Polices: Use of Social Media

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Use of Social Media

Policy Number: 516

Categorized: Information Technology

Responsible Office: VP of Instructional and Information Technology

Subject: Policy and procedures for use of social media

Related Policies: Acceptable Computer Use, Use of College Name or Logo

Forms: Employee Acceptable Use Agreement, Employee Ethics Agreement

Additional Information: NOVA Social Media Guidelines

Effective Date: 04/01/2017

Last Reviewed Date: 10/31/2017


1.0 Scope

This policy applies to all Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) employees, including full and part-time staff, faculty, contractors, consultants, volunteers, interns, student hires, and students (collectively, “users”).

2.0 Policy Statement

Online social media enable the College, campuses, divisions, offices, organizations and individuals to share their insights, express their opinions and communicate information through online conversations. When NOVA communicates publicly as an institution, only those officially designated by NOVA have the authorization to speak on behalf of the College. Only messages posted on authorized NOVA sites/Web pages under the names NOVA Community College, Northern Virginia Community College or NOVA are considered official.

NOVA is committed to creating a community that encourages self-expression and has respect for the rights, dignity and property of others. All posts and use of social media should be in compliance with the NOVA Social Media Guidelines.

Users may not post content that:

  • is threatening, abusive, obscene, indecent or objectionable
  • is deceptive, false or misleading
  • violates the intellectual property rights of other people
  • is illegal
  • references a third-party website or is self-promoting spam
  • is inappropriate, offensive or hateful

NOVA reserves the right to remove any content that is determined to violate College policies, and to block users who violate NOVA guidelines, copyright, fair use, federal or state laws.

3.0 Definitions

Social Media: Form of online communication or publication that allows for multi-directional interaction. Social media includes, blogs, wikis, podcasts, social networks, photograph and video hosting websites, crowdsourcing, and new technologies as they evolve.

4.0 Procedures

See NOVA Social Media Guidelines.

5.0 Violations

Violations of this policy will be addressed under DHRM Policy 1.60, Standards of Conduct, or VCCS disciplinary policy or procedures for employees not covered by the Virginia Personnel Act. The appropriate level of disciplinary action will be determined on a case-by-case basis, with sanctions up to or including termination depending on the severity of the offense, consistent with Policy 1.60 or VCCS policy.

5.0 Authority

DHRM Policy 1.75 Use of Electronic Communications and Social Media

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