Social Media Best practices
Follow these rules of engagement
MIT promotes a policy of transparency. We recommend that you do not blog anonymously or use pseudonyms or false screen names when posting or creating a page on behalf of MIT.
Think carefully when you "friend," "like" or "follow."
Is it an appropriate relationship? Is there a chance for misinterpretation from your audience?
Don't be in a rush—think before you post.
What you publish could be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully and be cautious about disclosing personal details or making statements that you may regret later. Remember: once it’s out there, it’s no longer under your control.
It is not always advisable to block comments just because they are negative. Use negative comments as an opportunity for discussion.
Do not say anything that is dishonest, untrue or misleading. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, point it out, but also be smart about protecting your privacy and showing respect for others. If you have any doubt that it’s the truth, don’t say it.
Don't tell secrets.
It is perfectly acceptable to talk about your work and have a dialogue with the community. However, it is not okay to disclose personal, confidential or proprietary information concerning the Institute or any faculty, staff or student in any form of media. Sharing this type of information, even unintentionally or in good faith, can result in legal action against you and/or the Institute.
Protect your privacy.
Always check the privacy settings on social media platforms. You can select privacy settings to limit access to information that is personal or sensitive.
Respect the privacy of others.
Respect the intellectual property of others.
It is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing intellectual property, including patent, copyright, trademark and fair use. MIT has specific policies regarding the use and ownership of intellectual property. Visit the links below to read more about MIT policies.
If quoting someone else's work, it is best to only use short excerpts and credit the original author/source. It is good general practice to link to others' work rather than reproduce it.
Respect your audience, MIT and your coworkers.
Members of the MIT community reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. When speaking on behalf of MIT, don't be afraid to be yourself, but do so respectfully and with good judgment. When posting on behalf of MIT, it may be best to avoid controversial issues and inflammatory topics. When representing yourself in social media, be clear that the views and opinions expressed are yours alone and do not represent the official views of MIT. Still, your audience may attribute your comments to MIT, so be mindful of how they will reflect on MIT and its reputation. Visit the links below to read more about MIT policies.
Be the first to respond to your own mistakes.
If you make an error, be up front about your mistake and correct it quickly. If you choose to modify an earlier post, make it clear that you have done so. If someone accuses you of posting something improper, such as their copyrighted material or a defamatory comment about them, deal with it quickly—better to remove it immediately to lessen the possibility of a legal action.
Obey the law.
We live in an electronic age that makes it easy to share and download content, such as music and photos. Remember that laws of the physical world still apply to the electronic world. Just because it’s on the Internet and easy to grab doesn’t mean it’s yours for the taking.
Comply with terms of service of third-party entities.
Most social networking sites have their own rules, policies and procedures, and you will likely be required to accept their terms of service before you can begin to use them. It’s always good to familiarize yourself with these rules so that you can be sure you are able to comply with them.
Follow MIT’s policies and procedures.
These guidelines provide advice to MIT staff, faculty and students who use social media to promote an MIT event, initiative or academic program. They are not intended to replace any of MIT’s existing policies and procedures, which prevail over these guidelines. MIT’s Policies and Procedures can be found here: