Social Media Guidelines

2014/03/17 by ITSRM

"Social Media", i.e. Twitter & Facebook, public blogs & interactive forums, and the public commenting functions of web-sites, are widely used today for sharing information, outreach and contact with the world. While you can make use of Social Media for many different purposes, the lines between private and public, personal and professional are blurred. Some Guidelines are provided below on how best to use Social Media, for your benefit and that of the Organization.

CERN's values and Code of Conduct underpin these Guidelines, which apply to all CERN contributors (i.e. staff members, fellows, apprentices, associates, users or students), who comment professionally or privately about their activities at CERN using Social Media.


  • Responsibly: your online content stays public and can be republished by others. Make sure you are comfortable with what you are posting before you put it online;
  • Correctly: posts claiming to be news or information should be based on facts. Fact check your statements before posting and don't be fooled by the abundance of opinion-based "facts" on the web, when sharing or reposting;
  • Clearly: try to avoid scientific jargon or slang when addressing a wide audience;
  • Reasonably: show your passion, but avoid overposting;
  • As yourself: be honest about your identity, expertise and role at CERN. Always point out that you post in your personal capacity, and your statements will remain personal and cannot be regarded as representing CERN's official position. If necessary add an appropriate disclaimer.


  • To content with links rather than copy-pasting content directly into a post. Information can then stay updated on the source website;
  • To external sources, products or services with caution as you may imply CERN endorsement;
  • To if you have Social Media queries.


  • CERN's rules, i.e. the Code of Conduct, CERN Computing Rules and, for CERN personnel, the Staff Rules and Regulations;
  • CERN's reputation: be aware that your actions can affect how CERN is perceived;
  • CERN's logo: the use of the CERN logo is legally protected. It should not appear in any of your postings and/or any personal social media site;
  • Privacy: check privacy settings, limit personal details, respect off-line conversations. Posting personal identifiable information may raise safety and security concerns;
  • Confidential information: include only public information. Do not share information that is confidential and/or internal to CERN or that could have security or commercial implications;
  • Intellectual property: copyrights, trademarks, NDAs, financial disclosure and false advertising. If you upload material, including photographs, ensure that you or CERN, as the case may be, have the necessary rights to this material before uploading;
  • Differences in opinion: handle debates and criticisms constructively;
  • The well-being of others: avoid posting or encouraging offensive comments;
  • Official communications you need to have proper authorisation from your Department Head, your Experiment, or the CERN Communications Group to speak officially on behalf of CERN;
  • A reasonable balance of social media activities with your other work commitments (and your home life!).

Thank you! ...and have fun.