Social media is a great tool which allows you to socialise with friends and colleagues, share interesting content and make new connections. We encourage you to embrace it.
However, when using social media, please think about the potential consequences of your actions online. These may affect your own, as well as Aston University’s reputation. Any information posted online has the potential of causing public embarrassment, hindrance to job applications, and more seriously even police investigation, defamation claims and breaches of University policy, and consequent disciplinary action.
You may already be aware of what you should and shouldn't do on social media, but here is a reminder of the things to consider when using it.
Although social media is easy and instant, think twice about what you are posting, especially if controversial or embarrassing. Some social media platforms store content for an indefinite period of time and there is also the risk of your content resurfacing at some point in the future.
Any content or media posted to social media has the potential to reach a wider audience than expected. Once content has been shared online, the user will have limited control over its audience and lifespan.
Make sure you are familiar with the University’s rules and policies, so you do not breach them. The same applies to third party terms and conditions (e.g.: Facebook, Twitter etc.).
Think carefully about what you are posting about other people. Even if you post anonymously, it could still be traced back to you.
Think about how conduct yourself in real life, and apply the same principles to social media. If your social media content is drawn to our attention, we may take action to protect the University’s reputation, staff and students. See our Regulations for the Use of University ICT Facilities for guidance on what might constitute inappropriate content.
Using social media under the influence of alcohol is never a good idea, as your judgement may be impaired.
Ensure the content (e.g.: text, image and video) you post online is your own. Don’t assume you can copy content, as you may be infringing someone’s copyright.
Any third-party material (media or content that does not belong to the person posting) that is posted to social media should be credited appropriately. For example, if an image is shared on Twitter, their social media handle should be used to credit them.
When using private groups and direct messages (such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger etc.), don't assume the content shared is private. All social content, whether public or private, may be legally treated as public and should therefore not be considered confidential. We also encourage students to be considerate towards other members of the group.
Make sure you don't share your password with anyone. Check your social media accounts regularly to make sure no one has hacked into them and is posting inappropriate and unauthorised content in your name.
The following list is, but not limited to, content considered to be of an unacceptable nature and should never by posted:
Cyber Bullying is defined as the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.
Aston University will not accept any form of bullying or harassment of staff, students or stakeholders. Aston University will also not accept any form of bullying or harassment by staff, students or stakeholders.
The following non-exhaustive list of examples are the types of behaviour, displayed through social media, which Aston University considers to be forms of cyber bullying:
Cyber bullying may also take place via other means of electronic communication such as email, text or instant messaging.
Please contact Digital Marketing (email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need help, want to ask any questions about using social media, or would like to raise any issues or concerns.
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