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Social Media Guidelines for Faculty

Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives and transformed the ways we communicate, collaborate and learn. Faculty and staff are no exception to this trend. Many use social media to enhance teaching, research and professional networking. However, social media also poses unique challenges and risks, such as privacy violations, ethical dilemmas and harassment. In 2023, the Faculty issued a Social Media Task Force Report, providing policy and operational guidance to help improve the social media experience for our community.

Below are best practices and guidelines for the use of social media:

Standards of Professional Behaviour for Clinical (MD) Faculty

This document articulates the University’s expectations for the appropriately high standard of behaviour that is already exemplified by the majority of our clinical faculty. They apply to medical clinical faculty appointed under the University of Toronto’s Policy for Clinical Faculty, and are relevant to their interactions with any members of the University community, including undergraduate or graduate students, residents, clinical or research fellows (“learners”), other faculty members, other health care professionals, and staff. These standards may be used as a relevant factor in the evaluation of clinical faculty members. 

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Section 1: Appropriate Professional Behaviour and Characteristics

Clinical (MD) faculty should hold and effectively model high standards of professional values, including a commitment to excellence and fair and ethical dealings with others in carrying out their professional duties, and to facilitating a psychologically and physically safe learning environment. The following illustrate some of the behaviours and characteristics that clinical faculty should consistently strive to demonstrate:

  • Maintain a high standard of practice and teaching as defined by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), departmental standards, and program guidelines, and seek excellence (e.g., self-assessment, life-long learning)
  • Demonstrate honesty, integrity, empathy, humility, and compassion
  • Show concern for patients and their caregivers and their physical and psychosocial well-being; exhibit altruism 
  • Be a role model when managing relationships with patients and their families in the clinical and community setting, with participants and their families in the research setting, and with learners.
    • Act with courtesy and respect
    • Recognize and observe boundaries 
    • Communicate effectively, provide appropriate information, and answer questions 
    • Respect privacy and maintain confidentiality 
    • Maintain an acceptable standard of appearance and hygiene
  • Be collegial in relations with other physicians, health-care professionals, staff, and learners, and promote a psychologically safe environment.
  • Be available and approachable; be sensitive to the power dynamics between faculty and learners, and between senior and early-career faculty.
  • Comply with the Ontario Human Rights code in a manner that ensures that the clinical learning environment is one in which all individuals are treated with respect and are free from discrimination. 
  • Be sensitive to and accepting of social identities in patients, colleagues, and learners, and support culturally safe communication and relationships. 
  • Be aware of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action particularly with respect to health and health care professional education (items 18-24). 
  • Be a role model in maintaining healthy integration of work and life, health, and well-being, including seeking support and engaging in self-care when required. 
  • Contribute to meeting the collective responsibilities of the profession:
    • Practice in a socially responsible manner, considering and advocating for the needs of the patient, the community, and any vulnerable populations in the physician’s practice. 
    • Be supportive of colleagues in achieving and maintaining good standards of practice and teaching and appropriate professional behaviour. 
    • Demonstrate allyship with colleagues who face any type of intimidation, harassment, or discrimination in the workplace.
  • Demonstrate insight into one’s own behaviour and seek to improve when not meeting standards of behaviour, including acknowledging errors, listening to feedback, and accepting coaching if needed.
  • Work collaboratively with the University to address tensions and conflicts that arise in the educational environment, including responding to requests by a University leader to meet;
  • Recognize that conduct of clinical faculty beyond the clinical and educational setting and after hours, such as in interviews, school visits, and community groups, may also reflect on one’s role at the University
  • Use the internet, social media, and other electronic communication in an appropriately professional manner
  • Recognize, disclose, and manage Conflicts of Interest, in accordance with relevant policies. 

