Social networking policy

Updated on 16 February 2015

This policy covers the responsibilities of staff and students and their social media interaction

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Unless you are an approved spokesperson engaging in social networking for the specific purpose of promoting the organisation, everything posted remains your personal opinion and as such, you must make it clear that what you say is representative of your views and opinions and not necessarily the views and opinions of the University of Dundee by way of a disclaimer such as “the opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the organisation”.

If you are an approved spokesperson using social networking, appropriate training will be provided prior to you undertaking these activities.

Key messages everyone should know about the Social Networking Policy

  • Where you identify yourself as an employee or student of the University of Dundee either through content or data you supply to enable a service, you become, to some extent, a representative of the organisation, and everything you post has the potential to reflect on the organisation and its image and reputation.
  • Do not cite colleagues, students, clients, partners, or customers without their express consent.
  • Social networking activities must not interfere with your employment responsibilities and duties and must comply with the acceptable use policy.
  • Information classified as private or confidential is not to be posted, discussed or referred to on social networking platforms, even in private messages between site members who have authorised access to the information.
  • Under no circumstances should offensive comments be made about colleagues through social networking. This may amount to cyber-bullying and be deemed a disciplinary offence.
  • If you become aware of social media which reflects badly on the University of Dundee, you should bring this to the attention of External Relations in order it may be appropriately investigated.
  • Organisational accounts will be created through External Relations for the specific purposes of social network marketing.
  • A list of Authorised Persons to communicate on behalf of the University of Dundee will be created and managed by External Communications. Do not comment on university-related matters unless you have approval to do so.
  • If you are an Authorised Person using social networking, appropriate training will be provided prior to you undertaking these activities.
  • It is important to ensure that other users of social networking applications know when a social networking application is being used for official purposes. To assist with this, all employees must only use “username@company brand” i.e. g.mckay@dundee.ac.uk email addresses for user accounts which have been approved by External Relations
  • Intellectual property, organisational logos and trademarks may not be used without consent from External Relations.
  • Whatever you publish is widely accessible and will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully.


The purpose of this policy is to ensure that as a result of social networking interaction, the University of Dundee

  • is not exposed to increased legal or governance risk
  • is not unduly exposed to reputational damage
  • restricts the distribution of private and confidential information


This policy is applicable to all staff, students and visitors whether for business or personal use.



The Information Security Steering Group is responsible for keeping this policy current. This policy will be reviewed annually or more frequently as required.

Breaches of Policy

Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action being taken against you under University of Dundee disciplinary procedures, which may include summary dismissal. If there is anything in this policy that you do not understand, please discuss it with your line manager.

Further information

Definitions & abbreviations

Social networking – online technologies and practices that allow individuals or groups to generate content and engage in peer-to-peer conversations and exchange of content or opinion. Technologies include but are not limited to:

  • blogs
  • message boards
  • online discussion forums
  • collaboration mediums
  • media sharing services
  • wikis
  • social media – content created or shared across social networks.
  • University – The University of Dundee is a Scottish Registered Charity, No. SC01509 with its registered office at Tower Building, Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4HN.
  • staff - Staff are salaried members of the University or contracted individually by the University to provide a service.
  • student - a person pursuing any course of study in the University.
  • visitors - A visitor is anyone, not a member of staff or student, requiring access to University premises or services.
  • authorised persons –a list of spokespersons or roles approved to produce content related to certain topics.

Further assistance

If further assistance in understanding this policy or advice in relation to this policy is required, please contact the Head of Marketing and Deputy Director of External Relations at r.j.trengrove@dundee.ac.uk or the Chief Information Security Officer at g.mckay@dundee.ac.uk.

Equality Impact Assessment

Please note the Equality Impact Assessment will be carried out at the next review date.

Corporate information category IT