Social Media – Personal Use

Social media such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are powerful, web-based communications tools that were designed to connect friends and family with one another. These sites can have a significant impact on a person’s reputation, relationships, and livelihood. The following guidelines offer recommendations to Mizzou employees on how to balance their personal uses of social media sites, while protecting themselves.

Guidelines for Personal Use of Social Media

The guidelines for personal use of social media are not intended to and do not limit your right to engage in protected concerted activities related to terms and conditions of employment.

1. The line between professional and personal business is sometimes blurred:

Be thoughtful about your posting’s content and potential audiences.

Be honest about your identity. In personal posts, you may identify yourself as a University faculty or staff member. However, please be clear that you are sharing your views as an individual, not as a representative of the University.

2. Even when you are personally engaging on social media, a University of Missouri affiliation on your profile has the ability to affect the University as a whole.

If you identify your affiliation with the University in your profile or comments, other users will naturally associate you with the University.

You should always think before you post, be civil to others and their opinions and not post personal information about others unless you have their permission.

3. Do not post confidential or proprietary information about the University of Missouri, its students, its alumni or your fellow employees.

Use good ethical judgment and follow University policies (including our Information Security, Intellectual Property and Privacy policies), as well as federal requirements, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

4. Employees can protect their privacy and reputation by being mindful that online posts will be public for a long time, even after it has been removed from the Internet.

5. To help ensure that no one mistakes employees’ personal postings for official Mizzou communications, it is recommended that employees refrain from postings that have the appearance of speaking on behalf of the University on their personal channels.

Employees are encouraged to share University news and events that are a matter of public record with their family and friends.

Linking straight to the information source is an effective way to help promote the mission of the University and build community.

6. If you include your employment information in your personal profile or in your username handle, be aware that you will be held to a higher level of responsibility.

7. When posting from University information technology resources please follow our Acceptable Use Policy found in the Collected Rules and Regulations at 110.005