Section 2: Inappropriate behaviours

Clinical faculty members will not engage in actions inconsistent with these Standards, applicable University policy and other applicable professional standards, including but not limited to the following behaviours: 

  • Creation of a hostile environment o
    • Failure to work collaboratively with physicians, other health-care professionals, staff, learners, volunteers, patients, and the public
    • Intemperate language: rudeness, profanity, insults, disrespectful tone, demeaning remarks, or verbal abuse 
    • Inappropriate remarks or jokes
    • Disparaging public remarks about the character, skill, or patient care of another physician or health professional
    • Use of ridicule in the learning environment or as an instructional technique
    • Circulating inappropriate pictures or written materials
    • Harassing behaviour (e.g., engaging in a course of conduct or comments which is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome and/or offensive). 
  • Intimidation and abuse of power
    • Physical intimidation (e.g., pushing, punching, slapping, threatening gestures, throwing objects, breaking objects, violence, or threats of violence) 
    • Verbal intimidation (e.g., bullying, recurring outbursts of anger, shouting, constant interrupting, or refusing to listen) 
    • Inhibiting others from carrying out their appropriate duties
    • Inhibiting learners from providing appropriate feedback and evaluation of teachers and experiences o
    • Inhibiting and/or coercing others in order to prevent their exercise of their rights or desire to report improper conduct, (e.g., by threats of reprisal) 
    • Acts of retribution towards complainants under these Standards
    • Inappropriate assignment of duties to influence behaviour or as a “punishment”
    • Denying appropriate opportunities for learning and experience
    • Failure to respect boundaries with learners (e.g., communicating about and expecting responses to non-clinical and non-emergent matters after hours and during vacations; imposing unreasonable deadlines on learners and early career faculty colleagues; asking learners to carry out work without clinical or educational merit, including doing personal favours)
    • Favouritism 
  • Discrimination or microaggression; making distinctions based on protected human rights grounds. 
  • Repeated failure to be available for scheduled duty, including teaching
  • Chronic lateness 
  • Failure to fulfill academic supervisory obligations (e.g., inadequate supervision, being unavailable to learners, or failure to hand in evaluations in a timely fashion)
  • Failure to cooperate with the University’s review and management of alleged breaches of professional conduct (e.g., refusing to: meet with University leadership, provide a response to allegations, engage in collaborative problem-solving). 
  • Sexual harassment or sexual violence

Section 3: Disclosure, reporting, anonymity, and withdrawal of disclosures or reports

The University distinguishes between disclosures and reporting.

Disclosure is when a complainant conveys information about the conduct of a clinical faculty member to the University, or seeks information about options.

Reporting is when a complainant conveys information about the conduct of a clinical faculty member to the University with the intention that the University formally reviews and potentially acts upon the information according to the Standards or another process, which could result in remedial or disciplinary action taken against the clinical faculty member.

At the outset of any disclosure or report, the University community member receiving the disclosure or report should inform any complainant:

  • that these Standards are publicly available for their reference;
  • about the distinction between disclosure and reporting (and gauge the complainant’s intent); 
  • that there could be rare egregious circumstances triggering the University’s obligation to act on a complaint, independent of the complainant’s intent to disclose vs. report (e.g., CPSO mandatory reporting, health/safety risk including sexual harassment or sexual violence, other requirements at law);
  • about the supports that are available to them, ensuring that best efforts are made to prioritize the complainant’s psychological, social, and physical safety; 
  • about the restrictions associated with anonymity (outlined below);
  • if there are any alternative dispute resolution options that the University thinks are appropriate to explore (e.g., restorative justice, mediation);
  • that theUniversity will not tolerate retribution or reprisal towards complainants.

Process for disclosure and reporting

If an individual observes or experiences a clinical faculty member potentially breaching these Standards, and if the individual feels comfortable, willing, and judges that it is safe to do so, they may choose to approach the faculty member and communicate their concerns with the goal of ending the behaviour. This approach recognizes the important role of collegial conversation in the medical community, and emphasizes the principle of addressing problems locally wherever possible.

However, if such a conversation is inappropriate in the circumstances (e.g., it has previously been ineffective, or if more support is required due to a significant power imbalance) then a complainant may disclose their concerns to a member of the University community with whom they feel comfortable (e.g., their course or program director or the Clinical Faculty Advocate). It will be the choice of the complainant to make a disclosure or formal report, after being advised of the information above.

