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MUSC Student Guidelines
Electronic Communications and Social Networking

MUSC is an advocate for new methods of electronic communication and social networking.  However, we are aware that electronic communication and social networking open the door for possible serious ramifications related to issues such as professionalism and confidentiality.* Consider the following guidelines when participating in electronic communications:

Be transparent about your identity and relationship to MUSC.

  • Identify yourself as an MUSC student only when appropriate (e.g. discussing professional matters).
  • Provide an appropriate disclaimer that helps distinguish your views from those of MUSC.
  • While there might be reasons to register using your MUSC email address, consider changing to your personal email address to avoid the misperception that your views represent the views of MUSC.

Be thoughtful about how you present yourself. Anything you post can have immediate and/or long-term consequences. 

  • You can be sued for libel or slander.
  • Membership in some groups may reflect negatively on you.
  • Companies may use information you post in advertising or for other marketing purposes.
  • Be conscious of potentially inappropriate images being posted of you.
  • Be thoughtful of the content of your wall posts and status updates.

Adhere to professional standards of conduct, including compliance with all applicable MUSC and Medical Center policies.

  • Off-campus and off-duty, you still represent MUSC and your profession.
  • Patients, families, faculty, future employers, and the media routinely monitor sites.
  • Maintain professional boundaries with patients and their families.
  • Do not post anything about a patient (de-identified or not).
  • Obtain written consent before posting copyrighted material.
  • Social networking should not interfere with your professional duties or academic obligations.

Personal Privacy & Safety
Be aware of risks to your privacy and safety.

  • Read the site's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  • Restrict access to your personal information and remember to update your privacy settings periodically.
  • Many social networking sites and mobile applications “talk” to each other. Be aware of how your activity online may update your social networking profile.
  • Consider maximum privacy settings at least initially and beware sites often change their policies without notifying you.
  • Privacy controls are not fool-proof and technology flaws exist.
  • Scams and identify theft exist so do not post detailed personal information.
  • Report any threat of violence to the appropriate authorities.

Computer Security
Be aware of computer security risks.  Social networking sites are frequently targeted by cyber criminals.

  • Do not use any University or Medical Center computer that handles sensitive data or supports critical functions to access social networking websites or personal e-mail accounts without permission.
  • Never use your MUSC password on personal e-mail accounts or social networking sites.
  • Do not assume your data will always be secure. Your data is only as secure as your username and password and how this information is stored.

*Content owners are responsible for posting and using content in accordance with MUSC values, the MUSC codes, HIPAA, and other existing communications, privacy and conflict of interest, and information security policies and procedures.  When in doubt, contact the University Compliance Office (

Please note: Many of these guidelines are also applicable for MUSC Student Organizations who are active on social networking sites.  Please contact your dean’s office prior to establishing a group page or website.
Please refer to the following links for additional information:

Policies and Procedures

Electronic Communications Policy

MUSC Computer Use Policy

MUSC Copyright Policy

University Honor Code

Management of Student Organizations - Starting a New Student Organization

MUSC Disciplinary Policy

Recommended Online Communications/Social Media Guidelines for MUSC (April 1, 2010)

Facebook - Controlling How You Share

LinkedIn – Privacy Policy



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