Social Networking Policy
Social and business networking websites, weblogs, or on‐line communities (hereafter referred to as social networks) such as MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Flickr are being used increasingly by faculty, students, and staff to communicate with each other and by universities to post events and profiles to reach external audiences. As part of Stony Brook University’s commitment to building a community in which all persons can work together in an atmosphere free of all forms of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation when using University electronic resources to access on‐line social networks, members of the SBU SOM community are expected to act with honesty, integrity, and respect for the rights, privileges, privacy, sensibilities, and property of others.
This policy applies to all medical students in the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University.
Students and residents should follow these guidelines whether participating in social networks personally or professionally, or whether they are using personal or SOM computing equipment.
Regardless of whether you are posting items for University business purposes or personal use, you are never permitted to post SBU confidential information, including any patient information.
Use of Technology
Users are expected to be aware of, and comply with, current institutional policies regarding Use of Technology.
Only University employees authorized by their departments may use social networking websites to conduct University business. If authorized and in keeping with University policy, an employee may post on a social network profile: the University’s name, a University email address or University telephone number for contact purposes, or post official department information, resources, calendars, and events.
For example, a student health advocate or educator is charged with student outreach and education within their job description. Student Health Services may authorize these employees to use an on-line social network site to communicate with students and post University resources.
Individuals or groups within the University community are not permitted to present personal opinions in ways that imply endorsement by the University. If the posted material may reasonably be construed as implying the support, endorsement, or opposition of the University with regard to any personal statements, including opinions or views on any issue, or if the poster’s University affiliation is evident in the posting, the material shall be accompanied by a disclaimer that the individual is speaking for himself or herself and not as a representative of the University or any of its offices or units. An example of a disclaimer is as follows:
The contents, including all opinions and views expressed, in my profile [or on my page] are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of anyone else, including other faculty, students, or staff in my department or at Stony Brook University. Stony Brook University has not approved and is not responsible for the material contained in this profile [or on this page].
Respect for the privacy rights of colleagues and co-workers is important in a work environment. If you are in doubt about whether it is appropriate to post any information about colleagues and co-workers, ask for their explicit permission – preferably in writing. Making demeaning or insulting comments about colleagues or co-workers to third parties is unprofessional behavior. Such comments may also breach the University’s codes of behavior regarding harassment, including the Code of Student Conduct and the Sexual Harassment Policy.
D. Posting Information Concerning Hospitals or Other Institutions
Be aware of the need for the hospital, the University and other institutions to maintain the public trust. Consult with the appropriate resources such as the Office of Media Relations or the Medical Education Office, for advice in reference to posting material that might identify the institution.
E. Offering Medical Advice
Do not misrepresent your qualifications. As a trainee, provision of medical advice must be supervised by a licensed physician at all times.
Postings on social network sites are subject to the University’s policies, including but not limited to, the Code of Student Conduct, Sexual Harassment and Use of Technology policy. Students may be subject to disciplinary actions for violations of University policy, up to and including dismissal or termination.
Respect copyright or trademark laws. If you post content, photos or other images, you are implying that you own or have the right to use those items.
University logos may not be used on any social media site unless approved in advance in accordance with University policy.
Any information you post on the internet is public information. You are responsible for knowing how to use social network sites, managing any information you share on such sites, and for being compliant with all applicable website and University policies.
Since information posted on the internet is public, Stony Brook University may monitor social networking sites and, as with other electronic resources, University systems administrators may perform activities necessary to ensure the integrity, functionality, and security of the University’s electronic resources. Remember, other employers, organizations, and individuals may also monitor and share information they find on social networking websites.
All professionals have a collective professional duty to assure appropriate behavior, particularly in matters of privacy and confidentiality. A person who has reason to believe that another person has contravened these guidelines should approach his/her immediate supervisor/program director for advice. An individual may also complain in writing to the Vice Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education.
These guidelines were developed after a review of the medical literature as of 2/2/10 as well as reviewing resources and guidelines available from other schools at the AAMC websites.
Resources used include:
Policy Documents reviewed include:
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