Social Media in Public Schools


SocialMedia in Public Schools

SocialMedia in Public Schools

Thepopularity of social media in the contemporary human society cannotbe underestimated. Indeed, it has become one of the most popular waysof communicating with varied entities including businesses andindividuals taking it up to enhance their networks and attain theirgoals. It goes without saying that social media is one of the mostpopular advertisement platforms in the contemporary human society(Fourie, 2002). As much as educational institutions have also takenthe internet as one of its academic tools, they are yet to becomeconvinced about the need for inculcating the use of social media inany of their endeavors. This has necessitated the incorporation ofconsiderably stern policies regarding the use of social media withinits premises or by individuals or entities that are affiliated withthe particular institutions. This is the case for WashingtonUniversity in St. Louis.

Theinstitution’s policies pertaining to social media are applicable tostaff members and members of the faculty that identify themselveswith the institution or utilize the school email address in socialmedia venues to casual conversation or deliberate professionalengagement (Washington University in St. Louis, 2009). Further, it isapplicable to business entities that are affiliated with theinstitution, and goes ahead to ask all students, faculty and staffmembers to be mindful of their responsibility of safeguarding patientconfidentiality in all cases including social media venues(Washington University in St. Louis, 2009).

Amongits prominent policies is the requirement that any individual whouses the institution’s logos or names first obtains the relevantauthorization. Such content must be subjected to the appropriatereview and approval, as well as amendment if necessary before beingpublicized in the social media. Further, any social media initiativemust gain the approval of the Office of Medical Public Affairs beforebeing launched, alongside any representation of the institution onany of the social media platforms. This would go a long way inprotecting the reputation of the institution. It is well acknowledgedthat as much as social media may be an incredible tool forinteraction, any negative publicity pertaining to any entity orinstitution would be likely to go viral, thereby tarnishing the nameof the institution. Of particular note is the fact that the commentsthat are incorporated in the official forums of the institution wouldbe subject to deletion, rejection and even editing in instances wherethey contain information that would result in identification ofpatients, racist, sexist, discriminatory and profane content,plagiarism, spam, spyware, false claims or even virus.

Whilethere is no way of determining the efficacy of the policies inguiding the behavior of stakeholders in social media, it is evidentthat it can be an effective way of controlling the content ofrepresentatives (Bertrand &amp Hughes, 2005). It is well noted thatsuch institutions place individuals of distinctive repute inpositions where they can monitor website content on social media andif possible modify the content or eve delete it altogether. The useof the institution’s trademark and logo is also controlled, inwhich case only authorized individuals would use the same and for theright cause (Sullivan, 2012). In essence, such measure would limitthe use of any information that would tarnish the name of theinstitution and ensure that only approved content is allowed.Nevertheless, the fact that this only applies to the institution’sforums rather than individual forums underlines the relativerestrictions on the policies effectiveness.


Bertrand,I., &amp Hughes, P. (2005). Mediaresearch methods: Audiences, institutions, texts.Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Fourie,P. J. (2002). Mediastudies.Lansdowne: Juta.

Taylor,L., &amp Willis, A. (2000). Mediastudies: Texts, institutions and audiences.Oxford [u.a.: Blackwell.

Sullivan,J.L (2012). Media Audiences: Effects, Users, Institutions, and Power.New York: SAGE Publications

WashingtonUniversity in St. Louis (2009). Social Media Guidelines. Web accessedfrom