Social Media Policy

Social Media Policy

Community Statement

Thomas Jefferson University is a diverse community of learning. To foster the best educational environment for all members of the community, each member should strive to cultivate personal practices that facilitate a constructive and respectful atmosphere as social media platforms are public spaces.

Scope & Purpose

This document serves as a guideline for the acceptable uses of social media – which include but are not limited to blogging, tweeting, social networking, using photo sharing sites, posting or sharing videos online, websites or future social media tools or networks – by Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health (“Jefferson”) students. As students’ progress through their academic work, they should be mindful of their future careers and demonstrate good judgement and professionalism in their use of social media.

Professionalism, Personal Reputation, & Recommended Use

Social media platforms may be immediate in their delivery of content, but they should also be regarded as a permanent record. Postings today can reverberate throughout our careers. Most employers have social media policies for their employees and hiring processes often include social media checks alongside background checks. Employers will protect their reputation and will seek to determine the quality of judgement exercised by prospective employees.

Social media channels also provide powerful tools for professional development. Jefferson encourages students to build their own professional reputations, follow development in their field, connect with potential collaborators, research prospective employers, and discover employment opportunities.

Recommended Use

Being part of the Jefferson community means upholding the mission to improve lives. To that end the mission serves as a guide to our interactions in person and through social media. Jefferson expects that students will uphold the Community Standards when posting on social media and demonstrate a respect of others while contributing to a constructive dialogue.  Specifically, any posting should be consistent with the Community Standards, which includes honesty, integrity, and civility. Any posting by a student that violates Community Standards may be grounds for discipline, up to and including possible expulsion.

Jefferson views personal use of social media positively and respects the right of students to use social media as a medium of self-expression. Importantly, when students identify their Jefferson affiliation, or can be identified as a Jefferson affiliate, they must remember to uphold the values of Jefferson on social media.  Additionally, students must be clear that any such posting is not on-behalf of or sanctioned by Jefferson.

Use of Jefferson Logos

The University understands that students may occasionally note their affiliation with Jefferson in the context of social media postings.  Students are cautioned that any such postings must abide by Jefferson’s policy on the use of its logos and brand. Additionally, students should be clear that the postings are personal and not made at the behest of Jefferson or by Jefferson.

Additional Guidelines

The above guidelines serve as a foundational document for Thomas Jefferson University students. Individual Jefferson colleges may have additional guidelines specific to the college and related professions. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of and adhere to additional college guidelines regarding social media conduct. In addition, students who are athletes, work in Jefferson offices, or serve in student organizations are responsible for knowing and following the applicable policies: Athlete Social Media Policy, Employee Social Media Policy, Student Organization Policy.

Students in Health Professions

Students enrolled in Jefferson programs that include rotations, fieldwork, or other activities in or with a healthcare organization are subject to all policies of their Jefferson program and of their clinical sites. Patient privacy, co-worker privacy, and proprietary information can be compromised through errant posts or references, such as, but not limited to, geotagging, posting pictures from a placement site, or information displayed in the background of photos. Jefferson students should uphold the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act at all times during clinical experiences. Accordingly, disclosing any information about patients you have seen or heard about without written permission, including photographs or potentially identifiable information, is strictly prohibited. These rules also apply to deceased patients and to posts in the secure section of your Social Media site that is accessible by approved friends only. Additionally, students shall not offer professional advice (including but not limited to medical advice, nursing advice, etc.). Students shall also exercise caution in “friending” or otherwise granting access to their personal social media accounts to current or former patients.