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Social Media

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
54.01 Vice President, College Services and CFO Director, Marketing & Communications Executive Council Aug. 17, 2015   Aug. 20, 2015 2016
  1. Purpose
    1. When used appropriately, Social Media is an important and effective communications and relationship-building tool. Employees and Students often extend the College’s mission, vision and values into their communities. This may extend into their use of Social Media. Use of Social Media in a positive manner, whether Officially or Unofficially, has the effect of raising awareness of the College and strengthening its brand. (Please refer to NSCC Social Media Guidelines.)
    2. However, when used inappropriately, it can put the organization’s brand and reputation at risk and expose Employees and Students to risks if they are not in compliance with laws and/or other policies.
    3. Employees and Students must be aware that off-work or otherwise “personal” activities that affect the legitimate interests of the College can expose them to sanctions, up to and including termination of employment or dismissal from the College. Whether and to what extent Social Media activities affect the interests of the College will depend upon the circumstances.
    4. The purpose of this policy is to outline Social Media expectations for Employees and Students and articulate NSCC’s position on College-branded Social Media accounts.
  1. Scope
    1. This policy applies to all NSCC Employees, Students and Applicants using Social Media for Official or Unofficial purposes and Personal Use.
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
Account administrator The Employee or Student who manages an NSCC Social Media Account or a Social Media account created for academic purposes (e.g., teaching, learning, advising).
Content Contributions to a Social Media channel, including but not limited to comments, images, opinions, audio, written word, artwork, quotes, and the posts of others. Content can be used (already existing and shared by the Poster) or created (an original expression or work made and shared by the Poster). It is the responsibility of the Poster to ensure they follow applicable laws (e.g., Copyright and privacy legislation) and policies when they contribute Content to Social Media.
Contest A game of chance or mixed skill and chance where a prize or award is given to one or more persons. “Contest” does not refer to College academic awards.
Employee An individual who is currently employed with NSCC to perform work for the College. This includes all employees, regardless of status, as well as current employees who are on a leave of absence (paid/unpaid).
Social media The online channels used to share stories, information, opinions, host conversations and build relationships. It can involve a variety of formats, including written word, pictures, video, audio and real-time dialogues. It includes, but is not limited to, such things as social networks, discussion forums, blogs, wikis, emojis and podcasts. Examples of current Social Media channels include, but are not limited to, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Social Media is not specific to any tool or platform; it is about an interactive use of the Internet.
NSCC Social Media Account A Social Media account approved by Marketing and Communications. The primary purpose of these accounts is to conduct official College business. Examples of NSCC Social Media Accounts include the College-wide Twitter account and campus Facebook pages. Every NSCC Social Media Account must have an Account Administrator.
Official use Use for NSCC purposes such as communication, advertising, promotion, service delivery, collaboration, teaching, learning, advising and other purposes within the scope of a campus or unit’s mandate, including as a designated spokesperson for the College or by an individual performing activities as a part of official duties.
Personal use Use by an Employee or Student on a personal account for purposes unrelated to NSCC.
Poster A person who contributes Content to any form of Social Media.
Student A person who is registered in a course or program at NSCC.
Unofficial use The use of Social Media for purposes that can be connected to NSCC. This includes, but is not limited to, a comment about NSCC by an Employee on a personal account, as well as private Social Media groups established for Student, work or social activities.
  1. Policy
    1. NSCC’s Social Media activity is managed by Communications, the College’s central unit for the management, coordination and delivery of communications services. Advertising on Social Media is managed, coordinated and delivered by Marketing.
      1. Ownership
        1. All NSCC Social Media Accounts are the sole property of the College.
      2. Authorized Use
        1. All NSCC Social Media Accounts must be approved by Communications. Anyone seeking to establish an NSCC Social Media Account must submit a request using the NSCC Social Media Account Request Form. Please note, that not all requests will be approved. This process is detailed in the procedure Establishing an NSCC Social Media Account and is intended to ensure that requestors:
          1. Identify the College business purpose for the account
          2. Understand the responsibilities of an Account Administrator
          3. Secure and document the approval of their Manager/Academic Chair and Executive Direct Report
        2. Anyone seeking access to an existing NSCC Social Media Account must contact the Account Administrator. If the administrator is unknown, please contact Communications at .
        3. Only NSCC Social Media Accounts are permitted to use the College wordmark or the College name “Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC)” in account titles and names, or any other distinctive word(s) or marking(s) that would lead people to conclude that the account is associated with the College.
        4. Only NSCC Social Media Accounts are permitted to advertise or to host third party advertising on Social Media and all advertising must be pre-approved by Marketing.
        5. Use of Social Media for academic purposes (e.g., teaching, learning and advising) must be documented. Account Administrators must complete and submit a form as described in the procedure Submitting the Social Media Account for Academic Purposes Form. The purpose of the form is to:
          1. Document the name of the account and the Account Administrator
          2. Ensure Account Administrators understand responsibilities
          3. Ensure Students and Employees who have access to or who are expected to participate in the account, have read and understood NSCC’s Social Media Policy and Guidelines.
        6. Corporate Relations must be consulted before any Contest related to NSCC is run or advertised on Social Media whether for Official, Unofficial or Personal Use.
