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Social Media Policy
1. Purpose:
  1. This Policy governs the representation of the University of Canberra (University) on social media and the use and management of University or University affiliated social media accounts.
  2. This Policy addresses:
    1. the security of social media accounts and confidentiality of information;
    2. standards of behaviour for those representing the University online;
    3. the management, monitoring and removal of inappropriate or offensive material;
    4. the treatment of false or misleading information;
    5. material subject to copyright; and
    6. the use of branding on University social media channels.
  3. This Policy should be read in conjunction with the Social Media Procedure.
2. Scope:
  1. This Policy applies to all University stakeholders that use and engage with University-specific social media accounts, pages or content when speaking on-behalf of, or in relation to the University. This includes publishing or engaging with any content, information or material that is, or may be used or shared for social media purposes.
  2. For the purposes of this Policy, University stakeholders means:
    1. all University staff and students (including alumni),
    2. all work areas within the University (including faculties, partnerships, businesses, groups and societies, Research Institutes or Centres), and
    3. any University controlled or related entity, and any third party who may own, use or manage a University affiliated social media account.
  3. This Policy does not apply to individual or personal social media accounts. Use of personal social media accounts to share and engage with University related content, research and activities, events, and information is permitted, but staff and students are encouraged to use common sense when engaging in conversations with, or about the University online.
  4. Standards of behaviour for staff and students when engaging in conversations with, or about, the University whether online or offline are also contained in the University of Canberra (Student Conduct Rules) 2023 and the University of Canberra Enterprise Agreement respectively. Any failure to maintain the expected standards of behaviour may constitute a breach of the Student Conduct Rules or the Enterprise Agreement.
3. Principles:
  1. The University’s social media channels are intended to:
    1. be an outward facing representation of the University as a brand, business, and higher education institution;
    2. make available all information, activities, and events relevant to the University and its stakeholders;
    3. establish an online presence for the University and act as a single point of truth for information regarding the University and its stakeholders;
    4. publish information that is reliable, relatable, authentic and supports the University’s strategic direction;
    5. build a diverse and inclusive University community by implementing a people-first approach to the sharing and engaging of information and content;
    6. establish and build a University specific brand that is cohesive and ensures visibility for the University online; and
    7. promote the University to prospective domestic and international students, staff and partners.
Removal of Material from Social Media Channels
  1. The University reserves the right to remove any material from its social media channels that may be offensive, aggressive, inappropriate, or not in alignment with this Policy. Processes for the removal of material from social media channels are set out in the Social Media Procedure.
Security and Confidentiality
  1. The University’s dominant social media channels (including those managed through personal accounts) must be secured to reduce the chance of security risks and threats in accordance with the Social Media Procedure
  2. No information obtained for the University’s social media channels may be shared for any purpose other than that for which it was collected. Failure to comply with this clause may constitute a breach of the Student Conduct Rules or the University of Canberra Enterprise Agreement. 
  3. Information that is Sensitive Information or Personal Information for the purposes of the Information Privacy Act 1994 (ACT) (Information Privacy Act) must:
    1. be managed in accordance with the Act, the Territory Privacy Principles and the University’s Privacy Policy; and
    2. not be disclosed for any purpose other than the primary purpose for which it was collected, unless the University has obtained the prior written consent of the individual to whom the information belongs or in other limited circumstances.
  4. Administrators should obtain legal advice from the Office of the General Counsel in relation to compliance with the Information Privacy Act and the Territory Privacy Principles.
Representing the University Online
  1. When representing the University online via a social media account, University stakeholders:
    1. must not act in a manner which may, in the opinion of a person acting reasonably, bring the University into disrepute;
    2. must engage in conversations respectfully and adhere to the University of Canberra Social Media Tone of Voice 2022 and UC Brand Guidelines; and
    3. consider the University’s best interests and ensure that responses and engagements reflect those.
  2. Staff and students must avoid speaking on matters outside of their expertise and instead refer the matter to someone with the necessary expertise or to someone else who may be able to assist.
  3. Individuals should not speak on behalf of the University and disclaimers such as “the postings, opinions, information on this social media account are my own and don’t represent the positions, strategies or opinions of the University of Canberra,” should be implemented by individuals where required and necessary.
  4. Staff and students must comply with all laws of the Commonwealth and the Territory. Social media posts must not include content that is, in the opinion of a person acting reasonably:
    1. harassing;
    2. hateful;
    3. racist;
    4. derogatory;
    5. sexually explicit;
    6. profane;
    7. copyrighted (without lawful excuse or permission);
    8. defamatory; or
    9. contrary to the University’s Privacy Policy, the Territory Privacy Principles, or the Information Privacy Act.
  5. Everyone engaging with the University’s social media channels is encouraged to respect their audience and refrain from participating in controversial or potential inflammatory subjects.
