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Social Media policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy is effective from 13 October 2021.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Policy sets out the University’s expected behaviour and conduct of students, staff and associates on social media.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to use of social media by students, staff and associates, anywhere in the world, when there is a connection with the University.

(4) Use of social media will be considered to have a connection with the University in each of the following circumstances:

  1. the social media account is established or used as an official University social media channel;
  2. the social media is accessed using University Information Communications Technology (ICT) Services, Facilities and Materials;
  3. there is an express or implied reference indicating an affiliation between a student or staff member and the University on the site or associated sites; or
  4. the content of the social media postings are specifically about the University or its students or staff, in whole or in part.
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Section 4 - Policy

General Principles

(5) University social media channels are used to create engagement and to promote the University.

(6) The University acknowledges the important role of social media within University activities including:

  1. engaging in communication
  2. fostering social connection
  3. generating and sharing content
  4. finding and viewing information
  5. promoting and finding research.

(7) Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom are defining values of the University. Social media activity by students, staff and associates is supported by the Code for Upholding Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom.

Professional and Personal Use of Social Media

(8) When using social media in both a professional and personal capacity, students, staff and associates must at all times comply with all relevant laws, University policies and procedures, including the Code of Conduct, Student Code of Conduct, Enterprise Agreement, Code for Upholding Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom, Privacy policyInformation and Communications Technology Acceptable Use policyInformation and Communications Technology Security procedure, Government and Political Engagement policy, and, in particular:

  1. laws about copyright, privacy, defamation, harassment, discrimination and human rights
  2. engage only in courteous and respectful discussion and respect others' rights to their own opinions and beliefs
  3. not publish content that is defamatory, false or misleading
  4. not disclose information that is confidential
  5. not post comments or encourage comments that are racist, offensive, sexist, obscene or incite hate
  6. not impersonate another student, staff member or associate of the University
  7. not post identifiable images without the permission of the individual/s
  8. ensure it is clear that views and comments expressed publicly via social media are their own and are not perceived to be made on behalf of the University (unless the person is authorised to comment on behalf of the University).

University use of social media accounts

(9) All public facing Deakin-related social media accounts, channels, groups, pages or networks must be approved by the Social Media Manager. Any of these that exist without prior authorisation may be amended or removed by the Social Media Manager or nominee, or where necessary reported to the relevant social media company (e.g. Facebook) for removal.

(10) Account owners are responsible for ensuring the account adheres to Deakin’s policies and procedures, including the Code for Upholding Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom, Code of Conduct, Student Code of Conduct, Privacy policy, Copyright policy and Copyright procedure, as well as other University guidelines, such as the applying relevant style guides and Digital Accessibility Guidelines; and that the account is active with regular posts, maintains a sufficient level of relevant content, engagement and monitoring. Non-compliance may result in the account being removed by the Social Media Manager or nominee, or where necessary reported to the relevant social media company (e.g. Facebook) for removal. 

(11) All public facing Deakin-related social media accounts must have at least two administrators with access to the account at all times. When a staff member who is an administrator of a social media account leaves the University, an alternative administrator must be assigned. If requested, the Social Media Manager or nominee must also be granted administrative access to the account.

(12) Students, staff or associates who are designated to represent the University via social media must use an approved official social media account and disclose their affiliation with and role in the University in the bio or profile section of the account.

Policy breach

(13) Any breach of this Policy, including not following directions from the Social Media Manager relating to the use of social media, may result in disciplinary action being taken under the Student Misconduct procedure and the Staff Discipline policy.

(14) Any student, staff member or associate who has concerns regarding a breach of this Policy must contact the Social Media Team at socialmedia@deakin.edu.au. If the Social Media Manager believes there is a potential breach of this Policy the matter will be escalated to:

  1. Human Resources Division for matters concerning staff and associates
  2. Office of Dean of Students for matters concerning students.
Refer to the Social Media Response Guide for further information.
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Section 5 - Procedure

University social media accounts

(15) The Marketing Division's Social Media Team is responsible for the development and management of the flagship Deakin University accounts on all social media channels.

(16) Approvals for new Deakin-related social media accounts are granted at the discretion of the Social Media Manager or nominee, when they are satisfied that:

  1. there is a genuine need for a new account
  2. the account is able to be managed/resourced adequately and in line with best practice guidelines
  3. the account will help promote the University and/or serve its objectives.

(17) Applications for new Deakin-related social media accounts can be made by completing the Request to create a social media account online form. Applications should only be submitted upon satisfying the criteria in the New Deakin-related social media account checklist

(18) The Social Media Manager or nominee will review the application and within 10 business days will:

  1. contact the requestor for additional information; and/or
  2. advise that they are satisfied that a new account is required and advise the requestor to complete and submit the Social Media Strategy Template for review by the Social Media Manager or nominee; or
  3. advise the requestor of the reasons why the request was not approved.

