Digital Mass Communications and Content Policy

Digital Mass Communications and Content Policy

Abstract:
This policy governs the use or creation of digital mass communications or digital content in pursuit of official UAB business or in association with the UAB brand.
Effective Date:
5/28/2014
Contacts:
None Assigned
Administrative Category:
Applies To:
Faculty, Staff, Students
Keyword(s):
Material Original Source:

 

University of Alabama at Birmingham

DIGITAL MASS COMMUNICATIONS AND CONTENT POLICY

May 28, 2014

(Replaces World Wide Web Pages Policy effective August 17, 2004)

 
 

See also:

UAB Information Technology Guidelines
UAB Brand Standards
UAB Human Resources Policies and Procedures
Data Protection and Security Policy

Acceptable Use of Computer and Network Resources
Network Usage Guidelines

Background

This policy governs the use or creation of digital mass communications and digital content in pursuit of official UAB business and in association with the UAB brand and sets forth expectations for oversight, requirements, and privileges.  This includes the people, processes and technology necessary for such efforts.  The purpose of this policy is to promote consistency in UAB’s official public presentation, provide resources to individuals responsible for creating and maintaining digital mass communications and digital content, and reduce legal and regulatory risks related to privacy and security.

Definitions

Digital mass communications and digital content (“content”) as defined in this policy includes all communications, content, and assets used to interact with public audiences and to undertake official UAB business or otherwise further the mission of UAB.  Categories of content include, but are not limited to:

  • Internally and externally hosted web sites, web pages, and web-based assets;
  • Internally and externally hosted intranets or portals;
  • Social media sites and tools;
  • Mass messaging to include SMS and email; and
  • Mobile-based assets including mobile applications.
  • Personal or private communications are not covered in this policy, although they are governed by other policies, procedures, and standards, including the UAB Enterprise Code of Conduct.
    Policy Statement
     
    UAB encourages faculty, staff, and students to communicate freely and openly to advance its missions of education, research, and service in accordance with existing laws, regulations, policies, and contractual obligations. 
     
    Individuals creating and maintaining digital mass communications or digital content (“content”) are responsible for adherence to the following requirements:
     
    1.    Content must not constitute a copyright or trademark infringement and must not otherwise violate any applicable laws or UAB policy.  To the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of any page, taken as a whole, shall not appeal to the prurient interest, such as pornography.
     
      Content must be:
    • Accurate, factual, and current;
    • Composed in accordance with the UAB Brand Standards and UAB Web Content Guidelines, unless an exception is granted by the UAB Digital Communication Operating Committee;
    • In compliance with all applicable copyright rules and regulations;
    • In compliance with applicable laws and regulations, particularly those which protect individual privacy and/or confidentiality (e.g., HIPAA, FERPA); and
    • In compliance with all other applicable UAB policies, including but not limited to Acceptable Use of Computer and Network Resources, which restricts use of UAB assets for personal or other for-profit purposes.
     
    2.    Content that collects sensitive information that may be covered by regulatory requirements or contractual obligations must receive approval from the Office of UAB IT Security.
     
    3.    Content must be limited to legitimate pursuits in furtherance of UAB's mission; no other content is supported by UAB.  Content should not promote commercial (i.e., for-profit) ventures and should not be used to communicate about such ventures or as a repository for information about such ventures.  Content must not accept or display paid external advertisements as stand-alone elements without explicit exception from the UAB Digital Communication Operating Committee.
     
    4.    Content must include, or must provide a link to, the below statement.  It is recognized that some media have technical restrictions or other limitations, including aspects of layout and readability, which prohibit such links.  An exception is made for such media.
     
    “Notwithstanding any language to the contrary, nothing contained herein constitutes, nor is intended to constitute, an offer, inducement, promise, or contract of any kind.  The data contained herein are for informational purposes only and are not represented to be error free.  Any links to non-UAB information are provided as a courtesy.  They are not intended to constitute, nor do they constitute, an endorsement of the linked materials by the University of Alabama at Birmingham.”
     
    5.    Content must be administered through a local system of oversight, established by each official UAB unit.  Such unit must identify one or more Content Manager(s), who acts as the primary contact for the UAB Digital Communication Operating Committee and other governing and supportive bodies.  All content, where technically feasible, must provide contact information for the Content Manager or otherwise clearly indicate the individual responsible for creating and maintaining the content.
     
    6.    Domain names are administered through UAB Information Technology under direction of the UAB Digital Communication Operating Committee.  UAB URLs are extensions of the root www.uab.edu (e.g., www.uab.edu/webpolicy).  An exception to utilize a top-level domain other than .edu (e.g., .com, .org, etc.) or to use a third-level domain other than www must be requested from and approved by the UAB Digital Communication Operating Committee.
     
    7.    Content must be hosted on servers that are compliant with UAB Information Technology Guidelines.
     
    8.    Secured Content must be accessible through BlazerID or other UAB Information Technology approved authentication method.
     
    9.    Content must comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  UAB endorses the accessibility standards set forth in the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) as a means to meet Section 508 requirements.
     
    Non-compliance
     
    UAB reserves the right to archive and/or deny access to content that does not meet the criteria outlined in this policy document.  Reasonable efforts to contact the unit’s Content Manager and/or the individual responsible for creating and maintaining the content in such cases will be made; however, content may be removed without notice if required by the severity of the policy violation.
     

    Gross violations of this policy by faculty, staff, or students may result in disciplinary action up to, and including, termination of employment or other relationships with UAB. 

    Implementation
    The Vice President for Information Technology is responsible for implementation of this policy and serves as the chair of the UAB Digital Communication Operating Committee, a campus-wide committee comprised of representatives from Information Technology, External Relations, Office of the Provost, and the Faculty Senate. The UAB Digital Communication Operating Committee is responsible for associated procedures, guidelines, and resources.
     

    Decisions of the UAB Digital Communication Operating Committee related to approvals, disapprovals, or exceptions may be appealed to the Provost, who in collaboration with the Vice Presidents for Information Technology and for Development, External, and Alumni Relations, makes final determinations.