  6. The University has zero tolerance for bullying or trolling of any type, including online bullying and trolling. Any behavior of this kind may constitute a breach of the Student Conduct Rules or the University of Canberra Enterprise Agreement as relevant.
Monitoring and Management of Inappropriate or Offensive Material
  1. Comments published on social media accounts should not be deleted or ignored without a good reason. It is important for the University to listen to what its audience has to say and respond accordingly, even to negative comments.
  2. Inappropriate, offensive, or aggressive comments against the University or individuals on social media channels are not acceptable and will automatically be deleted via an in-built, third-party social media listening and detection tool, which scans comments posted across all social media channels.
  3.  Social media administrators are responsible for monitoring social media listening tools to ensure they work effectively and remove comments missed by these tools where the comments contain content of the type referred to in clause 3.10 of this Policy.
  4.  Social media administrators who become aware of content (in any form) that is inappropriate or offensive either towards the University or towards an individual, must follow the processes set out in clause 3.4 of the Social Media Procedure and determine an appropriate course of action as described in the Procedure.
  5.  Social media administrators are responsible for managing the comments that a contentious or controversial post may attract, in accordance with the Social Media Procedure.
  6.  If a University affiliated account falls victim to trolls or bullying, the University’s Social Media Team must notify the relevant social media site’s administrator and follow all the necessary processes.
False or misleading information
  1. Any false or misleading information on a University or University affiliated social media account must be corrected immediately.
  1. If the University sources content for use on the University’s social media channels that is not owned by the University and is subject to copyright the University must ensure that:
    1. prior permission in writing is sought from the original owner or publisher of the content;
    2. the original owner or publisher is credited either by name or via a ‘tag’; and
    3. the content is otherwise appropriately referenced.
  1. All content published and available on the University’s social media channels (or affiliated channels) must abide by the UC Brand Guidelines. Use of University branding elements (including logos) must be approved in accordance with the processes set out in the Social Media Procedure.
Enquiry Management
  1. Enquiry management including responding to direct messages to University related and affiliated social media channels is the responsibility of the account holders and their teams/management. 
  2. Responses to enquiries must be professional and must not be offensive, aggressive, or inappropriate.
Support or Queries
  1. The Social Media Procedure outlines how and when University stakeholders can get assistance with University related social media services. All requests for support or queries should be addressed to the Social Media Team at socialmedia@canberra.edu.au.
University Policies and Guidelines
  1. In addition to the Social Media Procedure, this Policy should be read in conjunction with the following rules, policies, procedures, and guidelines. All material shared and published via the University’s or affiliated social media channels must comply with the following University policies and guidelines: 
    1. Brand and Marketing Policy
    2. Brand and Marketing Procedure
    3. The University of Canberra (Student Conduct) Rules 2023
    4. The University of Canberra Enterprise Agreement
    5. Student Charter
    6. Staff Code of Conduct
    7. Privacy Policy
4. Responsibilities:
Who Responsibilities
Director of Marketing
Associate Director of Media and Communications
Manage, uphold and implement this Policy and any approval, review or procedure involving the use of University branding across dominant and affiliated social media channels.
Social Media Team (made up of members of the Marketing, Media and Communications teams)
  • Manage the University’s dominant social media accounts.
  • Responsible for the use, management and policing of University (related) social media accounts and content. Those responsible for publishing and updating content across social media have been established as social media administrators on each respective channel.
All University staff, business areas and other University stakeholders Must consult with the Social Media Team for the purposes of establishing, hosting, or managing University related social media channels.
6. Supporting Information:
  1. Documents related to this Policy are:
    1. UC Brand Guidelines
    2. Photography consent
    3. Social Media Procedure
7. Definitions:
Terms Definitions
Administrators In reference to social media accounts, these are members who have direct access to the University’s social media channels for an ‘administrative’ purpose. Primarily, administrators manage these social media accounts and are responsible for communicating with the University’s key stakeholders.
Affiliated accounts In this Policy, ‘affiliated accounts’ refers to any social media account or channel related to the University, used by, for example, a staff or student-led group, society, or faculty.
Brand In this Policy, ‘brand’ refers to the overall marketing of the University as a higher education institution intended to differentiate it from its competitors.
Content Any material that is published or shared online including texts, imagery, graphics, videos, and audio clips.
Dominant social media channels The primary and official University of Canberra social media accounts.
Personal Information Has the same meaning as per the Information Privacy Act 2014.
Primary Purpose Has the same meaning as per the Information Privacy Act 2014.
Sensitive Information Has the same meaning as per the Information Privacy Act 2014.
Social media channels Any account hosted via a third-party social media platform including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
University stakeholders
  • All University staff (internal and external) and students (including alumni),
  • All work areas within the University (including faculties, partnerships, businesses, groups, societies, Research Institutes and Centres), and
  • Any University controlled or related entity, and any third party who may own, use or manage a University-affiliated social media account.