Responsible use of social media

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March 7, 2016 by Student 24/7 Blog

Dear students,

The NWU fully supports freedom of expression and the right to protest. These rights are not absolute and are subject to reasonable limitations appropriate to a democratic state and consistent with the need of the university to provide an environment which is safe and secure and conducive to the fulfillment of our educational mission.

Various social media platforms have recently been flooded with defamatory statements and statements which incite harm and violence against the NWU as well as individuals. Not only are many of these statements unlawful, but they also undermine the fundamental values which as a university we profess. Staff and students are reminded that disciplinary action may be instituted against them if they publish such statements, or allow their names to be associated with activities like tagging and retweeting of posts on social media which incite violence, cause harm or constitute hate speech.

Posts such as these are in contravention of both the staff and students’ disciplinary codes and South African legislation and may lead to criminal and civil action against you.

Furthermore, we would like to advise you not to allow your names to be tagged in posts that contravene the university’s disciplinary codes.

Remember, you are personally responsible for the use or misuse of your name on social media platforms. For instance, if your handle or name is attached to content that may incite violence, cause harm or constitute hate speech, you are equally responsible for the publication of such content after you have become aware of it without disassociating yourself from it or deleting it. It is your obligation to check your account periodically for such activity.

Management welcomes and invites all stakeholders of the university to engage in dialogue to take the NWU forward constructively, but will not allow individuals or groups to abuse social media platforms for the sake of enhancing their own goals aimed at derailing stability across all our campuses.

It is in your interest to familiarise yourself with our approved media policy.

Kind regards

Mr Louis Jacobs
Acting Executive Director: Institutional Advancement

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