3.48 – Employee Use of Social Media

A.    Purpose

To establish the standards for the use of social media by employees.

B.    Policy

The college encourages employees to engage, collaborate and innovate through social media. Employees are responsible for the potential impact, either deliberate or unintentional, on both themselves and the college.

C.    Procedures

College accounts

The subsections below apply to social media accounts created to represent college groups, departments, programs, etc. and do not apply to private individual accounts. If an employee would like an official social media account, they should contact Communications and Marketing for approval.

Account Administrators

All social media accounts officially recognized by the college must have a web services staff member as an administrator.

Should an employee administrator of an account leave the college for any reason or no longer wish to be an account administrator, it is that individual’s supervisor’s responsibility to designate another college employee to be an account administrator prior to removing themselves from that role. The Communications and Marketing department must be notified when a new administrator is assigned.

Employees identified as administrators of accounts are responsible for managing and monitoring content of their officially recognized accounts. Administrators are responsible to remove content that may violate the college’s conduct policies.


When providing content, an administrator should use good judgment and respect privacy laws. Content should not include any confidential information about the college, its employees, or its students.

Any content that is threatening, defamatory, illegal, infringing of intellectual property rights, invasive of privacy, profane, libelous, discriminatory, harassing, bullying, abusive, or otherwise in violation of college policy will be strictly prohibited.

Representation of personal opinions as being endorsed by the college or any of its organizations is strictly prohibited. Employees may not use the college name to promote any personal opinion, product, cause, or political candidate or view.

By posting content to any of the college’s social media sites, the employee agrees that they own or otherwise control all of the rights to that content or their use of the content is protected fair use. An employee may not knowingly provide misleading or false information and must hold the college harmless for any claims resulting from the content.

When using or posting online material that includes direct or paraphrased quotes, thoughts, ideas, photos, or videos, always include citations. Provide a link to the original material if applicable.

Do not use information or conduct activities that may violate local, state, or federal laws and regulations.

The college reserves the right to remove any content for any reason.

Unauthorized Accounts

Any account that uses the college’s name, brand or logo, must be officially approved by Communications and Marketing. Accounts which are in violation of this policy and do not have the approval of the Communications and Marketing department may be subject to removal and/or legal action.

Personal Accounts

Employees’ personal social media profiles are their own. However, if an employee identifies themselves as a college employee on their profile, information that is posted could be a reflection on the college and may apply to this policy.

Any conduct that would subject an employee to discipline with the college if it occurred in-person can have the same consequences if it occurs in the realm of the internet and social media. Some examples include, but are not limited to: sexually harassing a colleague or student, discrimination, violating privacy policies or laws, defamation, disrupting normal college operations, and other conduct that violates college policy and/or local, state, or federal laws.

Employees must adhere to the copyright and intellectual property rights of other entities and the college.

Employees should manage their personal social media accounts on their own time. Computers, hardware, information technology accounts, information technology infrastructure, and network are property owned and operated by the college. Employees do not have an expectation of privacy in usage of these resources.

Employees are prohibited from using the college’s name, image, and/or brand to endorse a product, business, political candidate, or otherwise to promote themselves as a representative of the college without authorization.

When expressing a personal opinion relative to the business of the college, employees are encouraged to use the following statement to help dissociate their opinions from those of the college: “The views expressed herein are my personal opinions and are not necessarily those of Ozarks Technical Community College.

D.    Definitions

Social media refers to technology tools and online spaces for integrating and sharing user-generated content in order to engage constituencies in conversations and allow them to participate in content and community creation. Social media includes:

  • Social networking sites and applications (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
  • Video and photo sharing websites (e.g., YouTube, Instagram)
  • Blogging sites
  • Forums, discussion boards, and news article comments
  • Other, similar technologies

Due to the rapidly evolving nature of social media and online technology, the list above is non-exhaustive and this policy applies to other sites, including those that are emerging or have yet to be developed as of the effective date of this policy.

E.    Authority

This policy is maintained under the authority of the College Director of Human Resources and the College Director of Communication and Marketing.

F.    Related Policies

3.40 Employee Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures

Intellectual Property (TBD)

G.    Implementation

Purpose, Procedures, Definitions, Authority and Related Policies sections approved and adopted by the Chancellor’s Cabinet on 05/20/20.

Policy approved and adopted by the Board of Trustees on 06/08/2020. Set for review on fiscal year 2023-2024.