Posting for Binghamton University
Before you post...
Before starting an official university social media account you must first receive approval by the Social Media Task Force. Reference our social media directory for a complete list of current accounts.
Staff members representing a campus entity on social media should have clearly stated roles and goals agreed upon by campus leadership. The same level of responsibility should be implemented when engaging on social media as when issuing a news release or going on record with a reporter.
The keys to success in social media are being honest about who you are, being thoughtful before you post and respecting the purpose of the community where you are posting.
As a representative of Binghamton University, you understand the University's commitment to complete respect for the dignity of others and to the civil and thoughtful discussion of opposing ideas. Some online communities can be volatile, tempting users to behave in ways they otherwise wouldn't. Your reputation, and Binghamton University's, are best served when you remain above the fray.
Be honest about your identity. If you participate in or maintain a social media page on behalf of the University, clearly state your role and goals. Discuss with your supervisor when you are empowered to respond directly to users and when you may need approval.
In December 2009, the Federal Trade Commission implemented regulations requiring bloggers and those who write online reviews to reveal if they have been compensated in any way — a free copy of a book, dinner, complimentary admission — or have a relationship to a company, product or service they review. Already a "best practice" for most bloggers, such disclosure is now being enforced.
If you have been authorized by your supervisor to create an official Binghamton social media site or a video for posting in locations such as YouTube, contact Ryan Yarosh at Binghamton University's Office of Communications and Marketing for an approved logo and other images. This is also to ensure coordination with other Binghamton sites and content.
Do not post confidential or proprietary information about Binghamton University, its students, its alumni or your fellow employees. Use good ethical judgment and follow university policies and federal requirements, such as FERPA. If you discuss a situation involving individuals on a social media site, be sure that they cannot be identified. As a guideline, don't post anything that you would not present at a conference.
Make sure that you have all the facts before you post. It's better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a correction or retraction later. Cite and link to your sources whenever possible; after all, that's how you build community. If you make an error, correct it quickly and visibly. This will earn you respect in the online community.
If you have any questions about whether it is appropriate to write about certain kinds of material in your role as a Binghamton University employee, ask your supervisor before you post.
Know the rules
Become familiar with the terms of service and policies of sites and networks in which you participate. Pay attention to updates. If the legal language is hard to follow, follow a respected blogger or two who discuss service changes in their posts.
Keep your personal views separate
Uphold the University's mission and values, including its position as the premier public university of the northeast, in your posts. Don't include political comments or comments on social issues, except in support of positions Binghamton has already taken. This includes changes to your photo or avatar in relation to political or social issues.
Respect University time and property
As stated in the Acceptable Use Policy/Network Security, University computers and your work time are to be used for University-related business. 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. You should maintain your personal sites on your own time using non-University computers.