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Social Media | Policies | CSUSM

Social Media

Definition: Social media is an important method of communicating with the campus and the community. Social media can include communication media intended to create and exchange information among and between organizations, communities and individuals. Examples of social media sites include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. This policy is intended to help ensure that campus use of social media promotes CSUSM’s institutional mission and organization goals, and creates a positive impact on the campus and community.
Authority: CSUSM President
Scope: This policy applies to social media used by campus employees and student representatives for official campus purposes. This includes social media sites or communication “feeds” created for and identified with the campus, campus organizations, departments, centers, etc. Additionally, this policy applies to individuals using campus identities to post or communicate as representing the campus. (Example: A posting to a community resource such as “CSUSM Library announces ”). This policy does not apply to private social media accounts. Posts and communications to non-campus social media sites by campus employees or students who are not representing the campus are not subject to this policy. Campus personnel may not access or request access to social media accounts belonging to students or prospective students as described in California Education Code § 99121. Those persons who both represent the campus and participate as individuals in social media must take reasonable care to clarify that content posted as individuals do not express the view of the University.
Responsible Division: Academic Affairs
Approval Date: 12/07/2015
Originally Implemented: 12/07/2015
Signature Page/PDF: View Signatures for Social Media Policy



A) In response to increasing use of social media to communicate with the campus and surrounding community, the following policy and procedural elements are needed in order to improve campus ability to engage constituents and improve communications.

B) Although social media is often hosted by non-campus entities, content intended to represent an official or campus-sponsored organization or individual is subject to the campus acceptable use policy when posting on an official site or as an official representative of CSUSM.


A) Official campus social media accounts and sites must be registered with the Office of Communications.

B) Each social media site must have a social media administrator.  When there is a change of administrator, the Office of Communications must be notified within 30 calendar days.

  1. Each official campus social media account must be created/associated with a campus email address assigned to a current campus employee or, where applicable, authorized student.
  2. Social media sites must have an alternate administrator who is authorized and provided with access to act on behalf of the social media administrator in their absence.

C) The Office of Communications shall maintain a current and accurate list of all campus social media sites, and provide campus organizations with a method for providing changes in responsibility and purpose for their sites or feeds.

D) Each official campus social media site purpose and/or mission must be consistent with the greater campus mission and goals.

E) Campus social media sites may not engage in advertising agreements without prior authorization by the Office of Communications and/or Director of Procurement, as appropriate.

F) Social media sites representing official campus departments, programs or organizations must add as an administrator in order to provide access in the event of an emergency situation.  Actions taken by the “emergency-access” user shall be limited to emergency events and/or situations which put the campus at substantial risk of legal or reputational harm.

  1. Actions taken by “emergency access” user will be reported to the social media site administrator and to the organization administrator (e.g. Dean of Students, Dean of Library, etc.) immediately, via email.

G) The social media administrator is responsible for ensuring that the content of their organization’s social media site complies with the terms of this policy.

H) Each organization’s social media administrator must regularly manage and monitor content of their social media account and site.

  1. Each social media administrator may remove content that is substantially inconsistent with the purpose of the site.
  2. Administrators of social media sites must promptly remove materials which
    (a) Violate campus or CSU policy
    (b) Serve to work against the interests, mission and goals of the campus

I) A social media administrator must respond promptly to requests to remove content.

  1. Each social media administrator must comply with requests from campus administration (e.g. Dean of Students, Provost, Information Security Officer) to remove content.  If the social media administrator believes that the request is in error, he or she may ask for a review of the request by the Director of Human Resources, and/or the AVP for Faculty Affairs, and/or the Information Security Officer, as appropriate.
  2. When a social media administrator receives a request to remove content from a member of the public, or campus community, a copy of the request, along with the actions taken (content removed or request denied) must be forwarded to the administrator responsible for the organization (e.g. Dean of Students, Dean of Library, Dean of College, etc.), and the Office of Communications.
  3. The organization administrator and/or Office of Communication shall notify the appropriate individual or organization (e.g. HREO, Information Security Officer) in order to determine if further actions are necessary.

J) The campus does not otherwise monitor or review content of social media sites, but is required to act when there appears to be content that violates the law, or campus and/or CSU policies.

K) Each social media presence and/or account must, where possible, include or provide a link to a disclaimer statement, in the prescribed form, regarding content and opinions contained on the site. Please see

L) Content posted to campus social media sites or by persons who represent the campus is subject to the campus Acceptable Use Policy.  This includes but is not limited to the following restrictions:

  1. Posts may not contain confidential information.
  2. Posts may not contain content that is threatening, obscene, or violates state or federal laws.
  3. Posts may not contain personal opinion represented as campus views.
  4. Posts may not endorse a political candidate, a commercial business, product, etc.
  5. Posters must not post copyrighted content without permission of the copyright holder, or must ensure that they comply with the doctrine of fair use.


A) The social media administrator for each site must complete the registration process to be added to the campus social media directory. Please see

B) Each social media site must have a purpose statement to help campus personnel understand the acceptable use of the site.  Please see

C) Purpose statements must be approved by the organization’s administrator(s) and must be provided to the Office of Communications.