Hendrix College uses social media to promote its academic mission, student and faculty achievements, campus events, and to engage with alumni, community members, and prospective students and families. Many Hendrix employees use social media for both personal and professional purposes. To protect your personal and professional reputation, as well as the College’s reputation, Hendrix community members should remember these guidelines:
Be honest. Be transparent about your identity. When appropriate, indicate that your opinions are personal. If you choose to identify yourself as a Hendrix employee on social media, be clear that the views expressed are yours, that those views may not reflect the College’s views, and that you are not authorized to speak on behalf of Hendrix. Don’t pretend to be someone else, as tracking tools enable supposedly anonymous posts to be traced back to their authors. Avoid conflicts of interest. For example, if you are compensated for writing a blog post or creating social media content, see the FTC’s website on blogger compensation and disclosure.
Be aware of your audience and be civil, respectful, and sensitive about the content you create or share. Hendrix supports academic freedom, civic participation, free expression, and free speech, but community members should avoid creating or sharing content or engaging in an online conversation in a manner that would compromise campus safety, exhibit malicious intent, or violate College policies.
Be careful and confidential. Protect your identity. Be honest about yourself, but don’t provide personal information that scam artists or identity thieves could use against you. Don’t publish private or proprietary information about Hendrix, its students, its alumni, or its employees. Use good judgment and follow College policies and federal requirements.
Be aware of liability. You are legally liable for what you post on your own accounts or site and on the sites of others.
Be effective. In addition to using social media, contact the Office of Communications for event publicity support and to share good news about the College.
Standards for Official Accounts
Content shared on official Hendrix College social media accounts is informed by the College’s values expressed in its
Statement of Purpose. The College values open discussion and differences of opinion and encourages comments on social media that are reasonable, related to the topic, and offered respectfully. The College reserves the right to immediately remove any post made on official accounts that is contrary to these values and considered inappropriate, such as:
Abusive, bullying, defaming, demeaning, injurious, insulting, lewd, obscene, profane, pornographic, racist, sexually explicit, or threatening language
Comments that in any way might endanger the health or safety of others, particularly a member of the Hendrix community
Any encouragement or promotion of hatred or violence
Personal attacks that disparage another individual
Inaccurate, irrelevant, or misleading information that is off-topic or self-serving
Material in violation of privacy policies and copyright laws
Advertisements, political endorsements, or spam
Account administrators will follow these criteria when monitoring and moderating comments and posted material on Hendrix College’s social media accounts.
Social Media Harassment
Responding to social media harassment can be challenging, even scary if the harassment becomes threatening. Employees should notify their academic or campus administrator if they are harassed on social media. The Offices of Human Resources, Technology Services, and Title IX are also resources available for employees. In addition to notifying administrators and contacting campus resources, the Office of Communications recommends the following options.
- While the goal of social media agitators (commonly called trolls) is to elicit a response or engage in an online dialogue, even the most persistent trolls typically move on if you ignore them long enough.
- Most social media platforms allow you to selectively prevent others from following you, seeing your posts, or commenting on your content. Know that when you block someone, they are typically notified and may choose to criticize you on their own channels.
- If someone is sharing misinformation about you or your work, consider sharing a brief response to correct the misinformation. While it will likely result in additional posts from the harassing party, it does provide an opportunity to set the record straight. Contact the Office of Communications to discuss whether a response is the best avenue.
- Record and report
- If you feel threatened, contact the proper authorities and keep a record of the hostile or threatening posts. Take and save screenshots in case you need to file a police report or take legal action.
For more questions concerning social media harassment, contact the Office of Communications via Rob O’Connor at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 501.450.1225 or Amy Forbus at
email@example.com or 501.450.1462.
These resources were adapted from the University of Iowa and Pennsylvania State University and modified for use by Hendrix College.