Policy and Guidelines
CSUSM’s official Social Media Policy, Guidelines and Disclaimer apply to individuals as well as academic and administrative units who engage in social conversations on behalf of the University. All employees who use social media on behalf of the university are also subject to the Social Media Policy (coming soon). Because social media tools and applications have the potential to have a significant impact on the reputation of the University, we have developed this document to help properly portray, promote and protect the institution and to assist CSUSM employees in managing their social media accounts.
In order to have an officially recognized CSUSM social media account, the following must be observed.
- Anyone wishing to create account for the university must be an employee of the university, and submit a request for approval including the names and contact information of two administrators.
- Each social media account shall have at least two administrators. If two are not available, you may request that a staff member from the Office of Communications help to administrate. This is to ensure accountability, as well as to share the load of posting.
- Naming Guidelines: Naming a social media account is important for consistency and brand unity. Whenever possible, “CSUSM” or “Cal State San Marcos” should be listed before the department, program or organization name.
- Logo and profile images: account and pages should feature the proper University-approved logo or photographs used to display CSUSM’s campus beauty. Where a social media application allows customization of colors or design, the University style guide still applies.
- Be respectful of CSUSM, its services, employees, students and constituents.
Let all your interactions via social media on behalf of the university do no harm to the University or to yourself. Use good judgment about content, and do not post any content that is threatening, obscene, a violation of intellectual property or privacy laws, or otherwise injurious or illegal.
- Think before you post
Understand that social media is public, permanent and retrievable. Please treat your role using social media on behalf of the university seriously and with respect. Your messages can be read by anyone, even those not on your friend/subscriber list. Similar to university email, there should be no expectation of privacy in your posts or messages.
- Be timely and relevant
Content should only be posted if it furthers the University’s educating, teaching or research mission. Assign administrators who can regularly post and monitor content. If possible, create a posting schedule. The recommended minimum frequency is 1-2 per week. Accounts will be reviewed annually and those that have been inactive for several months will need to be removed.
- Follow accessibility guidelines
For all campus related posts content should include available accessibility features of the platform.
Learn more at Social Media Accessibility Guides.
Be clear and transparent
Clearly state your role or title in your interactions with anyone when using social media on behalf of CSUSM. University employees who use social media personally should clearly communicate that they are not acting in a representative capacity. All account should include a disclaimer regarding content and opinions on this site. (e.g. Shared posts and RT’s are not endorsements)
- Be accurate, and correct your mistakes
Make sure you have all the facts before you post. It is much easier to verify information before posting, than to retract it later. Cite and link to sources when applicable. If you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront and timely with your correction. It is best to publicly show a correction rather than deleting and reposting information.
- Do not censor negative comments
It is best not to censor negative comments toward CSUSM left on your social media sites, as it violates the spirit of social media and the principles of free speech. In many cases, your other page fans will come to your defense and counter the negative comment with a positive response. If this doesn't happen, you may use your best judgment as to whether you want to reply officially and respectfully, or simply ignore the comment. (When in doubt, please consult the Office of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org) Comments should only be removed if they elevate to the level of criminal harassment. Please consult the Office of Communications before removing any comments.
Use of CSUSM Social Media
These rules apply to all persons who use CSUSM Social Media channels.
We expect conversations on our social media channels to be conducted with respect. The university's social media channels are a free-speech space but you must still abide by university student code of conduct.
CSUSM respects the intellectual property of others and we ask users of our social media sites to do the same. We will, at our discretion, delete posts and limit access to our social media sites of any users who infringe on any intellectual property rights of others.
State, federal and international copyright laws protect certain types of creative works that have been reduced to tangible form including, but not limited to, poems, literary works, motion pictures, videos, choreography, musical compositions, sound recordings, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, computer software, radio and television broadcasts, newspaper and magazine articles and designs.
Such copyright laws protect the copyright holders from various forms of infringement, such as reproduction (even for educational use in the classroom), control over derivative works, distribution, public performance and "moral rights" such as attribution. Because of the high likelihood of copyright infringement claims, copyrighted works must not be used on the University’s social media without prior written permission from the copyright holder.
Although the concept of “fair use” of copyrighted material permits in very limited situations minor copying and distribution without permission of the copyright holder, “fair use” is not subject to precise analysis and therefore must not be used as a justification for using copyrighted material on the University’s social media without prior assessment.
CSUSM Social Media sites are subject to the campus Social Media Policy.
CSUSM welcomes the exchange of ideas about university programs, issues, events and activities on social media websites. The material posted, however, does not necessarily represent the views or policies of the University.
The University may remove content that contains confidential information, or that is in violation of state or federal laws, commercial or promotion of a political candidate, a commercial or business product or service, or otherwise injurious or illegal.
Obscenities, profanities, threatening, harassing, discriminatory, trolling, or abusive content, as well as defamatory comments about any person, group, organization or belief, are not permitted and will be deleted.
By submitting content to any CSUSM social media site, users understand and acknowledge that this information is available to the public, and that CSUSM may use this information for internal and external promotional purposes.
Links to content or other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the organizations, entities, views or content contained therein. CSUSM is not responsible for the content of those external web sites. Users who do not wish to have information they have made available via social media sites used, published, copied and/or reprinted, should not post on the social media sites.