Shibaura Institute of Technology
Social Media Policy: Guidelines for SIT Students
Shiro Arimoto, founder of Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT), advocated “education in which the various aspects of modern culture are incorporated in the curriculum to help students learn the significance of contributing actively to society,” and we aim to offer this kind of education today as well. We, therefore, respect the freedom of speech of our students as well as the communication and information dissemination activities they engage in at their own personal responsibility.
Social media (which refers collectively to such media and services as webpages, blogs, profile sites, Mixi, Facebook, LINE, Twitter, and YouTube) has become part of everyday life in Japan. Social media allows students to interact with a wide range of people and do many things, but it also presents the risk that irreversible issues may arise. For example, if you violate laws or regulations in your use of social media, you may be prosecuted under criminal or civil law. To the extent that you are an SIT student, your usage of social media has a great impact on the reputation and credibility of SIT as well, even if you are using social media as a private individual. Be fully aware that inappropriate and imprudent statements pose the risk of not only harming your future but also tarnishing the university name which our alumni have built. We encourage you to conduct yourself with dignity on social media at your own personal responsibility, keeping in mind that you are a SIT student.
1. Follow Japanese Laws and Regulations
Comply with Japanese laws and regulations. Be particularly careful regarding copyrights, patent rights, and other intellectual property rights. Unless you take the prescribed procedures, reprinting images, text, and the like without permission constitutes a copyright violation and you may be sued for damages. Books, websites, and similar media often carry the copyright symbol (©). In Japan, however, copyright protection exists from the moment a work is created, whether or not the copyright mark is shown (Berne Convention). Take care also regarding portrait rights and other moral rights.
- To publish a photograph taken by someone else or text written by someone else (from a book, newspaper, website, etc.) on your blog, you must receive the permission of the photographer/writer. If you post something on your blog without permission, you may be sued for a sum proportionate to the damages incurred.
2. Obey Foreign Laws and Regulations as well as International Law
If you are studying or traveling abroad, comply with the laws and regulations of the country you are in and with international law.
- Even if you are a nonnative of the country you are in, you must obey the laws of that country during your stay there. Any violation of the laws of that country is prosecuted based on the laws of that country.
3. Comply with the SIT Regulations and Others
You have the obligation of confidentiality with respect to SIT, organizations and companies related to the SIT, and any workplace where you have a part-time or other job. To disclose information about your workplace (e.g., “A celebrity came to our store”) constitutes a violation of confidentiality and of workplace regulations. The same is true in relation to SIT. Information you learn through your involvement in a professor’s research team may include industry secrets (e.g., “We are jointly developing X with Company Y” and “We plan to form a partnership with Company Y”). You have an obligation to keep confidential all information that has not been publicly disclosed to outside parties.
Leakage of this kind of information may not only be prosecuted under criminal law but may also be deemed as conduct unbecoming of a student and therefore subject to disciplinary action under the SIT Regulations (which include the graduate school as well) and others. Be sure to fulfill your duties as a student, as prescribed in the SIT Regulations and others.
- Posting photos that show others and publishing information about others on a blog or other social media are deemed as leaking information and may be subject to penal provisions or disciplinary action based on the SIT Regulations.
4. Respect Human Rights and Ethics
In accordance with ethics and the basic principle of respect for human rights, remember to respect each person’s individuality and diversity and to accept each other’s differing views, philosophies, and ways of life. Libel that damages the reputation of an individual or group in a way that those involved can identify that individual or group constitutes defamation, whether or not the real name of the individual or group is given. Moreover, if the person or group experiences that as distressing, the person or group may sue for damages for emotional distress even if the incident does not constitute defamation.
- Once released on social media, information cannot be completely erased. It is risky to post information when you are strongly influenced by your emotions.
5. Make Sure Information Is Accurate
Do not release unreliable or deliberately false information. Release accurate information. Moreover, if you notice an error, correct it immediately.
- When posting information, you must have solid proof that it is accurate.
6. Remember Your Identity as a Member of the SIT Community
Keep fully in mind that each of us is seen by society not only as an individual but also as a member of SIT.
Content that appears to boast of morally deviant conduct or violation of laws and regulations is itself punishable. Moreover, people may do a Web search for personal information on you and may release the results. Prospective employers search the Internet for content that applicants have posted in the past on social media, and they do not hire those who openly release content about violating laws and regulations.
- Before posting, take a moment to think again about whether the content is something that you would want to say openly in public using your real name.
7. Protect Privacy and Personal Information
Endeavor to protect your privacy and personal information, and follow the rules of the social media services you use. Carefully investigate the service and take full precautions when registering or posting personal information. Social media allows you to share information with a limited audience; however, you must indicate the privacy level desired using the privacy settings. Before sharing information, check your privacy settings to make sure the audience range is set to the level you desire. If a third party other than the social media service you used has saved or archived the content, you may not be able to erase the information completely from the Internet even if you delete it from the place where you originally posted it. Moreover, even if you limit access to your information, there is a chance that the content will be leaked if there is trouble with the social media’s system. There is a possibility that information posted on your personal blog about where you went and what you did will be used as reference regarding your personal character in the future or will be disclosed for a long period or permanently and used in a fashion that you never intended.
To mention anything related to the privacy or personal information of others, you must have their approval. Personal information includes not only real names, headand- shoulder photographs, position titles, and affiliations, but also things they do. Releasing information on things you see another person doing constitutes a leakage of that person’s personal information and a violation of privacy, regardless of whether the person is a celebrity or not. For example, even if you happen to see your friend or your SIT professor in town, you cannot post information (or a photo, etc.) related to that without their permission. If some kind of problem were to arise, the offended party has the right, under Japan’s Provider Liability Limitation Act, to demand the disclosure of identification information of the person who released the information.
- Before posting information about yourself, think carefully about whether the information is something you want strangers to know about you or not. Place top priority on protecting yourself.
- Before posting information about yourself, think about the impression that strangers will gain of you from it.
- Before posting information on things you see other people doing, you need to obtain the consent of each of those people.