Social media platforms and the internet as a whole offer very little privacy. Tweets and posts are immediately searchable. Do not post confidential, proprietary or protected information about students, employees, alumni, projects or programs. Know and observe all applicable university and governmental privacy and confidentiality policies and laws. All employees are subject to FERPA, HIPAA and other laws mandating the nondisclosure of personal information.
Professors, Lecturers, Instructors and Rice Employees
This guideline applies to personal and professional social media activity in which an individual is identified as a Rice employee through a biography or comments. In these cases, a disclaimer should be included in bios or account descriptions to identify that an account is personal and not representing Rice. If the account does not identify the user as being affiliated with Rice, the disclaimer is unnecessary.
- “The views and opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Rice University.
- For Twitter or other similar platforms with restrictive word-count allowances: “Tweets my own.” or “Views my own.”
Professionalism, Accuracy and Transparency
Social media sites should be used to engage positively and credibly with an online community. It is important to monitor posts in order to remove false, offensive or inflammatory comments, as well as any advertising or spam. Comments that simply do not agree with the original post should not be removed. Responding to comments is encouraged but should be handled appropriately, with care taken to avoid responses on personal accounts that could be perceived to reflect Rice. As previously mentioned, posts, comments and tweets are easily searchable and shareable. Also, be thoughtful about any other accounts and users followed from Rice accounts to avoid misperceptions that Rice endorses a certain cause, group or person.
If a member of the news media contacts you through social media for comments or interviews, direct all inquiries to the News and Media Relations team.