Social media platforms provide some of the quickest and most direct ways to share information, but with their power to inform also comes institutional risk. Though Oregon State is committed to having a strong social media presence institution-wide, it's important to ensure that messages from faculty, staff and students are strategic and consistent with the university’s overall mission and brand.

These policies has been developed by the university to facilitate legal, safe and effective use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn and more. They will be updated as needed as social media evolves. For specific questions, please contact Colin Huber (colin.huber@oregonstate.edu), the university’s Social Media Manager.

Recognition and Application of New Social Media Accounts

Social media accounts created on behalf of Oregon State University are the sole property of the institution. Creators and administrators of the accounts have no ownership rights.

Before you create an account on behalf of Oregon State University, please email Oregon State Social at social.media@oregonstate.edu, and we can provide support and strategy consultation. Once your account is live, all admins must fill out this online form to be considered for approval as an official account in Oregon State’s social media directory.

Posting on Behalf of Oregon State Requires Specific Administrative Access

No less than two responsible people must have administrative access for each account. This allows for better regulation of content and creates a failsafe if an administrator were to leave the university. If there is no other representative to serve as an administrator, please contact us and we will be happy to fill that spot.

We recommend that a personal social media account should never be linked to an Oregon State University affiliated account, nor should anyone be asked to do so. Please create separate accounts to manage any platforms that ask for linking to personal accounts.

Terms of Use and Content Deletion

Oregon State University-managed online communities are intended to inform users of OSU-related news and events, as well as encourage OSU-related discussion and a sense of community among users.

We encourage you to share your opinions and comments freely about the topics we post but ask that you provide comments that are respectful and professional. If we become aware of posts that are off-topic, represent advertisements or spam, constitute or encourage illegal activity, infringe upon someone’s rights, contain obscenities or targeted physical threats, account administrators and the Oregon State Social Media Team reserve the right to remove them or request removal.

Privacy Laws

Use good judgment when sharing recognizable images and information of subjects. Do not include confidential information about the university, its staff, students or materials on any social media sites. All recognizable subjects in imagery must sign a model release form.

NCAA Regulations

Oregon State employees and affilliates are required to follow NCAA regulations when communicating on social media. Under no circumstance should an employee or account affiliated with Oregon State University interact with prospective student-athletes.

Copyright and Attribution

It is important to spend time creating original content for your social media accounts, but if you do share external logos, images, videos, articles, messages or user-generated content, be sure to provide appropriate credit to the original creator.

Official Announcements

Announcements like university closures, hirings and more will come directly from the university’s main @OregonState Twitter account. Do not, under any circumstance, announce before the main accounts do. Please only reshare updates from main Oregon State accounts.

What to Do During a Crisis

Whether it’s a simple snow day or a threat of violence, there will be times when providing information quickly and accurately is vital. In the event of an emergency or high-level announcement on or off campus, we ask that university-related accounts refrain from posting any content, and refer all followers to the @OregonState Twitter account for more information. Use this copy to direct traffic: “For updates on the current situation, follow @OregonState or visit oregonstate.edu. Thank you.”

In some situations, campus communicators will receive an email with direction. Please be sure to subscribe to the OSUsocial listserv.

Be Sensitive to the Emergencies of Others

When serious situations arise elsewhere in the world, the best thing for an account to do is to go silent. The social atmosphere is an on-topic universe. The key is avoiding criticism from those who find off-topic posts offensive during a serious time. 

Actions to Take

  • Halt all scheduled posts until the crisis has concluded
  • Do not engage with other users
  • Reshare official university updates
  • If you see additional information on social media, alert the police or the university’s social team immediately.

Personal Social Media Accounts

Please remember that, depending on your affiliation with the university, your online activity may be subject to other Oregon State policies, including but not limited to the following: 

  • Student conduct code
  • Human Resources policies, including restrictions on disclosure of confidential or proprietary information
  • Nondiscrimination, harassment and bullying policies
  • Information Security policy
  • Acceptable Use of University Computing Resources

As employees of Oregon State University, what we do and say reflects directly on the institution, including our activity on social media. If you work in the field of communications, what you say on your personal accounts and networks will reflect directly on the university and on your career. The blending of public and private communications is a reality.

Managing Negative Feedback from Users

Negative feedback happens. Hey, it’s the internet! If you get a bad review or someone doesn’t like your post, don’t fret. What’s important is how you react to it. Sometimes, not saying anything is the best reaction, but it’s also important to be responsive. Be apologetic, say you appreciate the feedback or ask how you can help. Want nicer comments next time? Show people that you’re listening. If there’s a response you’re unsure about, feel free to reach out to our team for help.