Managing Social Media Interaction

These guidelines are for faculty, staff, and students who manage social media websites, or portions of websites, on behalf of Dartmouth. The guidelines apply to interaction related to official Dartmouth activities, and to publishing on Dartmouth- hosted websites, such as www.dartmouth.edu, or Dartmouth-edited websites, such as YouTube and Facebook. Any questions about these guidelines should be directed to home.team@dartmouth.edu.

Identify the nature of the site

Determine whether the site is an open forum or a limited purpose forum. An example of an open forum in the physical environment is the Dartmouth Green, which is restricted in manner of communication, not in content. An example of a limited purpose forum is the Dartmouth Green during Commencement, at which time the Green becomes a nonpublic, limited purpose forum restricted to Commencement activities. For a limited purpose website, identify the limited purpose prominently on the site. Note that neither of these forums restricts communication based on viewpoint.

Enable interactive features

Social media websites allow users to post content on pages. As administrator of these sites, Dartmouth chooses not to block or remove posts unless they are:

Exceptions to freedom of speech. Remove posts that are defamatory or obscene, cause panic, use fighting or threatening words, or incite to crime.

Limited purpose violations. For sites with a limited purpose identified on the site, remove posts that are clearly unrelated to the subject of the page.

Violations of the host’s terms of use or terms of conduct. Remove posts that are in violation of the terms of use of the site host, e.g.:

Focus efforts on productive dialogue

Do not spend significant time and resources responding to posts that, while offensive, do not qualify for removal as described above. Instead, focus efforts on promoting productive discussion and dialogue.

Option to disable interactive features

The College official responsible for management of the site has the discretion to disable interactive features on the site if continued management under these guidelines involves excessive time, or for other appropriate reasons.