The University of Western Australia
This policy outlines appropriate participation of University employees in social media technology.
The purpose of this policy is to clarify the boundaries employees are required to understand about private identity within the social media context. There is the need to be mindful of behaviour that can impact on employees' public roles and the reputation of the University.
While the purpose of this policy is not to prescribe boundaries to an employee's private identity within the social media context,
the inappropriate use of social media, either in a professional or personal capacity, can violate the privacy, breach the security and harm the reputations of other employees, students and/or the University. Such activity may be determined as misconduct or serious misconduct, resulting in possible disciplinary action or termination of employment.
Reference to various University policies, regulations and codes of conduct regarding employee media representations, and use of information technologies, are included for consideration with this policy. Employees need to be aware of relevant policies and codes of conduct relevant to use of computers and networks of the University and social media sites.
"Employee" means a person employed by the University.
"Social media" and relevant information technology includes the transmission of text and images by, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Second Life, Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Flickr, Urban Dictionary and YouTube.
"University" means The University of Western Australia.
Social media technology is now being used not only for online communities, but also as an alternative for 'traditional' business communication. For many people, participation in these forms of communication technologies is an integral aspect of their professional and social lives, which may lead to a blurring of the public face and private identity of employees.
The University recognises that social media is a term which encompasses the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. These activities, and the manner in which information is presented, are dependent upon varied perspectives and the creation of shared meaning as people share their stories and understandings.
The University supports participation in social media technologies, recognising they are:
The authorised use of media forums, including social media, in any capacity on behalf of the University to announce achievements and public comments within an area of expertise, is more comprehensively outlined within Public Affairs' Media Policy.
The University has a particular concern regarding the ease which professional distance and personal use can be blurred. With the immediacy of the media and false sense of anonymity often constructed through internet communication, employees must be mindful that:
Access to the University's electronic systems is granted to employees who agree to comply with conditions included in individual Contracts of Employment and the ITS Conditions of Access to The Administration Network & Systems. Appropriate use of the University's computers, software and online services are comprehensively covered by Information Technology Services Computer and Software Use Regulations and Policies.
Individual employees of the University are obliged to:
Any activity which represents a failure to meet these obligations may be determined as misconduct or serious misconduct, resulting in disciplinary action including termination of employment. Such action will be taken under the provisions of the relevant staff agreement or employment contract.
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Related Policies or legislation:
UWA Code of Conduct
ITS Conditions of Access to the Administration Network & Systems
ITS Computer & Software Use Regulations
Privacy Act 1988 (Cwlth)
Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cwlth)
Crimes Act 1914 (Cwlth)