Developing Social Media Guidance


“Move fast and break things.” This saying, which hangs on the door in Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook office, exemplifies the challenge faced by institutions seeking to harness the power and opportunity of social media in a way that honors privacy and security concerns and general sound practices.

Social media developers innovate at a pace that defies version numbers. Communications may have greater permanence than an author originally planned. Messages may be rapidly forwarded or multiplied, often reaching individuals well beyond those intended or even known by the person posting.

The University of Pennsylvania is committed to the free exchange of ideas, and social media sites are exciting vehicles for facilitating open expression. To promote safe and responsible usage of social media, Pennsylvania has developed draft guidance aimed at addressing issues in teaching, research, administrative, and other functions.

This presentation will describe the process for developing social media guidance at the University of Pennsylvania, including strategies, pitfalls, and questions.

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