Social Media Policy

Gettysburg College acknowledges the important role and opportunity that social media plays in enhancing the academic reputation and brand of Gettysburg College. Social media provides a means to engage our audiences in conversations and relationships with Gettysburg College. The Office of Communications and Marketing is available as a resource to support those using social media and has provided Social Media Guidelines so that efforts around social media are as engaging as possible and follow best practices.

This policy is applicable to all Gettysburg College organizations including but not limited to academic departments, administrative offices, and athletic teams.  Social media sites maintained by such organizations must be approved by the College and follow all applicable policies and procedures, as detailed below ("College-affiliated sites").

"Social Media" describes tools and platforms that enable individuals to share ideas and exchange information, which promotes social networking, real-time interaction and community, and allows the posting of text, audio, video, photo and other content.  Examples of these social media tools and platforms include, but are not limited to: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, tumblr, YouTube, Google +, LinkedIn, Instagram and blogs.

Social Media Channels & Content
Please review the Social Media Guidelines for information on how to engage with audiences on your College-affiliated social media sites.  Information appearing on any College-affiliated site is the responsibility of the originating department, office, or organization and must be in compliance with all college policies and standards, including but not limited to discrimination and harassment policies, brand standards, policies pertaining to the confidentiality of records, positive data security and appropriate use of  computer and other electronic resources, as well as with all federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, and regulations,

Gettysburg College does not accept any responsibility and shall not be liable for the content of social media channels outside of the domain. The inclusion of any non-Gettysburg College link, whether by a Gettysburg College employee or anyone posting on a College-affiliated social media site, does not imply endorsement by Gettysburg College of that website or the content on that website.  Likewise, outside of the official page administrator's comments, any other comments on College-affiliated social media channels do not necessarily reflect the opinions and positions of Gettysburg College. 

Authorization of Social Media Sites

In order to obtain approval for a new College-affiliated social media site, you must contact the Office of Communications & Marketing in writing and provide the following information:

  • The purpose of the site
  • A reasonable plan/editorial calendar for managing content
  • Names and contact information for at least 2 designated administrators for the site
  • Photos or graphics for use on the site

The Office of Communications & Marketing will review this information and, if approved, will create the social media account. Both the Assistant Director and Director of Digital Strategy are required to be administrators on your social media account. They will designate additional administrators as necessary from your office or department.

Usage Guidelines
If you have a post from your College-affiliated social media site that you would like the College to share with the entire Gettysburg College Community, you must contact the Office of Communications & Marketing with your request. We will evaluate requests from College departments, offices, and organizations to retweet or share a post, and will share such content as the College deems appropriate.

The designated site administrators are responsible for ensuring that your College-affiliated social media site is properly branded and maintained. To request  a social media graphic or logo for your page, fill out the Design Request Form. When possible, include a link to the main Gettysburg College website in your social media profile.

Inactive Social Media Pages
If you have created a page and find that you do not have the resources or interest to maintain the page, the Office of Communications & Marketing reserves the right to request that you deactivate the page and/or to deactivate the page for you at its discretion.

Inappropriate Social Media Content
The College will not tolerate social media content that is in violation of these or any other College policies and procedures, or of any applicable state, federal or local laws or regulations.  The College reserves the right to deactivate social media sites and/or remove content at its discretion.  Social media site administrators are required to monitor the College-approved sites that they manage to ensure that posts are properly moderated, adhere to College policies and procedures and do not contain inappropriate content.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples of content/social media activity that is prohibited on the College-affiliated social media sites and will be subject to immediate removal:

  • Content that contains copyrighted information without written consent of copyright owner
  • Activity or content that is in violation of any federal, state, or local laws or regulations
  • Activity or content that is in violation of any College policies or procedures
  • Content that:
    • may be considered abusive, profane, obscene, lewd, lascivious, or pornographic
    • is reasonably likely to harass, intimidate, threaten, embarrass, humiliate or degrade other individuals
    • targets an individual or groups of individuals for purposes of harassing, intimidating, threatening, embarrassing, humiliating, degrading, or discriminating on the basis of ethnic origin, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, religion or other protected trait
    • contains defamatory or disparaging references or depictions of other groups, organizations, institutions or individuals
    • discredits or causes embarrassment to the College
  • Activity or content that is malicious or meant to intentionally harm someone’s reputation and/or lead to a lawsuit or criminal charges
  • Use of the College name and logo without official authorization in ways that imply endorsement of commercial organizations, their products, or services, or otherwise using the College's logo or trademarks in a manner that violates the College's policies and intellectual property rights
  • Advertisements for commercial products or enterprises, or otherwise Represent the operation of a commercial enterprise(s)
  • Activity or content that violates privacy rights of any group, entity or individual
  • Activity or content that violates the confidentiality of College or student records

Designated administrators and users of College-affiliated sites also must recognize that they are legally responsible for their postings, and may be subject to liability if their posts are found to be defamatory, harassing, threatening, in violation of the privacy rights or copyright interests of other persons or entities, or otherwise contrary to applicable law. 

If you have any questions about this policy, or the appropriate use of College-affiliated social media sites, please contact the Office of Communications & Marketing.

The College does not routinely monitor College-affiliated sites; however, the College reserves the right to monitor such sites if it learns that a site may be in violation of College policies and procedures or otherwise contain prohibited content.