Current Students

Social Media Guidelines


These guidelines are to assist students of The University of Western Australia who create or contribute to social media channels, blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds or online media. We care about your safety, cyber-security and reputation so we’ve prepared these guidelines to help you interact online.

  1. Have fun – we encourage you to have fun and engage. Participating on social media channels is a great way to keep up to date with subjects and people you’re interested in and to build a network that may assist with your studies and future career.

  2. Respect – always be respectful of others. We’re all about celebrating diversity and as such, the University charter of student rights and responsibilities applies to social media and online activity. Use your common sense and avoid personal attacks or posting obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, discriminatory or hateful content. If you’re a student in the Health Professions or a sensitive research area you must be extra careful about your communications. You must maintain confidentiality of patients and clinical situations and consider the destination of the information being published, see the Policy on Professional Behaviour for Students for more information.

  3. Play smart – remember anything posted online could be visible to your friends, family, colleagues, or future employers and is widely accessible. Your posts can be searched and shared so consider the impact of the content on your reputation The internet has a very long memory and any content you share (including photos, videos, or links) may be found by a current or future employer or others. Commenting on a public page or engaging in a debate on social media channels can often invite responses you didn’t expect. Keep it appropriate and be polite. Inappropriate posts or comments could damage your reputation or a fellow student’s reputation, and could impact your future. You are personally responsible for the content you post. Even deleted posts can come back to haunt you. Post authentic content and don’t post anything you’ve copied or collected from the internet that you don’t have the right to post. Be wary that posts/images/videos shared in private groups or chats can often end up on public channels.

  4. Be safe – be mindful of your privacy. Think before you click – exercise caution when accepting friend requests from people you don’t know. Scammers can contact you via fake accounts and by accepting their friend requests or engaging in conversations with them you could end up giving them access to your personal information . Once they’ve friended you they can spam your timeline, tag you in posts, send you phishing links to get control of your account and potentially find out a lot about you, and then use this information for malicious purposes. It’s important to continually review the privacy settings on each of your social media accounts and be aware of what information could be visible to people who you don’t know. Use a strong password for your social media accounts (more than eight characters and a mixture of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers and keyboard characters) and change it frequently. Lock your computers and mobile devices when you are leaving them unattended for any length of time to avoid someone accessing your social media accounts. The UWA Cyber Security Team is here to help if you’re concerned about your online security. To report an IT security incident, if you have any security questions or concerns, or if you need advice on securing your systems, email (attention to the cyber security team) or call (08) 6488 1515.

  5. Take care – obey the law and the University policies/code of conduct. Be careful not to violate copyright laws and always seek permission to share or post about private conversations. Posting to the internet is a form of publishing and the rules of publishing apply on social media, so don’t post or link to any material that: a. Violates or infringes someone else’s rights of publicity, privacy, copyright, trademark, or other intellectual-property right. b. Bullies, harasses, or intimidates. c. Defames (naming and shaming or accusing someone online can be considered defamatory/libellous).

  6. Be real – don’t misrepresent yourself or UWA online. Be transparent when commenting on social media, be open that you are a UWA student and your opinions are not representative of the University. All statements must be true and not misleading with all claims substantiated. Remember any social media account that represents the University must have approval from the UWA Social Media Team. Likewise, any use of the University logo must be approved by the UWA Brand and Marketing team.

  7. Follow the Terms of Service for each channel: The Terms of Service are rules which you must agree to abide by in order to use a social or online channel. Violating the channel terms can result in your content being removed by the platform, your account being blocked or deleted and/or reported to authorities.
    - Facebook
    - Twitter
    - LinkedIn
    - Instagram
    - YouTube
    - Snapchat
    - Medium

    Before engaging read the Terms of Service (ToS, ToU, T&Cs) for the channel you’re using and be aware of what you’re agreeing to. 

  8. Fake news: Be wary of false or misleading stories on social channels.
    The occurrence of ‘Fake news’ has grown rapidly with the rise in social media activity. Avoid contributing to this very real problem by checking the authenticity of stories and authors and if in doubt, don’t share it.
    Facebook provides the following Tips to spot false news:

    1) Be sceptical of headlines. False news stories often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points. If shocking claims in the headline sound unbelievable, they probably are.

    2) Look closely at the URL. A phony or look-alike URL may be a warning sign of false news. Many false news sites mimic authentic news sources by making small changes to the URL. You can go to the site and compare the URL to established sources.

    3) Investigate the source. Ensure that the story is written by a source that you trust with a reputation for accuracy. If the story comes from an unfamiliar organisation, check their ‘About’ section to learn more.

    4) Watch for unusual formatting. Many false news sites have misspellings or awkward layouts. Read carefully if you see these signs.

    5) Consider the photos. False news stories often contain manipulated images or videos. Sometimes the photo may be authentic, but taken out of context. You can search for the photo or image to verify where it came from.

    6) Inspect the dates. False news stories may contain timelines that make no sense, or event dates that have been altered.

    7) Check the evidence. Check the author’s sources to confirm that they are accurate. Lack of evidence or reliance on unnamed experts may indicate a false news story.

    8) Look at other reports. If no other news source is reporting the same story, it may indicate that the story is false. If the story is reported by multiple sources you trust, it’s more likely to be true.

    9) Is the story a joke? Sometimes false news stories can be hard to distinguish from humour or satire. Check whether the source is known for parody, and whether the story’s details and tone suggest it may be just for fun.

    10) Some stories are intentionally false. Think critically about the stories you read, and only share news that you know to be credible.