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New guidelines for staff being "trolled" using social media at work

New guidelines have been published for staff using social media relating to the University.

At Sussex we’re keen to support staff to use social media to build relationships and promote our cutting-edge research. It’s also a great way to keep people informed about University courses and initiatives.

However, we recognise that there will be occasions when staff, in using social media responsibly, will be the receivers of inappropriate communications that are often described as “trolling”.

A troll is usually defined as "an individual who deliberately provokes others by posting inflammatory or offensive content". 

The guidelines are designed to support everyone’s freedom to communicate online while protecting the reputation and interests of the University and its staff and students.

The guidance relates to social networking sites such as:
Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn; Instagram; YouTube; Snapchat; and blogs.

What to do if you have been trolled:

  • If you are the receiver of trolling behaviour, speak to your line manager first. Take a look at the University’s guidance on use of social media so that you can consider your options in terms of reporting or closing down the content.
  • Please report the activity to the press office at as soon as possible, so you can get advice and support to limit any reputational damage or other risk to either yourself or the University.
  • If the content is threatening, please ensure that you report this to your line manager. If you are fearful of your safety, you should contact the police and let your line manager know that you have done so.

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By: Sean Armstrong
Last updated: Thursday, 23 July 2020

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