Social media is a good way to meet others or to hear about the latest news and developments. It is an excellent way to tell people about what you are doing and to hear what they are up to too. But social media also has its downsides: disinformation, trolling, disrespectful comments and even the misuse of data such as photos.
Every student and staff member of Leiden University is a kind of ambassador for the university. We therefore encourage them to use social media and, given our motto of Praesidium Libertatis, will defend their freedom of expression online. But with this freedom of expression comes responsibility: the responsibility, also online, to uphold the values of our academic community.
Eight tips for social media
Follow these tips to get the best out of social media.
- Be accurate, honest and decent
Make sure you have your facts right and state your sources. If you are an academic, you are also one online, and this is how you will be treated. If you make a mistake, admit this openly and if necessary, offer your excuses.
- Respect your audience
Think before posting anything online. Be respectful and courteous, in discussions too. Be open to different perspectives and opinions.
- Be proud of the university
But never speak on behalf of the university. Do not use official logos on your private account.
- Be aware of liability and privacy
Think about copyright. Do not share information about or photos of people without their permission. Do not post confidential information about Leiden University, its students, alumni or staff.
- Be aware of the relationship between your work and personal life
If your profile mention where you work, you may then be seen as an employee of Leiden University, even in your free time.
- Be authentic
Online is not a separate world, so be the same person online as off.
- Take a look around
Look at how others (colleagues for instance) use social media. See what appeals to you and follow their example. Talk to your colleagues or fellow students about whether you want to share things that you discuss in your work or studies.
- Moderate your comments and timeline
Look daily at the comments you receive and respond quickly. Keep life pleasant for yourself (and your followers) by curating your timeline: block or mute inappropriate accounts or trolls.
Leiden University also has a Code of Conduct for Social Media for its students and staff. Read it here
For questions about using social media, starting a corporate account, or to suggest content for one of the university or faculty social media channels or discuss the options, contact one of the following:
|Faculty or unit
(Leiden University accounts)
|Marten Jesse Pot
|Governance & Global Affairs
|Judith van Doorn
Jannet Harthoorn / Suzé Klok
|Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences