Social Media Policy and General Guidelines for the UC Davis Community
UC Davis recognizes the vital role that social media* plays in communicating, collaborating and interacting with students, faculty, staff and the general public. We encourage you to use social media to connect with the UC Davis community to foster a place for vibrant and thoughtful engagement.
As a university committed to the highest standards of freedom of speech and expression, we encourage everyone to get involved and participate in social media.
The following policies and community guidelines are meant to help all members of UC Davis engage with social media responsibly, whether it is in an official capacity or a personal one.
8 Simple guidelines for members of the UC Davis social media community
The following guidelines apply to members of the UC Davis social media community, including, but not limited to, students, faculty, staff, administrators and members of the greater community.
Use these guidelines as you participate on UC Davis-hosted social networks or online in your official capacity tied to the university.
Be transparent. Be honest about who you are. Clearly identify yourself and fully disclose any affiliation you may have with UC Davis; this can be a simple reference in your bio or in an online statement. When referencing UC Davis online, make it clear that you’re sharing your personal opinion and are not communicating on behalf of the university. A simple example of a disclaimer is “I work for UC Davis. Thoughts shared here are my own.”
Protect personal information. For safety and security reasons, please refrain from posting any personal contact information (home and cellphone numbers, mailing or home addresses, personal email addresses, license plates, etc.) on social media sites, neither yours or someone else’s. Remember that everything you post on social media is public and can live on forever, but also could have severe impacts on privacy and safety.
Respect intellectual property laws. It is critical that you adhere to laws governing copyright and fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, including UC Davis’ own copyrights, trademarks and brands. Personal webpages and social media accounts (of faculty, staff or students) may not use UC Davis logos, seals or other campus trademarks. In the spirit of sharing on social networks, it’s best to link to others’ work and give them the proper credit, rather than to reproduce it.
No endorsements. We encourage you to use social media to share information about your work at UC Davis. However, any advertising, solicitation or overtly favorable acknowledgments or endorsements of third-party products and services is not permitted from university accounts, except with express written permission of the university, in compliance with university policy.
Stay on topic. Remember to stay on topic. It can be difficult and frustrating for users to find information and/or to meaningfully contribute to the discussion when there is too much additional commentary unrelated to the topic of the posting.
Inspire dialogue. We strive to create an online environment that is welcoming, mutually respectful and inclusive, consistent with the university’s Principles of Community. Civil and respectful dialogue promotes productive conversations with different ideas and points of view.
You are free to discuss and disagree with others regarding topics relevant to the purpose of the social media platform, but please don’t use ethnic and racial slurs, hateful speech, personal attacks, abusive language, nudity or pornography. If participating on the UC Davis social media channels, be aware of our comment policy and our right to remove content that violates it.
Know the policies and procedures related to social media. UC Davis reserves the right to block or remove the content of any post that violates UC Davis policies. Please be aware of the following policies and procedures.
- UC Davis Policy and Procedure Manual, Section 400-01, Freedom of Expression
- UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment
- UC Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline
- UC Policy on Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy Regarding Academic and Staff Employment
- UC Faculty Code of Conduct, Academic Personnel Manual 015
- UC’s Electronic Communications Policy
- UC Davis Campus Policies: University Communications (Chapter 310)
Be aware of the Social Media Privacy Act.
The Social Media Privacy Act, passed by the California Legislature in September 2012, prohibits public and private college employees and representatives from requiring or requesting a student, prospective student or student group to disclose, access or divulge personal social media account information.
All content, information and views expressed on social media belong to the individual posting the content and do not necessarily reflect UC Davis’ official policies or positions. The university is not responsible for unanswered posts or inaccurate information posted by others.
For questions, comments or to report abuse, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Social media includes, but is not limited to: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Wildfire, Flickr, Yelp and blogs.