Social Media Policy for UIS Departments

Purpose

This policy is intended to guide university departments in best practices for managing social media accounts when posting on behalf of the University of Illinois Springfield.

Background

Social media is a powerful tool for communicating the university’s message, and departments and units are encouraged to use social media platforms to contribute to or help elevate that message.

Social media should be used to engage audiences and give them a good impression of the University of Illinois Springfield. In many cases, a social media site may be the first place that someone learns about UIS.

The goal of this policy is to regulate and strategically coordinate the use of social media by university departments in order to protect the University of Illinois Springfield’s brand and reputation.

Policy Statement

Any UIS employee or student seeking to establish and maintain a social media account on behalf of a university unit or department must first obtain approval by the Office of Campus Relations and comply with this policy and applicable procedures and guidelines.

Application

This policy applies to students, faculty and staff who manage social media accounts, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok or any other social media platform that may be developed during the life of the policy, for university departments that are part of the Chancellor’s Division, the Student Affairs Division and the Academic Affairs Division (including academic units). This policy does not apply to non-University organizations, such as registered student organizations or employee unions.

Procedures & Guidelines

1.    Creating new UIS social media accounts

The creation of new university department social media accounts must be approved by the Office of Campus Relations. Department representatives should start the application process by filling out the appropriate form. Before launching a new site, department representatives are required to meet with the Office of Campus Relations to discuss the purpose of their proposed social media account and best practices.

To be granted permission to start a new account, department representatives must:

  • Explain why they want to create the account, their target audiences and provide ideas about content they plan to post on their account.
  • Understand that a minimum of two social media managers are required on each social media account and that administrative access to the page must be shared with the Office of Campus Relations. This is necessary to prevent the university from losing access to department/organization accounts due to changes in faculty/employee/student status.
  •  Agree to follow all UIS brand standards, especially those related to logos and marks, brand graphics, and naming.
  • Provide written proof to Campus Relations that their department manager has given approval for the launch of a new social media account.

2.    Maintaining UIS social media accounts

Under this policy, all UIS department social media accounts are required to take the following steps in order to maintain their social media accounts.

  • Departments must post to their account at least once a month. The Office of Campus Relations may shut down, suspend or assume control of department account(s) that have not posted for greater than six months.
  • Departments must maintain at least two social media managers on their social media accounts at all times. Managers’ names must be logged with the Office of Campus Relations to maintain a current, accurate campus-wide database.
  • Departments must share administrative access to their social media accounts with the Office of Campus Relations.
    • Department social media managers are required to work with the Office of Campus Relations to gain administrative access to their Facebook page(s) and LinkedIn page(s).
    • Departments must share their passwords for Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and TikTok and other social media accounts with the Office of Campus Relations.
  • All accounts must follow UIS brand standards, especially those related to logos and marks, brand graphics, and naming.
  • Repeated violations of these standards may lead to accounts being shut down or suspended by the Office of Campus Relations.
  • Departments must use Campus Relations approved department logos or university marks for their profile photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube. Approved logos, which meet UIS brand standards, are created by UIS Creative Services and are available free of charge. To request an approved department logo or university mark for your department’s page, email printing@uis.edu.
  • Department accounts must post content that is truthful and best represents the University of Illinois Springfield. Posts found in violation of these guidelines may be deleted by the Office of Campus Relations. Repeated violations may result in Campus Relations suspending or assuming control of the department’s social media account(s). Violations include, but are not limited to:
    • Posts containing attacking, harassing or threatening language.
    • Posts that attempt to defame a person or organization.
    • Posts that contain hateful, obscene or defamatory language.
    • Posts that depict violence.
    • Posts that target a person based on their race, nationality, gender, religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs or other legally protected categories.
    • Commercial solicitations for businesses and organizations not affiliated with the University of Illinois; this excludes support of UI Foundation activities. Departments may post fundraising materials in consultation with the UIS Office of Advancement.
    • Posts that promote or advocate illegal activity.
    • Posts that violate copyrights or trademarks.
  • Department social media managers are ultimately responsible for what is written or posted on a unit or department social media account. As an official page, you are representing the university, and there may be consequences if social media managers do not handle this responsibility appropriately. Please see the following policies regarding the use of computer technology at the University of Illinois Springfield:

3.    Moderating Facebook comments

All UIS department social media accounts must post a policy regulating the type of comments permitted on the department’s Facebook page(s).

  • Departments must post a moderation policy, which will be reviewed by the Office of Campus Relations, in the notes tab of their department’s Facebook page(s).
  • Because Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube don’t provide an easy way to link to moderation policies, departments are not required to post guidelines on those accounts under this policy.
  • In general, department social media accounts are allowed to ban or block users after three violations of their moderation policy. However, departments can use their discretion to immediately block and report users who post belligerent or threatening content.
  • Departments must actively monitor their social media pages for comments/questions and respond in a timely manner, when appropriate. User comments are only allowed to be deleted if they violate the department’s moderation guidelines. Comments that are negative in nature but do not violate moderation guidelines should not be deleted. The Office of Campus Relations is available to advise departments on how they should respond to negative comments.

Departments may use the moderation policy from the UIS Facebook page:

We offer this page as a place for conversations concerning the university, services and news. We would like to offer you a quality space on Facebook that allows those who “Like” us to engage in a respectful manner. Please take a minute to read our Moderation Guidelines and keep them in mind when you join the conversation on our page.

By viewing or interacting with this page, you are agreeing to adhere to Facebook’s Terms and Conditions. Also, please remember that postings by those who “Like” the university’s Facebook page do not represent the university, reflect the opinions of the university, nor does the university confirm their truthfulness. At the University of Illinois Springfield, we consider very thoroughly any moderation we perform. We are happy to receive any questions, comments and feedback you may have, but we expect your content to be respectful to this community as a whole. Posts that do not adhere to our moderation guidelines may be deleted and users who repeatedly violate our guidelines may be blocked.

Moderation Guidelines

  • All postings on this Facebook page should be relevant to the UIS community.
  • No posts containing attacking, harassing or threatening language will be permitted.
  • No posts that attempt to defame a person or organization will be permitted.
  • Posts that contain hateful, obscene or defamatory language will be deleted.
  • Posts that depict violence will not be allowed.
  • Posts that target a person based on their race, nationality, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or political beliefs will not be allowed.
  • No commercial solicitations will be allowed for non-university related causes (including asking for donations) without permission from UIS Campus Relations or the UIS Office of Advancement.
  • Posts that promote or advocate illegal activity are not allowed.
  • No trolling or spamming will be allowed.

Posts that violate copyrights or trademarks will be deleted.

Posts that disclose information that is confidential by law or regulation will be deleted.

Approved by Chancellor’s Cabinet & Chancellor 6.2.2020

Effective 6.2.2020

Link to Social Media Policy for UIS Departments (PDF)