association.
  4. Know and follow the Terms and Conditions for Facebook and other social media networks.
  5. Know and follow the Policies and Procedures pertaining to your institution as outlined in the Academic Catalog.

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