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Social Media Community Guidelines

These guidelines are in place to help create a safe environment on ‘The Open University’ social media channels – a place where comment and questions are encouraged. They apply to any engagement with us or members of the community on any of our ‘The Open University’ social media channels, and by engaging with us on social media, you agree to follow them.

We occasionally hide or remove posts where the breach our community guidelines, as follows:

  • The post tried to market commercial goods or services to people who view our page
  • The post included profane, defamatory, or violent language
  • The post was seen to be 'trolling' or included deliberately disruptive comments
  • The post contained links to other pages or websites not relevant to the discussion
  • The post contained links to or discussion of illegal activity or explicit material
  • The post violated copyright or intellectual property rights
  • The post contained discriminatory comments related to or based upon gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion or any of the protected characteristics outlined in the Equality Act 2010.
  • The post is off topic, irrelevant, unintelligible or stated a position or made a point that has been made multiple times in the past, and is no longer constructively contributing to the debate
  • The post breaches the terms of the social media platforms themselves

Moderation

Like the OU, the page is open to everyone, and we want it to be a useful, interesting and safe space. We expect users to behave and communicate professionally and constructively. If there is disagreement, act with courtesy, kindness, respect and an open mind.

All comments on The Open University social media accounts are moderated, in line with our community guidelines (above) and editorial policy (see below), including evenings and weekends. On rare occasions in moderating, inappropriate comments might temporarily be seen by others.

Breach of community guidelines

We reserve the right to:

  • Determine, at our discretion, whether contributions to our social media channels breach our community guidelines.
  • To hide or delete comments made, as well as block users who do not follow these guidelines.
  • To report any content breaching these guidelines to the social media platform hosting the post

Editorial policy

  • The Open University believes in the right to express academic argument and opinion openly and freely as set out in the Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom. All members of our academic community, both students and staff, have freedom within the law to hold and express opinions, question established ideas, or present controversial points of view.
  • The OU is also committed to promoting its research output. Research can and does include a range of contentious issues on which individuals may argue a particular view, that others, both inside and outside the university, could disagree with. Any view that an individual takes on a particular issue is not the institutional or corporate view of the university.
  • Communications follow a standard process to continually highlight research from a wide range of OU academics on many subjects. This includes publishing the authors articles on our own websites and promoting on the core Open University social media accounts. The publication or promotion of academic work of a particular author is done without fear or favour.

If you need to contact us about anything you see here, or an issue that hasn’t been resolved, please send us a direct message via one of our social media channels.

Last updated March 2021