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Social Media Guidelines

Social media sites and platforms are fundamentally changing the way some members of our faculty, staff and students communicate with each other. Blogs, social networks and web sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube are exciting new channels for you to share knowledge, express your creativity and connect with others who share your interests.

Sharing Farmingdale State College news and events, or promoting faculty and student work through social media tools is an excellent, low-cost way to engage the community and build the College’s brand. Faculty and staff are encouraged to use these sites to repost and share information that is available to the public (press releases, calendar events, articles in the Campus Times, etc.) with their family and friends. The best way to share college news is to link to the original source. Please be sure to adhere to the rules and regulations of the acceptable use policy and FERPA.

Farmingdale State College maintains a presence on social media websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Before creating a separate social media presence for your office or administrative department, consider whether you would be better served by working with the Office for Institutional Advancement to use Farmingdale’s primary social media presence.

By creating your own presence, you should be prepared to maintain it and keep it updated, as you would with a department web page. Farmingdale presences on social media sites are considered to be an extension of the official website, and most guidelines that apply to the website will also apply to your social media site. To ensure the continuity of Farmingdale’s online identity, if you are exploring the creation of your own office or administrative department presence, please first contact the Office for Institutional Advancement to discuss the process and address naming conventions, graphic needs, etc.

Creating a presence on Facebook

Farmingdale State College Facebook Fan Pages should be coordinated through the Office for Institutional Advancement. The images for all Farmingdale Facebook pages must maintain a consistent graphic identity. Facebook Fan Pages that do not follow the guidelines below, or that are created without the involvement of the Office for Institutional Advancement, will not be linked from the College’s primary Facebook presences or from the College's social media directory web page.

Farmingdale State College Facebook Groups may be created at any time and those that use College graphics should be coordinated with the Creative Director for Institutional Advancement.

Facebook Fan Pages offer certain advantages over Facebook groups, but also come with additional responsibilities. If you are uncertain whether you want to create a Page or a Group, contact the Office for Institutional Advancement for guidance.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Maintain Confidentiality. Do not post confidential or proprietary information about Farmingdale State College, its students, its alumni or fellow employees. Follow federal policies and requirements, such as HIPAA and FERPA.

Maintain Privacy. Do not discuss a situation involving named or pictured individuals on a social media site without their permission. If you would not present information in a public forum, do not post on a social media site.

Respect university time and property. It's appropriate to post at work if your comments are directly related to accomplishing work goals, such as seeking sources for information or working with others to resolve a problem. Limited personal use of computing resources is acceptable as long as it doesn't violate any policies, but for the most part, you should maintain your personal sites on your own time using non-Farmingdale computers. Please refer to the Acceptable Use Policy for more information.

Do No Harm. Let your Internet social networking do no harm to Farmingdale or to yourself whether you’re navigating those networks on the job or off.

Understand Your Personal Responsibility. Farmingdale State College staff and faculty are personally responsible for the content they publish on blogs, wikis or any other form of user-generated content. Be mindful that what you publish will be public for a long time— protect your privacy.

Be Aware of Liability. As stated in the Acceptable Use Policy/Network Security, college computers and your work time are to be used for college-related educational and business purposes. You are responsible for what you post on your own site and on the sites of others. Individual bloggers have been held liable for commentary deemed to be copyright infringement, defamatory, proprietary, libelous, or obscene (as defined by the courts). Increasingly, employers are conducting Web searches on job candidates before extending offers. Be sure that what you post today will not come back to haunt you.

Maintain Transparency. The line between professional and personal business is sometimes blurred: Be thoughtful about your posting’s content and potential audiences. 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 an individual, not as a representative of the Farmingdale State College.

Correct Mistakes. If you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront and be quick with your correction. If you’re posting to a blog, you may choose to modify an earlier post—just make it clear that you have done so.

Respect Others. You are more likely to achieve your goals or sway others to your beliefs if you are constructive and respectful while discussing a bad experience or disagreeing with a concept or person.

Be a Valued Member. If you join a social network, make sure you are contributing valuable insights. Don’t hijack the discussion and redirect by posting self/organizational promoting information. Self-promoting behavior is viewed negatively and can lead to you being banned from Web sites or groups.

Consider your audiences. Social media often span traditional boundaries between professional and personal relationships. Use privacy settings to restrict personal information on otherwise public sites. Choose profile photos and avatars carefully. Be thoughtful about the type of photos you upload.

Know Your Medium. If you join a social media site, make sure you know how that medium is used. You would not use a screw driver to hammer a nail, be sure to know the tool and how best to use it.

Think Before You Post. There’s no such thing as a “private” social media site. Search engines can turn up posts and pictures years after the publication date. Comments can be forwarded or copied. Archival systems save information even if you delete a post. If you feel angry or passionate about a subject, it’s wise to delay posting until you are calm and clear-headed. Post only pictures that you would be comfortable sharing with the general public (current and future peers, employers, etc.).