Chatham University

Guidelines for Social Media Usage

Social media is an integral part of our culture, and for many, our daily lives. To help our students successfully navigate today's social media landscape and platforms, we have developed the following guidelines and resources.

A Public Platform

Social media is an inherently social and public platform, built on the very idea of sharing. Keep this in mind and remember when using social media that almost everything you do or say is (or can be made) public.

The reality is that with digital content today, there truly is no such thing as a private conversation since what you say or do on social media can be easily shared, screen captured and/or forwarded to others (even if you thought it was a private conversation). It is also a very real possibility that what you post today will continue to turn up years from now on the Internet during and after your time at college.

Personal Responsibility

As you would in face-to-face individual or group conversations, use your best judgment in all that you choose to do or say on social media. You are responsible for what you post and can be held legally responsible by individuals or organizations for violating the law with posts that are threatening, obscene, a violation of intellectual property rights or privacy laws, libelous or otherwise injurious or illegal. In addition, these type of posts can also make you subject to the disciplinary actions of the University Student Honor Code and other applicable University policies and standards of conduct.

Copyright & Fair Use Laws

Respect copyright law in all that you do, say and post. Copyright is a form of intellectual property law that protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.

Fair use allows portions of certain works to be used without consent under specific situations; however, the safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material.

Social Media Platform Terms of Use

Obey the terms of use for all social media platforms. These are constantly changing, and it is your duty to stay up to date. Below are links to the Terms of Use for some of the more popular platforms:

If you have any questions or additional suggestions related to these guidelines, please contact the Office of Marketing & Communications at and/or the Office of Student Affairs at