A formal report must be directed to the relevant University Vice-Dean or Department Chair for action, depending on the nature of the issue. In a case where a complainant has concerns about the role of the relevant Vice-Dean or Department Chair, the matter should be reported in a one-up manner to the Dean. Similarly, concerns about the Dean would be handled in the same one-up manner to the University’s Provost. In the event that a formal report is directed to someone other than the foregoing, the individual who receives the report should, in accordance with the terms of these Standards, notify the relevant Vice Dean or Department Chair, as appropriate. Please see “Jurisdiction” section for guidance on the appropriate notification and collaboration with the applicable clinical site leaders.

Individual programs and departments may have additional policies setting out the preferred reporting mechanisms. Questions about the appropriate disclosure or report handling process, or the supports available to a particular complainant, should be raised with the Faculty of Medicine’s academic lead on Professional Values or the Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions.

Confidentiality and anonymous disclosures or reports

All parties must maintain confidentiality to the extent possible. Only those who need to be involved to review the matter, to respond or are requested to provide personal support, should be informed about the disclosure or report.

If a complainant identifies themselves to the University, but does not wish to be named to the clinical faculty member whois the subject of the disclosure or report, the complainant should be made aware:

  • that there are circumstances where the University may be required by law or other compelling reasons (e.g., health/safety) to disclose their identity; 
  • that it may be possible for the clinical faculty member to identify them based on their description of the underlying incident(s); 
  • that the clinical faculty member may have a limited ability to respond to an unidentified or anonymous disclosure or report; 
  • that the University may be limited in the scope of its review, if the clinical faculty member has not had a meaningful chance to respond to the disclosure or report;,
  • that the University may be limited in the sanctions that it can impose against the clinical faculty member.

When deciding whether to proceed with a review of an anonymous disclosure(s) or report(s), the University may consider whether the issues underlying the disclosure or report are egregious and if there is sufficient information to enable the review, and if the clinical faculty member will be able to meaningfully respond. If the University decides to proceed with an anonymous disclosure or report, the complainant(s) will not be known and so will be unable to participate in the review process or receive information about its outcome.

Withdrawn disclosures or reports

While a complainant may withdraw from further participation in the review process , the University may elect to proceed with a review without participation of the complainant(e.g., where the issue is egregious, or demonstrates a pattern of behaviour, if the conduct raises health and safety risks, or if there are potential CPSO reporting requirements, e.g., competence issue). In such a case, the complainant may not be advised of subsequent developments in the matter.

The University may choose not to review a disclosure or report if it determines that the disclosure or report is frivolous, has been made in bad faith, or there is insufficient information to proceed.

Section 4: Reviews of reported breaches


The University, via the Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions, bears responsibility for administering and enforcing these Standards.

Individual disclosures or reports will be reviewed by the applicable Vice-Dean, Department Chair, or Vice-Provost (the “University Leader”) unless jurisdiction is otherwise established through another policy, or if the circumstances require a different review framework.

The Vice-Provost, on identifying issues that require collaborative action with the clinical site where the faculty member is appointed, may share confidential information about the issue with a senior leader at the clinical site (e.g., CEO or delegate). The University and the clinical site will work cooperatively when taking action under the Standards.

Beyond responding to disclosures or reports submitted by complainants, the University Leader may proactively initiate a review of a clinical faculty member’s behaviour in the event that they independently identify significant issues, including in teacher evaluation forms.


While management of disclosures or reports will generally be a collaborative initiative between the University and the relevant clinical site, the following general principles will assist in making a decision with respect to jurisdiction:

  • The clinical site should take the lead in responding to the disclosure or report if the breach of professional conduct is alleged to involve matters under the clinical setting’s oversite or within their appropriate jurisdiction (e.g., involving patient care, hospital personnel, hospital records, or hospital resources). The clinical site will follow its own protocols for the review and management of behavioural misconduct that affects the clinical environment.
  • The University should take the lead in responding if the breach of professional conduct relates to the learning environment, concerns an academic administrator in their academic capacity, and/or relates primarily to the relationship between faculty and learners, or between early career and senior faculty. Any learner mistreatment is of concern to the University.
  • When there is doubt about jurisdiction, or a situation arises that does not appear to be covered by this policy, or is otherwise unclear, advice should be sought from Faculty of Medicine’s academic lead on Professional Values or theVice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions. These individuals will liaise with hospital leadership to determine a mutually agreeable approach.


