Social media have become powerful communications tools with significant advantages in telling the University's story to both internal and external audiences. With such tools as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, and blogs along with such image-sharing sites as Flickr and Picasa, members of the University community can provide instantaneous content on the Internet to individuals around the world.
With the power of social media come responsibilities. These guidelines provide best practices under which members of the W&L community should operate when using these tools. The basic principle is that members of the community are expected to adhere to the same levels of civility in their online conversations as in their face-to-face conversations. The same laws, University policies, guidelines, and personal and professional expectations for interacting with all University constituents apply online as in the real world. For example, posting hate speech or confidential information about university students constitutes a violation of existing university policies and would be handled as such.
Since social media are constantly changing and expanding, these best practices may be updated frequently. The Web Communications office is available to offer support and advice in efforts to establish a social media presence and in exploring new social media tools.