Social Networking sites enable online discussion, general communication and the ability to share information about yourself and others quickly and easily. In many respects these can be beneficial to students and staff both in personal and academic terms.
You must be aware of the risks and take steps to protect yourself and your personal information. Social networking platforms are in the public domain and it is not always possible to know what is being viewed, shared or archived. Even if material is posted on a private profile or group, it can still be copied and shared by others. There can be no reasonable expectation that posts will remain private and will not be passed on to other people, intentionally or otherwise.
Material published online has the potential to be available publicly and indefinitely. It is therefore important to manage your digital footprint. You should not post anything that:
- you would not want in the public domain
- you would not say personally to another individual
Be careful with the information you share as it could lead to unwanted attention, embarrassment and could even contribute to identity fraud. For your own benefit, you should not share details you might regret later, e.g. be aware that family members or a future employer could see.
You should take extra care when you can be identified as a student at the University. You should refrain from posting:
- confidential information
- details of complaints/legal proceedings involving the University
- personal information about another person
- anything from a fake account or an account using another person's name
- anything that is illegal, threatening, harassing, discriminatory, obscene, indecent, defamatory or hostile
- anything that will compromise the safety or reputation of the University or anyone associated with it
Remember, you are personally responsible for your words and actions in an online environment. You should apply the same standards of conduct online as you are expected to apply offline. When disagreeing with others’ opinions, remain appropriate and polite. You are advised to consider your use of language and whether any content you share on a social networking site is something you would want other students, University staff or people outside the University to see.
The University reserves the right to take disciplinary action if appropriate and in extreme cases defamation can lead to legal action. You should also be aware that when you access such sites using Information Services facilities, both Information Services Rules and Regulations and the JANET Acceptable Use policy still apply.
These Regulations are maintained by Information Services, were last reviewed in July 2021 and are due for review in July 2023