        7. Should Employees or Students who have access to NSCC Social Media Accounts leave the College, their access will be removed. Any Employee or Student who has access to any NSCC Social Media Account will provide the Account Administrator or Communications with the credentials (logins, passwords, etc.) to such account when they leave the College.
      3. Responsibility
        1. All Official or Unofficial Use of Social Media must adhere to applicable legislation, including Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), Competition Act, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) Act, Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Human Rights Act, the Cyber-safety Act and the Copyright Act.
        2. All Official or Unofficial Use of Social Media must adhere to all College policies of general application, such as the Student Code of Conduct, Respectful Workplace and Learning Environment (RWLE) policy and the Computer Usage policy.
        3. Employees and Students are personally responsible for the Content they contribute to any form of Social Media, regardless of when, where, why or how they do this. All Social Media use by Employees or Students, whether done on the person’s own time and using their own equipment, may affect the legitimate interests of the College.  Employees and Students should be aware that Content, including but not limited to online comments and posts, should be presumed public, traceable and permanent. Where Employees or Students use College systems or hardware to post anonymously or pseudonymously, they should not assume that the College would protect their identity.
        4. Executive Direct Reports are responsible for authorizing Employee requests to establish an NSCC Social Media Account.
        5. Account Administrators for both NSCC Social Media Accounts and accounts created for academic purposes (e.g., teaching, learning, advising), must maintain a current list of Employees and Students who have access to the account they manage. Account Administrators must ensure that anyone who has access to the account they manage has read and understood NSCC’s Social Media Policy, Procedures and Guidelines. When an Employee or Student with access to the account leaves the College, the Account Administrator is responsible for changing any shared credentials (logins, passwords, etc.).
      4. Acceptable Use
        1. All Employees and Students using Social Media are expected to follow NSCC’s Social Media Policy, Procedures and Guidelines.
        2. All Employees and Students may use their personal accounts to share news and information about NSCC, provided all communication adheres to NSCC’s Social Media Policy and Guidelines.
        3. All Employees using Social Media, whether for Official or Unofficial Use, must ensure all activity aligns with NSCC’s mission, vision and values.
        4. Employees whose association with the College is evident on their personal Social Media accounts or who are contributing Content that is related to the College’s functions should make reasonable efforts to make sure that others do not perceive the Content as being official College communications or communications made on behalf of the College. How this is best done will depend on the platform being used. For example, a blog might include the following: “The views expressed and shared on this (channel, blog) are my own and don’t necessarily reflect those of my employer”. In a particular message, the author may include “in my opinion” or “#MyOpinion”.
        5. All users of any NSCC Social Media Account must ensure that they comply with the terms of use, community guidelines and any other rules imposed by the Social Media platform provider.
      5. Unacceptable Use
        1. Employees and Students must not use Social Media in ways that violate or contradict any law, College policy or procedure.
        2. Employees and Students must not use Social Media to disseminate harassing, abusive, malicious, sexually explicit, threatening, intimidating, illegal information or images or make defamatory comments online.
        3. Employees must not use Social Media to disparage their employer, co-workers or Students. This means Employees may not contribute any Content that would bring the College, its Employees and Students into disrepute or would harm their standing in the community.
        4. Employees must not post/share misleading endorsements about NSCC. For example, Employees must not comment in a voice that is not authentic, such as portraying themselves as a Student, or comparing NSCC to other post-secondary institutions. If Employees wish to make an endorsement, they must disclose their status as an Employee and make it clear that such an endorsement is personal.
        5. Employees must not disclose confidential information in any public forum, including Social Media.
        6. Employees must not post photographs, video or other recordings of any Students via Social Media, except with the knowledge and consent of the Students involved. Knowledge refers to awareness that the recording is taking place and awareness of the intended use of the recording. The form of the consent may vary according to the circumstances. For example, it may be acceptable to announce to a group of Students that a recording will be made in the future and ensuring that anyone who objects is not captured in the recording. At official events, such as open houses, prominent signage may be used. If there is any doubt or question, please contact Communications.
      6. Training, Monitoring and Enforcement
        1. The College will take reasonable measures to bring the NSCC Social Media Policy to the attention of Students and Employees. The College may require Students and Employees to demonstrate knowledge of the policy in order to use College resources.
        2. NSCC Communications monitors Social Media activity and any known instance of non-compliance will be addressed. Any observation of non-compliance with this policy should be reported to Communications at .
        3. Given the size of the College, it is possible some violations may go unnoticed. Employees and Students are to be aware that this does not mean the College condones unacceptable use.
      7. Consequences
        1. Non-compliance with the Social Media Policy will result in sanctions, up to and including termination of employment, or dismissal with cause, or withdrawal of an offer of admission.
        2. Any page, post or Content that is deemed in violation of this policy, NSCC’s Social Media Guidelines or any other College policy, is subject to removal.
  1. Policy Supports
Establishing an NSCC Social Media Account (login required)
Submitting the Social Media Account for Academic Purposes Form (login required)
NSCC Social Media Guidelines (login required)
Use of Copyright Materials Policy
Student Code of Conduct Policy
Employee Code of Conduct Policy
Respectful Communities Policy
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