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Social Media Policies

University-affiliated social media accounts are required to abide by certain policies and standards. 


Anything posted on Cal Poly social media sites should be accurate and appropriate for all audiences. The social media tools of a unit on campus must be representative of the institution and not the personal viewpoints of an individual or collection of individuals. 


Cal Poly’s social media properties are not moderated for content. However, comments remain subject to the user agreements for each platform and may be reported for violating a platform's standards (e.g. Facebook's Community Standards). Additionally, online harassment and threats of violence may be reported to law enforcement officials as appropriate.

Cal Poly is a state institution and must uphold the First Amendment rights of its campus community members and visitors; this includes on our social media. The only comments we are allowed to remove from our page are speech that incites actual violence or harm, fighting words, true threats, defamation, obscenity, severe harassment, false advertising and any comment that uses public resources for partisan politics.

Before you remove a comment, always take a FULL screenshot of all of the comment, including the original post, and log the picture with the date/time and reason for removing.


In case of emergencies, our communications team will collaborate with the Department of Emergency Management to update the campus community. Only share or retweet content that’s been posted on the @CalPoly account or the @CalPolyDEM Twitter account.


As a participant in Cal Poly's social media efforts, you take personal responsibility for your comments, your user name and any information you choose to provide. Please do not post personal information such as phone numbers and addresses.

Account Management

We require a faculty or staff member to be an admin on any official social media account. Many departments have student assistants who work with a supervisor to maintain their platforms. Each faculty, staff, and student user of our digital communications systems is responsible for the material that he or she chooses to send or display using the campus computing/communication resources.


Most books, journals, magazines, photographs, art, sound recordings, computer programs and websites are protected by copyright law. In some cases, architecture, motion pictures and dance choreography can also be protected. When you use ideas, words or phrases, images or sounds from another source, be sure to seek out the copyright holder and obtain permission before you include that work on social media. On social media, the best way to give someone credit is to “share” (Facebook) or “retweet” (Twitter) their posts directly. You can share someone else's content to your story if you have explicit permission.

Photo Use

Posting photos on your social media sites is an effective way to generate engagement, but it’s important to follow these simple guidelines:

  • Never use a photo from another source without permission from the copyright holder of that photo.
  • If you’re shooting photos in a public space, such as outside a building on campus, you do not need to secure permission from people you photograph. But, if you shoot photos inside a building or at a non-public event, we recommend that you get written permission from everyone in your photos.
  • If you photograph minors, you need permission from their guardians or parents. You can print the standard CSU image release forms from the Web in English (PDF) or Spanish (DOC).
  • Make sure you are following our brand guidelines on photography