If no other authority with jurisdiction compels otherwise (e.g., the law, a regulatory body, or other University policy or regulation), the initial approach to all but the most serious breaches of these Standards will be an effort to remediate the behaviour of the clinical faculty member. At this level the goal should remain internal resolution of the problem or referrals to the appropriate resources (e.g., the OMA’s Physician Health Program).

Urgent issues

In cases where the alleged breach of professional conduct, if proven, could constitute a significant disruption or a health and safety risk to patients, students, or other members of the University or clinical community, the Vice-Provost, Relations with HealthCare Institutions, the Provost, or the President of the University, or a delegate, have authority to impose such interim conditions upon the clinical faculty member as they consider appropriate. Clinical faculty should be aware of circumstances when the University has an obligation to report their alleged conduct (either in their role as a physician or as an educational administrator) under the regulations of the CPSO.


TheUniversity will strive to identify and review disclosures or reports in a timely manner, and attempt to minimize the number of occasions on which a complainant is asked to meet, or re-tell their story. In addition, the University will strive to review complaints in a timely manner, and provide updates at key points in the process to the relevant parties.

Process for reviewing disclosures or reports

When the University takes the lead in reviewing the disclosure or report, the University Leader will undertake the review, or if appropriate, assign a Reviewer to determine the facts, and make recommendations. TheReviewer will meet with both the clinical faculty member who is the subject of a disclosure or report, and the complainant, and communicate the following:

  • The relevant review process and any applicable policies;
  • If possible, the expected timelines;
  • That both parties will be given an opportunity to state their position and provide evidence;
  • That both parties have the right to bring a representative to any meetings;
  • That the University promotes an environment free from reprisal and retribution and will take extremely seriously any such disclosures or reports on this matter; 
  • That both parties are expected to maintain confidentiality throughout the review process and not attempt to influence any witnesses to the underlying incidents; 
  • That the University may need to discuss with the relevant clinical site about making changes to the clinical faculty member or complainant’s work schedules if deemed necessary.

The Reviewer will take into account all relevant documentation and perspectives and may invite the affected parties and/or witnesses to the underlying incident(s) to provide written submissions, or the Reviewer may conduct in-person interviews. The Reviewer may invite an administrative support person to the meeting to take notes. An affected party and/or witness may be afforded an opportunity to read and confirm such notes.

The Reviewer should focus on clarifying the facts of the incidents underlying the complaint, whether they can be substantiated by witnesses, and what steps, if any the University should take to respond to the issues raised.

Once the Reviewer has come to a preliminary determination of the facts, the clinical faculty member who is the subject of the complaint will be given an opportunity to respond. After considering the clinical faculty member’s response, the Reviewer may choose to consider the matter further (e.g., if new information is raised), make a determination as to whether there was a breach of these Standards, and/or make recommendations for disposition of the complaint.

If, in the course of the Reviewer’s work, it appears that there are issues that must be addressed through an alternative process (e.g., sexual harassment, criminal behaviour, research misconduct, referral to CPSO), they will refer the matter to the appropriate body and/or advise the Complainant accordingly.

The Decision

The Reviewer, when they are distinct from the University Leader, will communicate their fact-finding, whether they determined that there was a breach of these Standards, and any recommendations to the University Leader, who will then accept or reject the recommendations and make a decision. The University Leader will inform the complainant and the clinical faculty member of the results, generally in written form. Where the Reviewer and University Leader are one and the same, the University Leader will similarly issue recommendations and a decision to the complainant and the clinical faculty member.

The University Leader will also communicate their decision and recommendations to the appropriate leadership at the University and the clinical site.


The Reviewer may recommend remedial or other action or consequences in their report. If remediation is unsuccessful, if subsequent retaliatory threats or behaviour by the clinical faculty member are alleged and confirmed, or depending on the seriousness of the circumstances underlying the complaint, breaches of these Standards may result in discipline up to and including termination for cause.

