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UC Davis social media guidelines

UC Davis recognizes the vital role that social media plays in communicating, collaborating and interacting with students, faculty, staff and the general public.  We encourage you to use social media to connect with the UC Davis community at-large in order to foster a place for vibrant and thoughtful engagement as it relates to UC Davis.

As a university committed to the highest standards of freedom of speech and expression, we encourage everyone to get involved and participate in social media.

These guidelines apply to members of the UC Davis social media community, including, but not limited to, students, faculty, staff, administrators, and members of the greater community.

Best practices to help guide your participation in UC Davis social media efforts include:

Protect personal information

For safety and security reasons, please refrain from posting personal contact information (home and cell phone numbers, mailing or home addresses, personal email addresses, etc.) on social media sites. Remember that everything you post on social media is public and can live on forever.

Respect intellectual property laws

It is critical that you adhere to laws governing copyright and fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, including UC Davis’ own copyrights and brands. It is generally a good practice to link to others’ work rather than to reproduce it.

No endorsements

We encourage you to use social media to share information about your work at UC Davis. However, any advertising, solicitation, or overtly favorable acknowledgements or endorsements of third-party products and services is not permitted. 

Stay on topic

Remember to stay on topic.  It can be difficult and frustrating for users to find information and/or to meaningfully contribute to the discussion when there is too much additional commentary unrelated to the topic of the posting.

Join forces

We encourage you to support each other’s social media efforts and to collaborate whenever possible to show solidarity among UC Davis schools, divisions, departments and programs, and share content when it is appropriate across your social media platforms.

Be transparent

Be honest about who you are. Clearly identify yourself and fully disclose any affiliation you may have with UC Davis.

Consider your audience

Remember to consider the diversity of your audience. You are free to discuss and disagree with others regarding topics relevant to the purpose of the social media platform, but please don’t use ethnic and racial slurs, hateful speech, personal attacks, abusive language, nudity, or pornography.

Be aware of the Social Media Privacy Act

The Social Media Privacy Act, passed by the California Legislature in September 2012, prohibits public and private college employees and representatives from requiring or requesting a student, prospective student, or student group to disclose, access, or divulge personal social media account information. 

Handling inappropriate posts

It is important to remember that everyone has the right to share their opinions, whether positive or negative.  However, there will be times when appropriate actions are needed in response to particular posts. Your first instinct should not be to delete a post because you disagree with it.  If possible, use the opportunity to solve a problem or generate a productive discussion.

While UC Davis fully supports free speech activities, our social media sites are for official university activities and must comply with university policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment. For any post that involves the promotion of violence, or is believed to be discriminatory, harassing, defamatory, or obscene, do the following:

  1. Do not respond to the post.
  2. Print and save a copy of the post for your records. Include the date when it was originally posted and who posted it.
  3. Notify your immediate supervisor.
  4. Consult with the Office of Campus Counsel as to the appropriateness of removal of the post and taking further action.

All content, information and views expressed on social media belong to the individual posting the content and do not necessarily reflect UC Davis’ official policies or positions.  The university is not responsible for unanswered posts or inaccurate information posted by others.

Related policies

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