(19) Once the Social Media Manager or nominee is satisfied that the Social Media Strategy is appropriate, the Social Media Manager will advise the requestor that their request to develop a new account is approved.

(20) The Social Media Team will direct the requestor to resources to assist with setting up and managing the account, including the Social Media Guide, which covers governance information such as content approval, moderation and asset security, as well as guidelines on using the correct logo, as per the Brand Visual Style Guide.

(21) Once the account is created, the account name, URL and account owner’s name must be provided to the Social Media Manager or nominee for record keeping purposes.

(22) All Deakin-related social media accounts must be managed in accordance with best practice guidelines and their approved Social Media Strategy.

(23) Where the channel allows for changes in layout or design, photographs and imagery that reflect the University, and official University colours, should be used. Requests for use of brand elements must be submitted via the instructions on the logo, identity assets and templates wiki.

(24) All Deakin-related social media accounts, intended for a current student audience, must comply with the Student Communication and Information policy and procedure, and Framework for Student Communication.

(25) All Deakin-related accounts will be audited at least annually by Deakin’s Social Media Team and contact will be made with account owners of any account that is not being maintained to an adequate standard regarding possible disablement of the account.

Crisis management

(26) During a critical incident at or relating to Deakin, the Social Media Team will assume its position in the University’s Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT). When posting on Deakin-related social media channels about the incident, only messaging that's been approved by the CIMT can be used.

(27) During an incident, users should be directed to the flagship Deakin University accounts to ensure they receive accurate and up-to-date information. 

Monitoring and managing issues

(28) Account owners are responsible for overall monitoring and the escalation process for any issues related to their account.

(29) If a post or an account attracts significant negative commentary, the Social Media Team must be notified by emailing socialmedia@deakin.edu.au. The post in question should be monitored at a higher frequency by the account owners until the negative commentary has subsided, avoid engaging with the commentary where possible and refer to the instructions within the Social Media Response Guide.

(30) High risk comments, such as serious accusations, death threats, threats of violence or self-harm, racist comments, homophobic comments, sexual or gender harassment statements, or discussions of illegal activity require immediate action by the account owner who must follow the directions in the Social Media Response Guide and contact the necessary stakeholders listed.

(31) The Social Media Manager or nominee may remove or direct the removal of any comments, posts or accounts deemed non-compliant. Non-compliance includes breaching this or any other policy, procedure or law, or failure to adequately manage or maintain the account.

(32) Individuals who are the target of comments on social media that they consider to be non-compliant, or who see issues online that the University may not yet be aware of, must email the Social Media Team at socialmedia@deakin.edu.au.

(33) If an individual is reported to the Social Media Team for making non-compliant comments from a personal social media account, it may be considered a breach of this Policy.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(34) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. account owner: any person held accountable for the ownership of a University social media account. Account owners are usually those people who have created the account or work in a role with primary responsibility to monitor, moderate and post content on a particular social media account(s).
  2. administrator: any person (including the account owner) who is granted administrative access to a social media account.
  3. brand: as defined in the Brand Visual Style Guide.
  4. Critical incident: as defined in the Critical Incident Management policy.
  5. Deakin-related social media account: a social media account that references Deakin or an entity of Deakin in either its title or profile and is created or administered by or for a Deakin employee arising out of the context of their Deakin employment.
  6. flagship account: a social media account that is managed by the Social Media Team and represents the organisation as a whole, rather than an entity within the organisation, such as a Faculty, Institute or Other Area. The current flagship accounts are:
    1. Facebook (@deakinuniversity)
    2. Twitter (@deakin)
    3. Instagram (@deakinuniversity)
    4. LinkedIn (Deakin University)
    5. YouTube (@deakinuniversity)
    6. Snapchat (@deakinuni)
    7. Tiktok (@DeakinUni).
  7. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Facilities, Services and Materials: as defined in the Information and Communication Technology Acceptable Use policy.
  8. Non-compliant/non-compliance: any account or account holder not adhering to, or in breach of the rules outlined in this policy when using social media
  9. nominee: another staff member, nominated by the Social Media Manager, who is a member of the Social Media Team or Marketing Division.
  10. social media or social media platform: refers broadly to internet and mobile-based channels and tools that allow users to interact, voice opinions, and create and share content – via written comments, video or audio files – and encourage participation and engagement in building communities or networks (including, but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube, as well as blogs, forums, discussion boards, wikis and groups).
  11. social media account: a user profile or group established on a social media platform to enable use of that social media platform.