Requests for Review

The clinical faculty member will have the option to accept the decision or to seek an informal review of the decision within twenty business days after receipt of the decision/recommendations. Requests for review will be made to the appropriate“one-up” academic administrator (i.e. Dean, Vice-Dean), unless otherwise set out in applicable University policy or procedures. Alternatively, and in the appropriate circumstances, a clinical faculty member may be able access the grievance procedures according to the Procedures Manual for the Policy for Clinical (MD) Faculty).

Section 5: Associated and incorporated policies, codes, and guidelines

University of Toronto policies

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) policies

Other policies

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where do I make a disclosure or report about a clinical faculty member?
    Please refer to the section titled "Process for disclosure and reporting" in Section 3 of these Standards. Your individual program or department may have a reporting protocol in place. Generally speaking, disclosures can be made to a variety of University community members. Reports will be forwarded to the relevant University Vice-Dean or Department Chair.
  • What happens if I am mistreated by a tenured faculty member, or a staff member at the University?
    Any mistreatment is of concern to the University. If you are a faculty or staff member, you may consider making a disclosure or report to your immediate supervisor, someone at a senior level of the relevant department, a human resources representative or someone in an equity office. If you are a learner, you may consider speaking with an academic leader– e.g., course director, program director, Vice-Dean.
  • What happens if I am mistreated by another health professional?
    You may wish to make a disclosure or report to that person’s immediate supervisor, or another leader in the university or hospital unit. If the person mistreating you is a member of a regulated health profession, you may also have the option to contact the regulatory body that governs professional behaviour.
  • What happens if I am mistreated by a patient?
    Clinical sites generally have health and safety policies in place, including those that cover workplace violence and harassment. If you experience mistreatment from a patient or their family, you may consider making a disclosure or report to your clinical supervisor, to the clinical site’s health and safety office, or to the clinical site’s security team.
  • How do I submit an anonymous complaint?
    Please refer to Section 3 of these Standards and specifically the sub-section titled “Confidentiality and anonymous disclosures or reports.”
  • I am a learner who has made a disclosure or report to the University about an alleged breach of these Standards. What resources are available to assist me?
    The University has a variety of resources available to support students’ psychological safety. The University’s Student Life office publishes a list of referrals. In addition, the Faculty of Medicine offers support services through its Offices of Health Professions Student Affairs and Resident Wellness and through its Office of Inclusion and Diversity.
  • I am a clinical faculty member who is responding to a formal report about an alleged breach of these Standards. What resources are availableto assist me?
    You may wish to consult with the Clinical Faculty Advocate.
  • What are the differences between discrimination and harassment?
    Generally speaking, the University relies on the definitions of these terms established by legislation, regulation, and case law.
    The following is an excerpt from the Ontario Human Rights Commission website: “Discrimination is not defined in the Human Rights Code but usually includes the following elements:
    • not individually assessing the unique merits, capacities and circumstances of a person 
    • instead, making stereotypical assumptions based on a person’s presumed traits 
    • having the impact of excluding persons, denying benefits or imposing burdens.”

      Discrimination can be direct or indirect; it can include both subtle and overt behaviours; and it can occur on an individual basis, a systemic basis, or within an institution.

      The following is an excerpt from the University’s Statement On Prohibited Discrimination And Discriminatory Harassment: “Under the HumanRights Code, harassment is defined as "engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome." As well as being expressly prohibited as indicated above, such conduct may constitute discrimination when based on prohibited grounds.”

      The following list of prohibited grounds is an excerpt from the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s website: “Age; Ancestry, colour, race; Citizenship; Ethnic origin; Place of origin; Creed; Disability; Family status; Marital status (including single status); Gender identity, gender expression; Receipt of public assistance (in housing only); Record of offences (in employment only); Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding); Sexual orientation.”

