Social media policy

The monitoring and moderation policies outlined here apply to anyone interacting with Gettysburg College’s official social media accounts. Our community guidelines apply to all Gettysburg College groups, including but not limited to academic departments, administrative offices, and student clubs and organizations.

Last updated: March 1, 2021.

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Monitoring and moderation policies

Though Gettysburg College social media accounts may be monitored by Gettysburg College employees, and comments and posts may be reviewed to ensure that they comply with our Policies, Gettysburg College has no obligation to accept, display, review, monitor, or maintain any content posted to any social media site. But the College does reserve the right to monitor, prohibit, restrict, block, suspend, terminate, delete, or discontinue access to the College’s official social media pages, at any time, without notice and for any reason, in its sole discretion.

Gettysburg College further reserves the right to delete comments or posts that we deem are abusive, , off-topic, or otherwise inappropriate, or that, in our sole discretion, we otherwise consider objectionable. As such, we may delete comments or posts that we deem to be:

  • Profane, obscene, inappropriate, disruptive, or unrelated to the topic and conversation.
  • Indecent, sexually explicit or pornographic material of any kind—including masked profanity where symbols, initials, intentional misspellings, or other characters are used to suggest profane language.
  • Threats; personal attacks; abusive, defamatory, derogatory, ad hominem attacks, or inflammatory language; or stalking or harassment of any individual, entity or organization.
  • Impersonating any person or entity or falsely state or otherwise misrepresenting an affiliation with a person or entity.
  • Discriminatory or containing hateful speech of any kind regarding age, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, political affiliations, disability, or other characteristics.
  • False, inaccurate, libelous, or otherwise misleading in any way.
  • Spam, or content containing or linking to any kind of virus, malware, spyware, or similar program that could cause harm to a user’s computer.
  • Repeated or identical posts.
  • Solicitations or content that promote commercial interests, campaigns, causes or political views.
  • Any posts which might constitute a criminal offense or give rise to civil liability, or that otherwise violates local, national, or international laws or regulations.

Any posts which might identify matters that are currently the subject of legal proceedings or would break a court’s non-publication order.

Community guidelines

Expectations of community members

We expect all who participate in social media on behalf of Gettysburg College, both as administrators on accounts and as commenters, to understand and to follow these guidelines. Failure to do so could put your future participation representing Gettysburg College through social media at risk.

When you engage

If you run a social media account connected to Gettysburg College, please follow these guiding principles:

  • Stick to your area of expertise and provide unique, individual information on what’s going on at Gettysburg College related to your respective area.
  • Be meaningful and respectful in what you decide to post-in other words, no spam, personal opinions, and no posts that are off-topic or off-brand for your or could be seen as offensive.
  • Always pause and think before posting. That said, reply to comments in a timely manner, when a response is appropriate.
  • Respect proprietary information and content, and confidentiality.
  • When disagreeing with others’ opinions that are expressed through comments, keep it appropriate and polite.
  • Know and follow the Student/Employee/Faculty Handbook and follow the Privacy policy for the College website.

Rules of engagement

Be transparent

If you are posting about your work at Gettysburg, use your real name, identify that you work for the College, and be clear about your role. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, declare it. Transparency is about your identity and relationship to Gettysburg. You still need to keep confidentiality around proprietary information and content. Commenters should not try to conceal their identity or post from fake accounts.

Be judicious

Make sure your efforts to be transparent don’t violate the College’s privacy, confidentiality, and legal guidelines. All statements must be true and not misleading and all claims must be substantiated and approved. Please never post or comment on anything related to legal matters, litigation, or any parties we are in litigation with without the appropriate approval. Also be smart about protecting yourself, your privacy, and Gettysburg College Confidential information. What you publish is widely accessible and will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully.

Write what you know

Make sure you write and post about your areas of expertise, especially as related to Gettysburg College. If you are writing about a topic that Gettysburg is involved with but you are not the expert on the topic, you should make this clear to your readers. And write in the first person. If you mention you work at Gettysburg College but are posting personally on external sites, please use a disclaimer like this: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent Gettysburg College’s positions, strategies, or opinions.” Also, please respect brand, trademark, copyright, fair use, and confidentiality. If you have any questions about these, see the Director of Digital Strategy. Remember, you may be personally responsible for your content.

Perception is reality

In online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred. Just by identifying yourself as a Gettysburg College employee, you are creating perceptions about your expertise, the school, and students, as well as the general public-and perceptions about you by your colleagues. Do us all proud. Be sure that all content associated with you is consistent with your work and with Gettysburg’s values and professional standards.

It’s a conversation

Talk to your readers like you would talk to real people in professional situations. In other words, avoid overly pedantic or composed language. Don’t be afraid to bring in your own personality and say what’s on your mind in a professional and respectful way. Consider content that’s open-ended and invites response. Encourage comments.

Are you adding value?

There are millions of words out there. The best way to get yours read is to write things that people will value. Social communication from Gettysburg should help our students, parents, and colleagues. It should be thought-provoking and build a sense of community. If it helps people improve knowledge or skills, build their businesses, do their jobs, solve problems, or understand Gettysburg better-then it’s adding value.

Your responsibility

What you write is ultimately your responsibility. Participation in on behalf of Gettysburg College must be treated seriously and with respect. Failure to abide by these guidelines and Student/Employee/Faculty Handbook could put your participation at risk. Please also follow the terms and conditions for any third-party sites.

Create some excitement

As a national liberal arts college, Gettysburg is making important contributions to the world, to the future of education, and to public dialogue on a broad range of issues. Let’s share with the world the exciting things we’re learning and doing-and open up the channels to learn from others.

Be a leader

There can be a fine line between healthy debate and incendiary reaction. Do not denigrate our competitors or Gettysburg. Nor do you need to respond to every criticism or barb. Try to frame what you write to invite differing points of view without inflaming others. Some topics-like politics or religion-slide more easily into sensitive territory. So be careful and considerate. Once the words are out there, you can’t take them back. And once an inflammatory discussion gets going, it’s hard to stop.

Did you mess up?

If you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront and be quick with your correction. If you choose to modify an earlier post make it clear that you have done so.

If it gives you pause, pause

If you’re about to publish something that makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, don’t shrug it off and hit send. Take a minute to review these guidelines and try to figure out what’s bothering you, then fix it. If you’re still unsure, you might want to discuss it with the Director of Digital Strategy. Ultimately, what you publish is yours-as is the responsibility. So be sure.

Questions

If you have any questions about this policy, please contact webmaster@gettysburg.edu.