Policy on Use of Social Media Accounts
Dated: October 11, 2023
Supersedes: Policy on Use of College Authorized Social Media Accounts dated November 20, 2018
To establish procedures and guidelines for social media communication on behalf of New York Medical College (NYMC) including usage of the College’s name or logo on social media sites.
Social media platforms provide an opportunity to reach various audiences, such as faculty, staff, students, alumni, fellows, residents, volunteers, donors, family members, prospective students, local community and academic and medical communities at large, and have the potential to create a significant impact on the reputation of the College.
Postings or comments on social media sites may be seen as official statements of the College due to one’s association/affiliation with the College.
It is the policy of the College that all social media communication on behalf of NYMC be conducted through authorized and approved social media accounts consistent with established procedures and guidelines. Social media identities that imply communication on behalf of the College in any way, including by use of the College’s name or logo, may not be used without the prior written approval of the Office of Public Relations.
A. College’s Institutional Social Media Accounts
The Office of Public Relations is solely responsible for the College’s institutional social media accounts on all platforms including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Flickr. Institutional social media accounts are accounts operated by the Office of Public Relations.
B. Personal Use of Social Media
In keeping with NYMC’s and Touro University’s policies on online conduct, College staff members do not “police” online social networks and the College is firmly committed to the principle of free speech. However, when the College receives a report of inappropriate online conduct, we are obligated to investigate. This is true even when a student, staff or faculty member posts to a personal social media account using their own phone or computer. The College has the right to discipline students, staff and faculty members for misconduct or lack of professionalism wherever it occurs, including online.
C. Departmental, Group, and Individual Accounts
Any department, group or individual, that wishes to create a social media site that implies communication on behalf of the College, whether utilizing the New York Medical College name or logo or otherwise, must obtain prior written approval from the Office of Public Relations and share the passwords to the non-individual social media account with the Office of Public Relations. Administrative departments are responsible for maintaining and updating the content on social media sites in accordance with this policy.
New York Medical College’s Social Media Policy applies to all social media usage either personal accounts or intended as communication on behalf of the College, an NYMC school, department, office, center or unit.
A. Social Media—any facility or forum for online publication and commentary, including without limitation blogs, wikis, and social networking sites including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Snapchat, Instagram TikTok and YouTube.
B. User—a member of the College community, including, but not limited to, faculty, staff, students, alumni, fellows, residents and volunteers, who places postings, commentary or other content on an NYMC social media account or on a personal social media forum implying or representing communication on behalf of the College.
C. NYMC Social Media Account—a social media account administered by the Office of Public Relations or by a College school, department, office, center or unit that has been approved by the Office of Public Relations in accordance with this policy.
D. Department Social Media Administrator—individual from a College school, department, office, center or unit who is authorized for managing, posting and monitoring content of a NYMC Social Media Account.
E. Prohibited Content - content or material that:
- Violates local, state or federal laws or regulations
- Is unlawful, disruptive, threatening, profane, abusive, harassing, embarrassing, tortuous, defamatory, obscene, libelous, an invasion of another's privacy, hateful or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable
- Constitutes impersonation of another's identity
- Violates Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") standards and codes
- Purports to create a contract or establish a fiduciary duty
- Are unauthorized advertisements or promotions
- Are links that contain software viruses, worms, disabling codes or any other computer file designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of the computer software or hardware
- Is proprietary to the College
The Office of Public Relations ensures that NYMC social media accounts portray and promote the College in a way that is consistent with its mission, vision and brand.
College Authorization: The following procedures are to be followed by groups to obtain and maintain the College's authorization as an approved NYMC social media account:
A. Each request for a NYMC social media account shall be reviewed and approved by the Office of Public Relations.
B. If approved, the Department Social Media Administrator and the Office of Public Relations shall work together to create a NYMC social media account and both the Administrator and the Office of Public Relations with have the log-in information for the account.
C. Department Social Media Administrators shall monitor the NYMC social media account on at least a weekly basis to keep the site current, respond to comments and to check for any prohibited content or content that otherwise violates the policies of the College.
D. The Department Social Media Administrator shall have the right to monitor, prohibit, restrict, block, suspend, terminate, delete or discontinue user access to post to the NYMC Social Media Account. The Office of Public Relations shall have the right to monitor, prohibit, restrict, block, suspend, terminate, delete or discontinue access to a Department Social Media Administrator if necessary.
Compliance with College Policies: All Users of NYMC Social Media Accounts must adhere to all relevant policies and procedures of the College, including without limitation:
- Acceptable use
- Copyright information
- IT security policy
- Personal records privacy and security policy
- Privacy Statement
- Website requirements and guidelines
- FERPA/HIPPA Privacy policies
- Student Code of Academic Integrity and Professionalism
- Code of Conduct and Policy on Conflicts of Interest
- College Branding Style Guide and proper logo usage
The Office of Public Relations or a Department Social Media Administrator reserves the right to remove any comments, postings or other content from NYMC social media accounts that are in violation of its policies and procedures or are inappropriate, inflammatory or illegal, or reasonably damaging or injurious to the College or any individual associated with the College. In addition, any sites found to have been created without proper authorization in accordance with the procedures set forth herein are subject to removal.
Guidelines for Content on Social Media
A. Use good judgment about content and respect privacy laws. Do not include confidential information about the College, its staff, or its faculty, students, alumni, fellows, residents and volunteers.
B. Representation of personal opinions as being endorsed by the College or any of its organizations is strictly prohibited. You may not use the College's name to promote any opinion, product, cause, or political candidate.
C. By posting content to any social media site, you agree that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to that content, that your use of the content is protected fair use, that you will not knowingly provide misleading or false information, and that you indemnify and hold the College harmless for any claims resulting from posting the content.
A. Office of Public Relations shall:
- Evaluate requests for a NYMC social media account.
- Assist with the creation of accounts for a College school, department, office, center or unit.
- Maintain copies of login information for all NYMC social media accounts.
B. Department Social Media Administrator shall:
- Request authorization from the Office of Public Relations to establish a social media account for a department, office or unit.
- Monitor and maintain the social media content, on at least a weekly basis, to ensure compliance with all College policies.
- Address issues that arise concerning postings that contain prohibited content or that otherwise violate College policies.
- Contact the Office of Public Relations with any questions or concerns.
- Shall use and participate in a NYMC social media account in accordance with this policy as well as any other applicable College policies and procedures.
- Grant the College the right to use, edit and/or modify all content posted on a NYMC Social Media Account.
- Shall not post any content to a NYMC Social Media Account that is or may be interpreted as a product or service endorsement.
VI. EFFECTICE DATE
This policy is effective immediately.
VII. POLICY MANAGEMENT AND RESPONSIBILITY
Executive Stakeholder: Vice President of Communications and Strategic Initiatives
Oversight Office: Office of Public Relations