Social Media Policy

A PDF version of the College's Social Media Policy is available for download here.

The College recognizes the importance to members of the College of using social media in their private and professional lives. Given the constant changes and developments in online interactions, it is imperative that our members are aware of the potential issues and risks that can arise from its misuse. 

This policy is informed by the University of Oxford guidelines on the use of social media. For more information, please see here, downloadable as a PDF here.

All members of the College and all employees must comply with the University guidance on the use of social media.

This policy governs all social media accounts which use Wolfson College in their name or tagline. College members’ behaviour on all social media is subject to the College’s disciplinary code and will be governed by the principles set out in 6 below. 

  1. Freedom of speech and academic freedom are central tenets of Wolfson College, including on social media, and nothing in this policy is intended to compromise these fundamental freedoms. Freedom of speech and academic freedom are protected by law and these rights must be exercised within the law. Vigorous debate will not amount to harassment when it is conducted respectfully and without violating the dignity of others or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.
  2. Responsibility for monitoring posts on the College’s official social media channels falls to the Communications Officer. These are:

    Linked In

    Official College Announcements (e.g. President's messages; notices regarding the Library, catering, college opening and closure, housekeeping, gym and sports facilities) will be made via these channels.
  3. Members of College who set up and/or moderate unofficial social media sites associated with the College but which are not the College’s official platforms must carry a statement that makes clear “This account is not owned, endorsed, operated, moderated, monitored or controlled by Wolfson College, Oxford, and the views expressed are not necessarily those of or endorsed by Wolfson College, and Wolfson College will accept no liability for the views expressed. Wolfson College will not correct or respond to information or views expressed.” Examples of unofficial sites which are associated with the College are sites connected with a particular College club, society or interest group, e.g. Facebook groups for incoming Freshers, Boat Club, Bar, Ball etc. 
  4. Members of college responsible for monitoring posts on any unofficial social media sites must do so in accordance with 5 and 6 below.
  5. Those responsible for monitoring unofficial social media sites associated with the College will ensure that no post breaches Wolfson College’s Code of Discipline as set out in Regulations here or the University of Oxford’s guidelines on the use of social media here.
  6. Members of college using any social media must always treat others with dignity and respect, and shall never:

    a) use violent, indecent, disorderly or threatening or offensive language towards others.
    b) harass or bully others, violate their dignity, or create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive invironment for them.
    c) use racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise inappropriate or offensive language.
    d) defame or libel any Member of College or Common Room or a Member of Staff or any visitor.
    e) publish confidential or embargoed information, or information containing personal details about another Member of College or Common Room or a Member of Staff or visitor, without their express permission.
    f) use social media to promote a commercial venture or advocates prejudice against others.
    g) or use language liable to bring the College into disrepute.
  7. Members of College who are administrators must promptly remove any posts or comments which violate the principles set out in 5 or 6 above. If the matter concerned is a breach of the College disciplinary code, the matter should be reported to the College Communications Officer in the first instance, along with a copy of the offending screen shots.
  8. The Communications Officer will remove and permanently bar any user who egregiously or persistently misuses social media from any official Wolfson College social media account. A warning will be given in the event of a minor breach. The Communications Officer will ask Members of College moderating any unofficial sites using the Wolfson name to do the same. 
  9. Where disciplinary issues arise in respect of the misuse of social media, the Communications Officer will refer the matter to the Senior College Officers.
  10. Members who wish to appeal against the application of this policy may do so to the Vicegerent, who will act as an independent arbitrator in case of disputes. In such cases, the decision of the Vicegerent will be final.
  11. This Policy will be reviewed annually and revised as necessary by the Communications Sub-Committee and approved by Governing Body.

Policy adopted by Governing Body, 28 October 2020