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Social Media Overview
Brand execution guidelines

ASU social media policy

The use of social media platforms and associated services (“Services”) by individuals in their official capacities as university employees is subject to the terms and conditions of ASU policies.

Scope of policy: This policy establishes the criteria and procedure for creating an ASU presence or participation on social media sites on behalf of the university, which includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Media sites established by the university on ASU-owned domains.
  2. Accounts on external sites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Medium, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, etc., and any other existing or future platform on behalf of the university. 
    1. View a list of all ASU managed accounts
  3. Personal accounts on external sites that are approved for use or participation by university employees as part of their job duties.

University sponsored platforms

All sites created on behalf of the university or any of its constituent units must have a clear marketing plan for use and promotion. All managers must also have an understanding of university data security policies. To learn more about these policies, please visit brandguide.asu.edu.

Confidential and private information

ASU-owned social media resources or accounts shall not be used to disclose or disseminate any confidential or protected information, including, but not limited to: (1) personnel information of any ASU employee; (2) information that is protected under FERPA, HIPAA or any other legal privilege or confidentiality; (3) proprietary information of others without their permission, such as copyright- or trademark-protected information; or (4) ASU’s proprietary information, without permission from an appropriate authority at ASU. For more information visit ogc.asu.edu.

European Union General Data Protection Regulation compliance

What is the GDPR? 

The General Data Protection Regulation is a privacy law that is interpreted and enforced by all countries in the EU (and Switzerland). The GDPR became effective in May 2018. It is based on the premise that each person has the fundamental right to control their personal data and how it is used.

GDPR expands the definition of personal data

Personal data means any information that can identify a person, directly or indirectly, such as a name, birthdate, address, ID number, location data, IP address, or a factor specific to the person’s physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity.

The GDPR provides extra protection to some personal data such as: racial or ethnic origin; political opinions; religious or philosophical beliefs; genetic data; biometric data; health data; and sex life or sexual orientation.

NOTE: The GDPR protects data that ASU could otherwise share, e.g., names, email addresses and birth dates.

Expressing personal points of view 

ASU respects the freedom of speech and First Amendment rights of the university community. Please be mindful of your colleagues, students and the community as a whole in your personal use of social media. 

While constructive criticism can be a healthy part of a conversation, ASU sites will not allow use that discriminates or harasses other members of the university community or negatively impacts ASU’s reputation or integrity, or that may otherwise violate university policies. The university reserves the right to remove in its sole discretion any content that it considers to violate the terms of this or any other university policy. For more information visit the Academic Affairs Manual and the student code of conduct for social media.

Monitoring

Social media profiles created on behalf of the university are not private and may be monitored to ensure compliance with all university policies. Learn more about listening and monitoring at ASU.

Copyright

ASU values its intellectual property, and it respects the intellectual property rights of others. Permission should always be secured before using someone else’s creative materials, including images, videos and music. For questions regarding copyright, reach out to ASU’s Office of General Counsel.

What is a copyright?  Copyright protects original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. This means copyright protects creative material that is saved, recorded or written down in some way. 

What does copyright protect? Copyright protects many materials, including books, photos and other images (such as drawings, maps, charts, diagrams and website icons), sculptures, music, sound recordings and visual works.  

In order to be eligible for copyright, material must be original, meaning it possesses at least some creativity.  This is a low standard so it is best to assume material is protected by copyright. 

What does copyright NOT protect?

Copyright does not protect:

  • Ideas.
  • Individual words, names, slogans or short phrases.
  • Facts or data.
  • Mere listing of ingredients or contents.

While the facts contained in an article are not protectable, an author’s unique expression of those facts is eligible for copyright protection.  As such, copying word-for-word another author’s description of facts can constitute copyright infringement.

As a best practice, it should be assumed that materials created by a third party are protected by copyright law, and should only be used after securing a license or permission.

Trademarks and licensing

ASU has more than 100 federally registered and pending marks. Proper use of ASU’s trademarks is essential to not only protect the ASU brand, but to strengthen it. Learn more about these marks and how to use them in communications on behalf of ASU (including social media).

Related Arizona State University policies

Additional information