Social Media Policy and Guidelines

Franciscan University of Steubenville makes important contributions to the world, Catholic higher education, the Church, and to public discourse on a wide range of cultural and religious issues. As our faculty, students, staff, alumni, and research fellows continue to pursue the University’s mission of providing an academically excellent and passionately Catholic education to women and men from all walks of life, it becomes increasingly important for our Marketing and Communications Department to share the exciting accomplishments of our University community. Through a broad range of established and emerging social media platforms, our community members connect, collaborate, and ultimately advance the University’s vision of becoming the leading instrument for worldwide renewal at the service of the Catholic Church.


With more than 70 programs of study, scientific and cultural research institutes, and alumni pursuing careers and vocations around the globe, Franciscan University draws on a wide variety of potential stories, images, videos, and other content to share via its social media platforms. In general, the Marketing and Communications Department focuses on creating and sharing social media content that:

  1. promotes the Catholic and Franciscan mission of Franciscan University;
  2. promotes information about University events, activities, classes, lectures, student life, ministry, service opportunities, etc.;
  3. promotes the research, writing, or wider contributions of our faculty members, alumni, students, and other members of the University family;
  4. engages audiences and encourages further sharing of user-generated material.

Due to the amount of content that can be created or shared, as well as how and when it comes to the attention of the individual social media network administrators, some content meeting the above criteria may not be shared, or may be shared on one social media platform and not another. In general, Franciscan’s social media administrators take the following factors into account when deciding where and when to share content:

  1. appropriateness to communicating the mission and vision of Franciscan University of Steubenville;
  2. timeliness or urgency of the message;
  3. how much other material has been posted, and how recently, to a given social media platform;
  4. current social trends that may cause some topics to be either very timely or inappropriate due to similar but unrelated happenings in the world.

Material that may be deemed controversial in nature, including, but not limited to, material that is overly political, politically charged, potentially runs counter to Church teaching, or does not reflect the balance typical of Church teaching, is reviewed by a committee within the University’s Marketing and Communications Department prior to a decision to post or not post on the University’s social media platforms. Any decision to post or not post a given item is not intended as an endorsement or denouncement of the content of the item in question.

Policies and Procedures

Brand Identity Usage

Official University accounts must appropriately use the Franciscan University of Steubenville official logos, fonts, and colors. Any Franciscan University logos or wordmarks used by departments or programs as an avatar or profile picture for a social media account must be approved and unmodified, as directed by the Franciscan University Branding Guide (found on the MarCom tab of MyFranciscan). Please direct any questions regarding brand usage and social media to the Marketing and Communications Department.

Confidential Information

No one shall post confidential or proprietary information pertaining to Franciscan University or confidential information about Franciscan University students, employees, alumni, members of the University community, or anyone else. Information created or posted on or through Franciscan University computer systems or networks is subject to the Information Security Policy, which is available in the “ITS Help” tab on MyFranciscan.

When posting comments, links, or other content to Franciscan University social media, local laws, applicable federal requirements such as FERPA and HIPAA, as well as NCAA regulations and all applicable Franciscan University confidentiality policies must be followed at all times (see Privacy Policy).

Copyright and Fair Use

We welcome suggestions for content and appropriate links, quotes, or media on our social media platforms. However, please be respectful of copyright and intellectual property rights when posting non-original content. For further clarification of copyright and fair use laws, visit the U.S. Copyright Office website.

Comment Moderation

We encourage friends and followers to comment and interact with other users, and expect that remarks will be on-topic to the post or image in question. Additionally, we expect users to be respectful of the dignity, rights, and opinions of others, guided by charity, civility, and a desire to give others the benefit of the doubt.

Franciscan University reserves the right to remove comments that are abusive, profane, violent, vulgar, obscene, spam, that advocate illegal activity, contain name calling, are off-topic or duplicate, or that libel, incite, or threaten. We also do not permit messages or comments selling products or promoting commercial, political, or other ventures unless they relate to the post they are attached to and are deemed appropriate to the University’s mission by the Marketing and Communications Department.

Comments are monitored for appropriateness to the topic of the original post and charity toward all involved. It is important to remember, however, that posted comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the University.

Violation of Policy

Franciscan University hopes to host social media channels that are useful and enjoyable to all. In order to keep it that way, we reserve the right to enforce these policies on all visitors to Franciscan University social media platforms. Violation of these policies will result in the following actions:

  • In the case of accusations, threats, or claims of any crime of any sort, Franciscan University will notify the appropriate law enforcement for investigation.
  • In the case of violations or allegations of violations of Franciscan University Code of Conduct as applicable on- or off-campus by faculty, staff, or students, including but not limited to Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Employee Handbook, and Title IX (see Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct), the appropriate University departments will be notified for investigation (report an incident here).
  • At their discretion, Franciscan University Marketing and Communications staff reserve the right to provide warnings publicly or privately, as possible and appropriate, through the social media platform where the violation took place. This may include a request that the user change or remove the offending material or comments.
  • At their discretion, Franciscan University Marketing and Communications staff reserves the right to change the visibility of posts or comments to hide them during the course of an investigation into violation of this or any other applicable policy or law. Depending on the nature of the investigation, the user may or may not be notified either publicly or privately.
  • At their discretion, Franciscan University Marketing and Communications staff reserve the right to remove posts, comments, or ban the given user from interacting on one or more of its social media pages. Restoration of a banned account is at the sole discretion of the Franciscan University Marketing and Communications Department.

About This Document

This document and the policy contained were created in conjunction with University faculty, staff, students, and volunteers with an interest in keeping the Franciscan University social media a place to share interests in Franciscan University. We are committed to upholding the values of Franciscan University and the Catholic Church.

This document will be posted to, or linked from, every official Franciscan University social media presence. As technology and society change, we strive to change with it to maintain our goals. Major updates to this document will be announced on Franciscan University social media to keep our community informed.

Messages and Inquiries

The Marketing and Communications Department is committed to responding to all inquiries with transparency and promptness, according to the sensitivity of the topic, the right the questioner has to an answer, and our ability to answer. Questions and general inquiries can be emailed to or sent to the respective social media pages.

Updated 2-21-18

Social Media Etiquette

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-2)

Speaking all things in charity is a fundamental principle of Christianity. This principle extends to interactions on social media.

Here are some additional principles to keep in mind:

  1. Avoid posting links to your own webpages or materials unless a post you’re commenting in invites you to do so.
  2. Practice respectful disagreement rather than personal attacks.
  3. Provide substantive feedback, not blanket or vague accusations.
  4. Stay on topic.
  5. Be brief.
  6. Please familiarize yourself with the entire discussion before participating to avoid duplicating questions.
  7. You’re a guest on others’—including organizations’—comment threads. Please treat their space with respect and be considerate of their audiences
  8. Respecting the privacy and safety of all, do not post any personal information about others they have not previously offered, including contact information, location, age, or family information.
  9. Never publicly post contact information including personal addresses, phone numbers, or email, including your own.
  10. Social media frequently is not the best venue for discussions about difficult or controversial topics, but can be a great place to find out where to direct a grievance, complaint, or concern to have it addressed.
  11. Assume others are acting in good faith and deserve the benefit of the doubt.
  12. Address all concerns to the moderators or by contacting the Marketing and Communications Department at