Social media in your personal life
As a member of staff, you should be aware of your association with, and responsibilities to the university. Social media posts which directly or indirectly reference or associate with the university, as well as any posts which could bring the university into disrepute or impact the safety of the university community, are not permitted.
Remember that anything you post can reach a wider audience than you originally intended. While it is encouraged for people to keep their online profiles under strict privacy settings where appropriate, using privacy settings does not necessarily prevent your content from reaching a wider audience via screenshots, bystanders or compromised security.
Your responsibilities on social media
You are personally responsible for your own communications on social media. You should take extra care when you can clearly be identified as a member of staff at the university.
You should refrain from posting:
- confidential information
- details of complaints/legal proceedings involving the university
- personal information about another person
- anything from a fake account or an account using another person's name
- anything that is illegal, threatening, harassing, discriminatory, obscene, indecent, defamatory or hostile
- anything that will compromise the safety or reputation of the university or anyone associated with it
Using social media as a teaching tool
Staff who intend on using social media as a teaching and learning tool should do so using our social media policy as a guide.
Our Teaching Excellence webpages and Moodle have specific guidance on processes, tools and techniques that can support teaching and learning excellence.
Freedom of speech & academic freedom
As a university, freedom of speech and academic freedom are extremely important to us.
The social media policy in no way restricts staff members freedom of speech, this is covered with in the Free Speech and Academic Freedom policy and the staff social media policy makes reference to this policy.
Guidelines for appropriate use
Social media offers lots of opportunity to engage with others to collaborate, share research, ideas and events. When using social media however, staff should be aware that they are accountable for their posts and the consequences of breaching our social media policy.
This Legal podcast briefing explains the key issues and highlights the university's standards.
You can also find short training on social media including social media awareness, personal social media in the workplace and twitter polices all employees should know on the short courses for staff and students system.
Incidents and response
Staff in receipt of content considered to be in breach of the Social Media Policy and Guidelines for Staff should report it to their line manager, who will take advice from the HR Employment Relations Team.
Prior to making a formal complaint, staff may wish to contact a Dignity Advisor if they feel that the Dignity at Nottingham Policy has been breached. Social media abuse should also be reported directly to the social media platform.
Policy breaches may be investigated under the disciplinary, grievance, or dignity procedures, and anything compromising university reputation may be escalated to a senior manager. Disciplinary action up to and including dismissal may be taken regardless of whether the breach was committed during working hours or using work equipment.
If you have any concerns specifically about safeguarding, please use our Report and Support tool.
Staff who are experiencing challenges with their wellbeing as a result of social media may wish to consult Dignity Advisors, the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or the UoN Counselling Service. Incidents should be reported to Security if there is an immediate personal safety risk while on campus.
Further support resources can be found within the policy above or using the links below:
- Togetherall app - a safe space for staff to engage anonymously with a wide network of people across the world who understand what it's like to struggle with mental health
- Mental Health First Aiders - a point of contact for member of staff or students who may be struggling
- Training for Academics for using Social Media will be available from Spring 2022 on the university website.