Social Media For Personal Use

If you are a U-M faculty or staff member using social media as an individual and not as a U-M employee, please consider these guidelines.

Don’t Misuse the U-M Brand

Do not use the U-M block M, wordmark, athletic logo, or any other U-M marks or images on your personal online sites as your avatar, profile pic, or in any manner that would connote that the account is an official U-M outlet.

Do not use of the University brand or any derivatives within a personal identity or username, for example: @UMichJohn or @JohnUofM.

Bios or “about me” sections may indicate your professional role at the University; however it should also indicated that the opinions, thoughts and viewpoints expressed are your own and in no way a direct reflection of the official positioning of the University of Michigan, for example “OAMO” (opinions are my own) or “retweets do not equal endorsements.” However, it is important to note that such acronyms or disclaimers currently have no legal standing or precedent.

Do not use U-M’s name to promote or endorse any product, cause, or political party or candidate.

Be Authentic

Be honest about your identity. In personal posts, identify yourself as a U-M faculty or staff member. However, please be clear that you are sharing your personal views and are not speaking as a formal representative of U-M. If you identify yourself as a member of the U-M community, ensure your profile and related content are consistent with how you wish to present yourself to colleagues.

Take the High Ground

If you identify your affiliation with U-M in your comments, readers may associate you with the university, even with the disclaimer that your views are your own. Remember that you’re most likely to build a high-quality following if you discuss ideas and situations civilly. Don’t pick fights online.

Don’t Use Pseudonyms

Never pretend to be someone else. Tracking tools enable supposedly anonymous posts to be traced back to their authors.

Protect Your Identity

While you should be honest about yourself, don’t provide personal information that scam artists or identity thieves could use. Don’t list your home address or telephone number. It is a good idea to create a separate e-mail address that is used only with social media sites.