      For a full understanding of these terms and similar terms, please consult the resources and policies listed on the University’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion website, or enquire with the Faculty of Medicine’s lead on professional values.
  • What does social identity mean?
    In these Standards, the term “social identity” is used to describe a person’s self-identification with one or more of the various group memberships outlined above, in addition to other aspects of a person’s identity that are not associated with a ground specified in the Human Rights Code (e.g. socio-economic status, political opinion etc.).
  • What is microaggression?
    Microaggressions are subtle comments, attitudes, or behaviours that have the effect of making a person feel demeaned on the basis of their social identity. Microaggressions area common form of discrimination and/or harassment in the workplace and/or learning environment. Impact on the affected individual(s) is more significant than intention. For more information, please see this Faculty of Medicine website. 
  • How can I be a good ally to someone facing discrimination or harassment?
    The University’s Equity Offices, including the Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office and the Sexual and Gender Diversity Office, offer a number of education and training opportunities for those interested in fostering inclusive environments. Beyond educating oneself and being open to actively listening to the experiences and barriers faced by marginalized individuals and groups, allyship includes proactively identifying discrimination and harassment, interjecting when it is safe todo so, and offering detailed witness statements when theUniversity is reviewing a report under theseStandards.The Faculty of Medicine also publishes information about allyship and inclusion on its website.
  • What are anti-oppression and anti-discrimination principles?
    The following is an excerpt from the Ontario Human Rights Commission website: “Anti-racism/Anti-oppression: an active and consistent process of change to eliminate individual, institutional and systemic racism as well as the oppression and injustice racism causes.”
    The terms anti-oppression and anti-discrimination as used in theseStandards suggest that Clinical Faculty members are expected to not only passively accept equity, diversion, and inclusivity in the educational and work environments, but to actively seek opportunities to promote them. The terms take into consideration the often insidious and systemic nature of oppression and discrimination within institutions.
  • What were the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, as well as that of the University, subsequently?
    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its 94 Calls to Action in 2015. This report and others can be found on theNational Centre for Truth andReconciliation website. TheSteering Committee for the University of Toronto Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its final report "Answering the Call / Wecheehetowin" in 2017. This report and its 34 Calls to Action can be found on theProvost's website.
  • When the University form ally reviews a report under these Standards, what records should be kept, and where should they be maintained?
    The University should retain all records related to any disclosures or reports under these Standards or under a related process. Records should include email, meeting notes, decisions, appeals, and any other related documents. Records should be held by the Department where the clinical faculty member holds their primary faculty appointment in the same secure and confidential manner as all other personnel files are kept and fora minimum of 7 years.
  • How does the University distinguish between unprofessional conduct, and appropriate supervision and teaching?
    Harassment does not include: Normal supervisory responsibilities including appropriate assessment and criticism of the resident’s academic efforts, even if the resident does not agree; Expectations of reasonable quality of academic performance; Personality or interpersonal conflicts; Discussion and debate of controversial topics in an academic environment.
  • What is considered harassing behaviour?
    Harassment is often interpreted by reference to applicable case law and legislation. For example, the Occupational Health and Safety Act defines workplace harassment as engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome and/or offensive. Sexual harassment isa form of harassment and, under University policy, is defined as including but not limited to engaging in a course of vexatious comments or conduct that is known or ought to be known to be unwelcome, and includes workplace sexual harassment. Sexual harassment includes any sexual solicitation or advance made by a person in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the person where the person making the solicitation or advance knows or ought reasonably to know that it is unwelcome. Sexual harassment also includes a reprisal or a threat of reprisal for the rejection of a sexual solicitation or advance, where the reprisal is made or threatened by a person in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the person.

Guidance from Colleges and Associations

Be respectful

Anything you post in your role as a faculty member reflects on the institution. Be professional and respectful at all times on your social media channels. Do not engage in arguments or extensive debates with naysayers on your channels.

Be transparent

Transparency on social media is important because it fosters trust, credibility, and accountability in online communication. Make it clear in what capacity you are posting by declaring it in your bio. It is common to include "views expressed are my own". Be yourself and use your own “voice.” 


Being a consumer of social media is essential to your ability to be a successful producer of social media content. “Listen” to online conversations on your preferred tools – be they blogs, Twitter, Facebook or anything else — to maintain a clear and current understanding of what is relevant and of interest to your audience.

