On Saturday, Facebook officially entered its teenage years—meaning it’s been 13 years since a then-unknown Harvard student wrote the code that would evolve from a program to connect college students to one that today serves nearly 1.5 billion users worldwide. Over the succeeding years, many other social sites emerged, dramatically altering how we interact with one another.

Case Western Reserve alone has more than 1,200 social media accounts affiliated with the university. Their use of the university’s name and/or logo means their posts reflect on Case Western Reserve—yet, to date, the university has applied virtually no regulation to their use. If someone managing an account leaves the university and stops posting, for example, no process has existed to take down the account or pass ownership to another within the department.

Effective today, the university has a social media policy that directly addresses such issues and also provides guidance regarding best practices in this realm. It is available for review at case.edu/umc/marketing/social-media.

As social media is an expansive world, the policy is extensive. Anyone representing the university in an official capacity should read the document in full, but we’ve pulled out five crucial highlights social media administrators need to know.

Please note: The points below, and the overall policy, reference official social media accounts—or those that speak on behalf of a segment of the university (e.g. a department, school, team or office). It does not apply to student organizations. The policy does include a specific section on personal use of social media, but the purpose is not to manage personal pages. All academic freedoms extend to individual use of social media.

Key Points

  1. All accounts that cite the university’s name or use its logo must be registered with University Marketing and Communications. Registration includes providing the contact information of the person managing it as well as that of a backup administrator.
  2. Existing accounts must be registered by Feb. 28; beginning today, all new accounts must be registered before they are created.
  3. All university-affiliated Facebook accounts now must use Facebook Business Manager and provide administrator rights to University Marketing and Communications. UMC will request access to your page after registration. This access exists to ensure that a central entity has the ability to hide or remove a derogatory or threatening post directly if the official administrator for the account cannot be reached in a timely way. It also provides an additional level of access in case someone leaves the university without sharing login information.
  4. Representatives from University Marketing and Communications will contact administrators of inactive accounts to determine whether the account should continue or close.
  5. All passwords for university social media accounts should be updated every 180 days, or when the person managing it leaves the university.

To read the full policy, visit case.edu/umc/marketing/social-media. Again, administrators of existing accounts must register by Feb. 28; all new accounts must be registered before launch.

Questions? Email socialmedia@case.edu.