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Social Media Guidance

The University recognises the benefits and opportunities offered by social media and other online communication tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Zoom and Skype, as well as University-provided tools such as Microsoft Teams, Moodle and myWBS.

Conduct on social media is treated the same way as any other conduct for the purposes of University policies and procedures. Staff and students are expected to be aware of the standards of conduct required by the University and our community[1] and to maintain these standards, as set out in Our Principles and Dignity at Warwick; and that this applies equally to inappropriate behaviour via social media and other online communications. Social media and other online communications tools also present a high risk in relation to the sharing of personal data. Staff and students must ensure that their communications on these channels comply with all the requirements and policies relating to our expected behaviours and the sharing and accessing of data, as well as data security data protection[2].

Staff at the University of Warwick may occasionally wish to use social media and other online communication tools for personal use at their place of work, by means of University computers, networks and other IT resources and communications systems. Students may also use University computers, networks and other IT resources and communications systems for personal use. This guidance applies irrespective of whether the communication is on University or personal equipment.

The purpose of this document is to set out the required standards of behaviour of staff and students, at all times, when using social media and online communication tools.

Online behaviour

You must:

  • be responsible for what and how you communicate online. Consider your language and phrasing as well as comments on photographs, videos or any other content;
  • recognise that whatever you do online is extremely easy to share - intentionally or otherwise, and very rarely deleted. Do not assume that online content will remain private, even if originally shared in a closed profile or group. Content can become public quickly and it is important to consider before posting whether you want the University community and public to see what you’re doing at the time or in the future;
  • make sure that you have the facts straight on what you are posting/sharing and that you have appropriate permissions when writing about other organisations or institutions;
  • not breach any intellectual property rights that belong to someone else (read advice on the use of our University of Warwick logo and brand);
  • not engage in illegal activity or engage in any activity that promotes terrorism;
  • protect yourself, your privacy, and the University’s confidential information by being careful with what you share and the security settings you use;.
  • follow University advice on avoiding phishing attempts: not clicking links in posts, updates and direct messages that look suspicious and looking out for URLs contained in generic or vague-sounding direct messages and reporting them if you are concerned.

Staff may also need to comply with social media guidance issued by relevant regulatory bodies (for example, the General Medical Council).

University support

The University does not directly monitor student and staff social media accounts as part of its own social media activities. However, the University does monitor mentions of the University and other topics of relevance, so that it can respond directly to those raising questions or concerns about the University. Activity by staff and students may appear as part of this monitoring. The University also uses Twitter lists and keyword searches to identify posts from University departmental or staff accounts with a view to helpfully supporting those posts via institutional accounts.

If the University receives complaints, or identifies activity that may breach our expected behaviours it may investigate and take action. Anyone concerned about a potential misuse of social media by a member of staff or student may report this by making a complaint.

If you are setting up a social media account, the Social Media Framework provides you with guidance. In addition, you can seek support on your personal social media activity or any issues you face online via

[1] Staff, registered students and individuals who are working for, representing, or have an official association with, the University

[2] University’s Principles, Dignity at Warwick Policy, Equality and Diversity, Regulation 29:Freedom of Speech, Regulation 27: On-Campus Residential Accommodation Regulations, Regulation 23: Student Disciplinary Offences, University's Data Protection Policy, Regulation 31:the use of University Computing Facilities, Information Data Compliance, and Working Practices for Protecting Information at Warwick,