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Social network sites are web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site.

Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), article 11

Some examples of social networks include Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, You Tube, Linked-In, Instagram, and others. 

Students should refrain from any behavior that might reflect badly on themselves, their families, and/or GSW. Such behavior includes any activities conducted online.

Students are not restricted from using any online social network site and/or digital platform. However, users must understand that any content they make public via online social networks or digital platforms is expected to follow acceptable social behaviors and also to comply with the federal government, Georgia, and GSW rules and regulations.

Please keep the following guidelines in mind as you participate on social networking web sites:

  • Before participating in any online community, understand that anything posted online is available to anyone in the world. Any text or photo placed online is completely out of your control the moment it is placed online – even if you limit access to your site.
  • You should not post information, photos, or other items online that could reflect negatively on you, your family, or Georgia Southwestern State University.
  • You should not post your home address, local address, phone number(s), birth date, or other personal information, as well as your whereabouts or your plans. By doing so, you could be opening up yourself or others to predators.
  • Individuals may and will monitor these web sites.
  • Potential employers, internship supervisors, graduate program personnel, and scholarship committees now search these sites to screen candidates and applications.

The malicious use of online social networks, including derogatory language about any member of the GSW community; demeaning statements about or threats to any third party; incriminating photos or statements depicting hazing, sexual harassment, vandalism, stalking, underage drinking, illegal drug use, or any other inappropriate behavior, will be subject to disciplinary action by the appropriate GSW personnel.

Failure to agree and adhere to this policy, once documented, may result in a range of sanctions, as outlined in GSW’s Student Code of Conduct, depending upon the circumstances.

Violations of University policy or evidence of such violations in the content of social networks or digital platforms are subject to investigation and sanction. They are also subject to investigation by law enforcement agencies, if the evidence or circumstances warrant such action.

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