Social media are a group of online applications which are designed to allow information to be created, shared, discussed and disseminated. Social media include the sites, tools, channels and platforms used to publish user-generated content and promote social connections and conversations.
Social media provide opportunities to build communities and to encourage dialogue through the exploration and consideration of diverse thoughts and views. Australian Catholic University (ACU) embraces the use of social media by staff, students and affiliates to connect with each other and a broader community of researchers, business partners, alumni, supporters and colleagues as an important tool of academic, community and business engagement.
With the rapid growth and application of social media, ACU recognises the need to have a policy and guidelines, which ensure that those who use social media, either as part of their job, study, association with the University or in a personal capacity, have guidance on the University's expectations where social media are used.
2. Policy Statement
Personal, academic and professional use of social media by ACU staff, students and affiliates must not:
a. Bring ACU into disrepute; b. Compromise the effectiveness of the University; c. Defame individuals or organisations; d. Imply ACU endorsement of personal views; or e. Disclose, without authorisation, confidential information f. This policy applies to all social media.
3. Policy Purpose
The University expects that ACU staff, students and affiliates who contribute to social media will familarise themselves with this policy and related guidelines, and will act responsibly in references to ACU in their social media and online activities.
This policy should be read in conjunction with all other ACU policies, including the Code of Conduct for All Staff, Student Conduct and Discipline Policy, Acceptable Use of IT Facilities, Email Messaging Policy and the Privacy Statement.
The following five principles apply to the use of social media for ACU staff, students and affiliates:
a. Show respect for human dignity and adhere to the ACU Mission and values; b. Do not use social media to bring ACU, staff, students or affiliates into disrepute; c. Do not imply ACU endorsement of personal views; d. Ensure confidentiality of information obtained through the University is maintained; and e. Do not use social media to the detriment of ACU academic and professional activities.
5. Application of Policy
This policy applies where a person is a staff member and/or student of ACU. This policy also applies to affiliates, which include: Student Organisations and Societies; Adjuncts; Honoraries; Alumni; Graduates; Contractors; Consultants or any other persons who participate in social media and who may be identified as having an association with ACU.
6. Consequences of Breach
Breach of this policy will be dealt with in accordance with the ACU Code of Conduct for All Staff and Student Conduct and Discipline Policy, and may lead to disciplinary action.Where inappropriate use under this policy constitutes a breach of any law, action may also be taken in accordance with that law by ACU or concerned third parties.