Social media guidelines

We care about your safety, cyber-security and reputation, so we’ve prepared these guidelines to help you create and contribute to social media channels, blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds and other online media.

Obey the law

Abide by UWA policies. Be careful not to violate copyright laws and always seek permission to share or post about private conversations. Don’t post or link to material that (a) violates or infringes someone else’s rights of publicity, privacy, copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property rights (b) bullies, harasses or intimidates; or (c) defames (naming and shaming or accusing someone online can be considered defamatory/libellous).

Be safe

Think before you click. Exercise caution when accepting requests from people you don’t know. Scammers can contact you via fake accounts and by accepting their request or engaging in conversations, you could give access to your personal information. Review the privacy settings on your accounts and be aware of the information visible to people you don’t know. Use a strong password and change it frequently.

Respect others

We’re all about celebrating diversity, so use your common sense and avoid personal attacks or posting obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, discriminatory or hateful content. Students in the health professions or sensitive research areas are reminded to maintain confidentiality of patients and clinical situations and consider the destination of the information being published.

Follow channel rules

You must agree to abide by the Terms of Service to use a social or online channel. Violating these can result in your content being removed by the platform and/or your account being blocked or deleted and/or reported to authorities. See Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat or Medium for more.

Have fun

Participating on social media channels is a great way to keep up to date with subjects and people you’re interested in and to build a network that may assist with your studies and future career.

Play smart

Anything posted online could be visible to friends, family, colleagues or future employers. Your posts can be searched and shared, so consider the impact. Commenting on a public page or engaging in a debate can often invite responses you didn’t expect. Inappropriate posts or comments could damage your reputation and impact your future. Even deleted posts can come back to haunt you. Posts, images and videos shared in private groups or chats can often end up on public channels.

Be real

Don’t misrepresent yourself or UWA online. Be transparent when commenting on social media. All statements must be true and not misleading with all claims substantiated. Remember any social media account that represents the University must have approval from UWA's Social Media team. Likewise, any use of the University logo must be approved by UWA's Brand and Marketing team.

Lock your computer and mobile when you're leaving them unattended for a length of time to avoid someone accessing your social media accounts. The UWA Cyber Security team is here to help if you’re concerned about your online security. To report an IT security incident, ask a security question or get advice on securing your systems, email [email protected] (attention to the Cyber Security team) or call (08) 6488 1515.

Fake news

Be wary of false or misleading stories on social channels. The occurrence of ‘fake news’ has grown rapidly with the rise in social media activity. Avoid contributing to this problem by checking the authenticity of stories and authors and if in doubt, don’t share it. Facebook provides the following tips to spot false news.

  • Be sceptical of headlines. False news stories often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points. If shocking claims in the headline sound unbelievable, they probably are.
  • Look closely at the URL. A phony or lookalike URL may be a warning sign of false news. Many false news sites mimic authentic news sources by making small changes to the URL. You can go to the site and compare the URL to established sources.
  • Investigate the source. Ensure the story is written by a source you trust with a reputation for accuracy. If the story comes from an unfamiliar organisation, check their ‘About’ section to learn more.
  • Watch for unusual formatting. Many false news sites have misspellings or awkward layouts. Read carefully if you see these signs.
  • Consider the photos. False news stories often contain manipulated images or videos. Sometimes the photo may be authentic, but taken out of context. You can search for the photo or image to verify where it came from.
  • Inspect the dates. False news stories may contain timelines that make no sense or event dates that have been altered.
  • Check the evidence. Check the author’s sources to confirm that they are accurate. Lack of evidence or reliance on unnamed experts may indicate a false news story.
  • Look at other reports. If no other news source is reporting the same story, it may indicate that the story is false. If the story is reported by multiple sources you trust, it’s more likely to be true.
  • Is the story a joke? Sometimes false news stories can be hard to distinguish from humour or satire. Check whether the source is known for parody, and whether the story’s details and tone suggest it may be just for fun.
  • Some stories are intentionally false. Think critically about the stories you read, and only share news that you know to be credible.

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