Social Media Policy

 

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Posting as an Individual

Personal Sites and Social Media

Be authentic. Be honest about your identity. In personal posts, you may identify yourself as a Farmingdale State College faculty or staff member. However, please be clear that you are sharing your views as a member of the higher education community, not as a formal representative of Farmingdale.

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 Farmingdale State College."

This is particularly important if you are a department head or administrator.

Don't be a mole. Never pretend to be someone else and post about Farmingdale. Tracking tools enable supposedly anonymous posts to be traced back to their authors. There have been several high-profile and embarrassing cases of company executives anonymously posting about their own organizations. In addition, such behavior is prohibited by the Acceptable Use Policy.

Take the high ground. If you identify your affiliation with Farmingdale State College in your comments, readers will associate you with the college, 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 use the Farmingdale logo or make endorsements. Do not use the Farmingdale logo, athletic logo or any other Farmingdale marks or images on your personal online sites. Do not use Farmingdale’s name to promote or endorse any product, cause or political party or candidate.

Protect your identity. While you want to be honest about yourself, don't provide personal information that scam artists or identity thieves could use against you. Don't list your home address or telephone number or your work telephone or e-mail address. It is a good idea to create a separate e-mail address that is used only with your social media site.

Follow a code of ethics. There are numerous codes of ethics for bloggers and other active participants in social media, all of which will help you participate responsibly in online communities. If you have your own social media site, you may wish to post your own code of ethics.

For examples, see:
http://forrester.typepad.com/charleneli/2004/11/blogging_policy.html
http://www.cyberjournalist.net/news/000215.php
http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/04/draft-bloggers-code-of-conduct.html

Monitor comments. Most people who maintain social media sites welcome comments–it builds credibility and community. However, you can set your site so that you can review and approve comments before they appear. This allows you to respond in a timely way to comments. It also allows you to delete spam comments and to block any individuals who repeatedly post offensive or frivolous comments.

Link back. You are welcome to link from your social media site to Farmingdale.edu.