Be active

Social media presences require diligent care and feeding. If you don't have the time or resources to check on these sites at least a few minutes each day and post fresh content several times a week, reconsider social media use at this time. Your channel is only as interesting as your last post — if that post is several months old, visitors will consider your feed out of date. 

Be timely

One of the great benefits of social media is the ability to share information almost instantly with a vast audience. This timeliness is also one of the expectations of that audience. Be prepared for situations to progress quickly. A short amount of accurate information delivered at the time of need can sometimes be more valuable than a full report delivered well after the fact. 

Online is forever

Think before you post, remembering that anything you share within social media, even within a closed network, is not private. It can and will be shared, stored and spread globally. Don’t post anything online you wouldn’t feel comfortable seeing on the front page of a newspaper. 

Be alert to potential threats

Be conservative about the amount of personal information you share, such as your location, schedule and images. If you have concerns about your personal safety, reach out to the Community Safety Office or if there is an imminent threat, contact your local police services (911) or the RCMP.

Personal and professional

Balancing your professional and personal social media presences can be tricky, particularly if you are an avid user. Keep in mind the goals you have for your channel when posting there. Are you posting research for colleagues or information for the public? 

Report bad behaviour

If you see abusive behaviour online, each platform has a way to report the source account. If the behaviour doesn't meet the reporting standard but is disagreeable, you can block the account (see the Reporting section below). 

Privacy and Reporting Harassment

Community Guidelines

Community guidelines on social media are a set of rules and standards that govern user behaviour and promote a safe, respectful and inclusive online community. They vary depending on the social media platform and may include rules about posting content, commenting, messaging, sharing and engaging with other users. The guidelines typically prohibit behaviour that is illegal, harmful, offensive, or disruptive, such as hate speech, harassment, spam, fake news, nudity or violence. They may also define the consequences of violating the guidelines, such as warnings, suspension, or termination of the user's account. 

Privacy Settings

Privacy settings on social media are a crucial aspect of managing your online presence and protecting your personal information from unauthourized access or misuse. Social media platforms provide a variety of privacy settings that allow users to control who can see their posts, updates, photos, and other information, as well as limit the amount of data collected and shared with third-party apps or advertisers. Understanding and adjusting your privacy settings can help you balance your need for social interaction and self-expression with your right to privacy and security. 

Location Settings

Location settings are used to share your geographical location information with the social media platform and other users. By turning on location settings, you allow the social media app to track your location using GPS or Wi-Fi signals and add location tags to your posts or updates. This feature can help people discover new places or events, connect with friends nearby, and customize their social media experience. However, it's important to be aware of the privacy implications of sharing your location data, as it can reveal your movements, habits, and even your home address. It's recommended to review your social media location settings and adjust them according to your preferences and security needs.

Blocking and Unfriending

Blocking or unfriending users on social media is a common practice to protecting yourself from unwanted interactions or harassment. Social media platforms allow users to block or unfriend other users, which means that the blocked or unfriended user will no longer be able to see your profile, posts, or updates, and you will no longer be able to see theirs. This can be useful for dealing with spam, trolls, cyberbullying, or stalking, as well as for maintaining privacy and boundaries.


Reporting users on social media refers to the process of flagging and notifying the platform's administrators of any abusive, offensive or harmful behaviour or content posted by others. Reporting users helps to keep social media communities safe, civil and respectful by enforcing the platform's community guidelines and policies. The reporting process may involve providing evidence, such as screenshots or links, and describing the issue in detail. After receiving a report, the social media platform may investigate the issue and take appropriate action, such as removing the content, suspending or banning the user's account or notifying law enforcement.

2-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication, or 2FA, protects online accounts by requiring provide two forms of identification at log in. The two factors typically used are a password or PIN and a message sent to a mobile device or a one-time use code provided by a third-party authenticator app. By requiring both factors, 2FA makes it more difficult for unauthorized individuals to access your account even if they have obtained your password. 

If you are a Temerty Medicine faculty member experiencing unprofessional behaviour, please contact for a confidential conversation.