Revision Date: 03/16/2022
Original Effective Date: 01/12/2015
Last Reviewed Date: 03/16/2022
Responsible Office: University Communications
Louisiana Tech University unequivocally supports and endorses free speech and free expression for students, faculty, and staff. While the University and its administration do not prohibit university personnel or student representatives from using social networking resources (including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, blogs/vlogs, RSS feeds, podcasts, and postings to message boards), such usage should be done according to standards set forth by Louisiana Tech University for those who are communicating specifically and intentionally on behalf of or in an official capacity for the University.
In addition to university standards, coaches and student-athletes must also adhere to all NCAA and athletic conference policies.
This Online Social Media Usage Policy and associated guidelines are designed to both educate university personnel and student representatives, and to enable the university to guide online social media communications used by persons who clearly identify themselves as an employee, representative, or student-athlete of Louisiana Tech University, and who intend to communicate specifically from that standpoint.
The policy does not pertain to personal social media sites and accounts, or to those who are not communicating in an official capacity or on behalf of Louisiana Tech University.
Louisiana Tech University’s Online Social Media Usage Policy seeks to protect the image, reputation, integrity and mission of Louisiana Tech University through ensuring proper usage and identifying possible rule, policy, and/or compliance issues.
The Online Social Media Usage Policy applies to:
- Academic, administrative and/or research departments that establish a social media presence for the specific purpose of communicating on behalf of that entity and as a representative of the department or institution.
- Student groups and organizations that are directly supported and overseen by, and registered with Louisiana Tech.
- Student-athletes, SGA officers, student orientation leaders, and others identified as student representatives of Louisiana Tech, when acting or communicating as a representative of Louisiana Tech, either through a department or individually.
- Any other personnel or representatives whose communications and/or actions via social media could result in penalties, fines, and/or sanctions against the university (i.e. student-athletes and NCAA and/or athletic conference rules violations, violations of non-disclosure agreements by faculty or staff, violations of FERPA or HIPAA confidentiality rules, etc.)
The Social Media Usage Policy does not apply to:
- Individual students, faculty and/or staff who are communicating using their personal social media sites and accounts, or who are not communicating in an official capacity or on behalf of Louisiana Tech University.
- Alumni and professional networks and/or organizations not officially sponsored by or associated with the university (unless using official Louisiana Tech logos or visual marks.)
- Vendors and support organizations (unless using Louisiana Tech marks.)
Posting content on flagship University accounts
We are committed to highlighting the achievements of our Tech Family on all our social media platforms. We invite our followers to post comments on the content we post on our social media platforms.
All viewpoints are welcome, and comments will not be removed based on the viewpoints expressed, provided the comments otherwise comply with these guidelines. However, we ask that our community maintain a civil and respectful level of discourse on our platforms. Louisiana Tech may review and remove comments based on the following criteria.
User-generated posts will be rejected or removed (if possible) when the content:
- Is clearly off-subject.
- Contains obscenity or material that appeals to the prurient interest.
- Contains sensitive personal information.
- Contains offensive terms that target protected classes.
- Is threatening, harassing, or discriminatory.
- Incites or promotes violence or illegal activities.
- Contains information that reasonably could compromise individual or public safety.
- Advertises or promotes a commercial product or service, or any entity or individual.
- Promotes or endorses political campaigns or candidates.
- Violates the intellectual property rights of any other party, such as copyright or trademark infringement.
- Compromises the safety or security of Louisiana Tech community members, the public, or public systems.
Louisiana Tech also may remove “spam” or comments generated or that appear to have been generated by “social bots” (i.e., content posted by automated software, or “bots”).
Also, please keep in mind that our University’s social media accounts are housed on internet pages owned and operated by companies that have their own policies and standards concerning what may, and may not, be posted and the actions that they may take regarding unauthorized posts. See the following standards and rules of the social media channels Louisiana Tech uses:
Louisiana Tech does not control or direct each social media company’s application of its own community standards.
Louisiana Tech is not responsible for, and neither endorses nor opposes, comments placed on these sites by its visitors. Commenters are personally responsible for their own comments, username, and any information placed on these pages by the commenter. Louisiana Tech also cannot guarantee that any commenter’s personal or private information or usage is fully secured or invulnerable to identity theft, computer viruses, or other malware that may cause harm to a computer system or network.
Establishing and maintaining a social media account to represent Louisiana Tech University
Prior to establishing any social media accounts that are to be directly associated with or representative of Louisiana Tech, its departments, and/or programs, consultation with the department/unit head, dean or vice president, or other appropriate administrator, and advising from the Office of University Communications must be obtained.
The account must have someone specifically assigned to updating and monitoring it regularly, as directed by the department/unit head. As it pertains to these official and approved social media sites:
- Approved university, college or department logos must be used at all times.
- Louisiana Tech social media sites must not be used for the endorsement of unrelated or personal products, causes, or political affiliations.
- Do not post confidential information about Louisiana Tech students, employees, and other constituents. Employees must follow federal requirements such as FERPA, HIPAA, NCAA, and athletic conference regulations.
- Do not use official university social media sites or personnel to interact, either by initiating or responding to a post or other communications, with prospective student-athletes (per NCAA rules and regulations.)
- Do not use trademarked or copyrighted names, images, or content without written permission from the owner of the information/images or an authorized agent of the owner.
- Do not place images of minors on any social media site or electronic communications medium without written and signed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.
- Posting must follow University policy for conducting e-commerce and not disclose business transaction information such as credit card account numbers.
- Posting by students on University social media sites must adhere to the University’s code of conduct.
- Postings may not be used to conduct political campaigning (excluding campus SGA elections.)
- Posting should adhere to accessibility requirements outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Louisiana Tech University reserves the right to demand immediate removal from University-affiliated social media accounts/sites materials which is abusive, defamatory, embarrassing, exploitative, harassing, hateful, illegal, injurious, libelous, obscene, pornographic, profane, threatening, or vulgar language or images, irrelevant or off-topic content, as well as spam or illicit advertising.
Review the Louisiana Tech University Brand website for guidelines and best practices related to the use of social media.