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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 Strategy Director, Marketing & Communications Executive Council Aug. 17, 2015 Jan. 24, 2023 Jan. 25, 2023 2028
  1. Purpose
    1. 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.
    2. When used appropriately and in a positive manner, whether Officially or Unofficially, Social Media fosters a sense of community, and raises awareness of the College, strengthening brand and reputation. Inappropriate Social Media use, whether Officially or Unofficially or for Personal Use, may expose Employees and Students to risks.
    3. The Social Media Policy outlines expectations and appropriate use for Employees and Students and outlines Official and Unofficial Social Media use at NSCC.
    4. This policy works in conjunction with other College policies including, but not limited to, the Student Community Standards Policy and the Employee Code of Conduct.
  1. Scope
    1. This policy applies to all NSCC Employees, Students and Applicants using Social Media for Official or Unofficial purposes including 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 / Giveaway A promotional 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. Giveaways and Contests must follow individual social media platform guidelines.
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.
Social Media User 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. Ownership
      1. All NSCC Social Media Accounts are the sole property of the College.
    2. Roles and Responsibilities
      1. NSCC’s Social Media activity and advertising is managed by Marketing and Communications, the College’s central unit for the management, coordination and delivery of communications and marketing services.
      2. 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 Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act and the Copyright Act.
      3. All Official or Unofficial Use of Social Media must adhere to all College policies of general application.
      4. Employees and Students are personally responsible for their Personal Use of Social Media and 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.
      5. 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.
      6. Senior Leadership Forum (SLF) members are responsible for authorizing Employee requests to establish an NSCC Social Media Account.
      7. Account Administrators for NSCC Social Media Accounts must maintain an up-to-date 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.
      8. When an Account Administrator leaves the College, they must inform their supervisor and SLF member responsible for the account and include Marketing and Communications. At that time, they must provide all login and password credentials. It is the responsibility of the SLF member to delegate a new Account Administrator and inform Marketing and Communications of the new Account Administrator. If the Account Administrator is terminated, the SLF member who approved the account is responsible for informing Marketing and Communications.
      9. When an Employee or Student with access to an NSCC Social Media Account leaves the College, the Account Administrator is responsible for changing any shared login and password credentials and updating the responsible SLF member.
    3. Authorized Use
      1. All NSCC Social Media Accounts must be approved by Marketing and Communications. Anyone seeking to establish an NSCC Social Media Account must submit a request using the NSCC Social Media Account Request Form.
      2. Only approved 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.
      3. Only approved NSCC Social Media Accounts are permitted to advertise or to host third party advertising on social media. All advertising must be pre-approved by Marketing and Communications.
      4. Marketing and Communications () must be consulted before any Giveaway or Contest related to NSCC is run or advertised on Social Media whether for Official, Unofficial or Personal Use.
    4. Acceptable Use
      1. All Employees and Students using Social Media are expected to follow NSCC’s Social Media Policy, Procedures and Guidelines. An outline for acceptable use can be found in the NSCC Social Media Guidelines.
      2. All Employees using Social Media, whether for Official or Unofficial Use, must ensure all activity aligns with NSCC’s Mission, Vision and Values.
      3. 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.
      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 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 message, the author may include “in my opinion” or “#MyOpinion”.
      5. All Account 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. It is unacceptable for Employees and Students to disseminate harassing, abusive, malicious, sexually explicit, threatening, intimidating, illegal information or images or make defamatory comments online in a way that may negatively impact fellow Employees and Students, the College, and the working and/or learning environment within the College.
      3. It is unacceptable for Employees 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 or 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 and Students must not disclose confidential information regarding other students or employees or the College in any public forum, including Social Media.
      6. Employees and Students 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 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 the College’s annual Open House or Convocation ceremonies, prominent signage may be used. Any person featured in a photo or video for social media must be of the legal age of consent. If there is any doubt or question, contact Marketing and Communications.
      7. Establishing class Social Media accounts for academic purposes (e.g., teaching, learning and advising) has now been removed as an option. Brightspace is the preferred College-provided learning management system as it supports online communications between faculty and students for academic purposes. In programs where the use of social media channels is important to the field of study, NSCC Marketing and Communications can provide further guidance and support. .
    6. 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 to use College resources.
      2. NSCC Marketing and Communications monitors Social Media activity, and any known instance of non-compliance will be addressed.
      3. NSCC Marketing and Communications will review Social Media accounts periodically. Given the size of the College (and that accounts are not always visible to others due to privacy settings), 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. Any observation of non-compliance with this policy should be reported to Marketing and Communications at .
      4. Non-compliance with the Social Media Policy will be assessed and investigated and may result in sanctions up to and including termination of employment or dismissal from the College. .
  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 Community Standards
Employee Code of Conduct Policy
Respectful Community Policy