University of Florida College of Pharmacy Official Policy Regarding Use of Social Networking Sites
The administration of the College of Pharmacy recognizes that social networking websites and applications including, but not limited to, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter are an important and timely means of communication. However, students who use these websites and applications must be aware of the critical importance of privatizing these websites and applications so that only trustworthy “friends” have access to the sites. They must also be aware that posting certain information is illegal. Violation of existing statues and administrative regulations may expose the offender to criminal and civil liability, and punishment for violations may include fines and imprisonment. Offenders also may be subject to adverse academic actions that range from a letter of reprimand to probation to dismissal from the University.
The following actions are strictly forbidden:
- You may not report the personal health information of other individuals, be they friends, relatives, or actual patients. Removal of an individual’s name does not constitute proper de identification of protected health information. Furthermore, inclusion of data such as age, gender, race, or date of evaluation may still allow the reader to recognize the identity of a specific individual.
- You may not report private (protected) academic information of another student or trainee. Such information might include, but is not limited to: course grades, narratives evaluations, examination scores, or adverse academic actions.
- In posting information on social networking sites, you may not present yourself as an official representative or spokesperson for the University of Florida College of Pharmacy.
- You may not represent yourself as another person.
- You may not utilize websites and/or applications in a manner that interferes with your work commitments. In addition to the absolute prohibitions outlined above, the following actions are strongly encouraged:
- Use of privacy settings to limit the unknown or unwanted access to your profile or application.
- If you choose to list an email address on a social networking site, use a personal email address (not your ufl.edu address) as your primary means of identification. In addition to the absolute prohibitions outlined above, the following actions are strongly discouraged as these are considered unprofessional and reflect poorly on the individual, the pharmacy profession, the College of Pharmacy and the University of Florida.
- Display of vulgar language
- Display of language or photographs that imply disrespect for any individual or group because of age, race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
- Presentations of photographs that may reasonably be interpreted as condoning irresponsible use of alcohol, substance abuse, or sexual promiscuity. When using these social networking sites, students are strongly encouraged to present themselves in a mature, responsible, and professional manner. Discourse should always be civil and respectful. Please be aware that no privatization measure is perfect and that undesignated persons may still gain access to your networking site. A site such as YouTube, of course, is completely open to the public. Moreover, once an item is posted on a network site, it may not be easily removed. Future employers (residency or fellowship program directors, representatives of pharmacy employers) may review these network sites when considering potential candidates for employment. You certainly want these individuals to have positive opinion of you.