Met Film Social Media Policy for employees
MetFilm School recognises and embraces the benefits and opportunities that social media can bring as a tool. For the purposes of this policy, social media is defined as a type of interactive online media that allows parties to communicate instantly with each other or to share data in a public forum. This includes online social forums, anonymous apps, blogs, video-and image-sharing websites, and similar facilities. It can be used to share news, information, and successes, keep staff and students up to date with important developments and promote healthy academic debate about controversial subjects and areas of research.
There is, however, an inherent risk involved in using social media, in that, it is an instantaneous and far-reaching form of communication and inappropriate use can impact upon staff, students, and the reputation of the University.
MetFilm School realises employees may wish to engage, collaborate and innovate through social media; however, wherever and whenever the employee does this, they must be aware of the potential impact on both themselves and the School.
Purpose of policy
This policy is intended to minimise the risks of social media which can impact the wellbeing of students and staff and the reputation of MetFilm School, so that students and staff can enjoy the benefits of social networking whilst understanding the standards of conduct expected by the School.
To whom does this apply?
This policy relates to all employees who create or contribute to blogs, wikis, social networks, apps, forums, virtual worlds, or any other kind of social media. It should be applied to all uses and all forms of social media where there is a potential impact on the School, whether for work-related or personal use, whether during working hours or otherwise, whether social media is accessed using the School’s IT facilities and equipment, or equipment belongs to members of staff or any other third party.
- Employees should only comment within their own area of expertise to provide individual perspectives on non-confidential activities at the School.
- Employees should never represent themselves or the School in a false or misleading way. All statements must be true and not misleading; all claims must be substantiated.
- Use common sense and common courtesy. Employees should ask permission to publish or report conversations that are meant to be private or internal to the School. The School’s privacy, confidentiality, and legal guidelines for external communication should not be violated by an employee’s efforts to be transparent.
- Where employees access social media for work-related purposes or personal use using the School’s IT facilities and equipment, the School’s IT regulations will apply.
- Where appropriate, the School reserves the right to monitor the use of social media platforms and take appropriate action to protect against any misuse that may be harmful to the School, in accordance with the IT regulations and where the law permits.
- Employees should seek guidance before participating in social media when the topic being discussed may be considered sensitive (e.g. a crisis situation, intellectual property, issues that may impact the School’s reputation, commercially sensitive material). Social media activity around sensitive topics should be referred to the Marketing Director.
- If an employee’s use of social media is considered to be derogatory, discriminatory, bullying, threatening, defamatory, offensive, intimidating, harassing, creating legal liability for the School, bringing the School into disrepute, or outside the scope of the Agreement on Academic Freedom or any other MetFilm School policy or procedure then the School may take action under the staff disciplinary procedure. This may include comments, videos, or photographs, which have been posted on social media sites about MetFilm School, students, work colleagues, or managers.
- An employee should not engage in illegal activity through social media or engage in any activity that promotes terrorism. The very fact of possessing or disseminating terrorist material may be sufficient to warrant an investigation by the police and a member of staff would be put in the position of having to advance a credible defence.
- The School’s response to any misuse of social media in a personal capacity will be reasonable and proportionate to the perceived offence; the nature of the postings/comments made and the impact or potential impact on the School.
- Social networking sites may be referred to when investigating possible misconduct/gross misconduct.
- Employees should be aware of security threats and be on guard for social engineering and phishing attempts. Social networks can also be used to distribute spam and malware.
- The School may require employees to remove social media postings that are deemed to constitute a breach of these standards and failure to comply with such a request may, in itself, result in disciplinary action.
Employees should be transparent and state that they work for the MetFilm School if they are posting about the School. If you are writing about the School or a competitor, use your real name, identify that you work for the School, and be clear about your role. The School discourages employees from posting online anonymously or using pseudonyms. You should never impersonate another individual.
Line managers are responsible for addressing any concerns and/or questions arising out of the use of social media.
Employees are responsible for their words and actions in an online environment and are therefore advised to consider whether any comment, photograph, or video they are about to post on a social networking site, is something that they would want students, colleagues, and other employees of the School, their manager or people outside the School to read.
Marketing are responsible for giving specialist advice on the use of social media for School business.