Parody & Commentary Policy
Elizabethtown College recognizes the novelty of the growing trend of parody and commentary accounts on social media. In fact, Twitter’s official usage policy and the nation's First Amendment give individuals the right to this creative expression, and to create and maintain “parody” accounts. We are aware that Elizabethtown College is not immune to this practice. However, what is against the law is unauthorized use of protected trademarks.
If you plan to, or already do, run a parody account related to the College, consider these rules, most of which are not Elizabethtown College rules, but violations of Twitter’s terms of service and Facebook's community standards:
Accounts found in violation of the rules and guidelines outlined below will be reported to Twitter and, if necessary, to the appropriate parties on campus (Dean of Students, Campus Security, etc.), and in some cases, legal action may be taken.
- Elizabethtown College does not authorize and will not tolerate the use of its logo, wordmarks or other official visual identity elements or intellectual property on unofficial accounts. (see College's visual identity guide.)
- Impersonation is a violation of the Twitter Rules. Twitter accounts portraying another person in a confusing or deceptive manner may be permanently suspended under the Twitter Impersonation Policy.
- The username AND profile name should distinguish the account with a qualifier such as "not," "fake," or "fan" per Twitter’s Parody, Commentary and Fan Accounts Policy.
- The bio must include a statement to distinguish it from the real account, such as “this account is not affiliate with…” per Twitter’s Parody, Commentary and Fan Accounts Policy.
- Twitter, per their rules, will respond to clear and complete notices of alleged copyright infringement, set forth in its Terms of Service.
- Twitter reserves the right to immediately terminate your account without further notice in the event that, in its judgment, you violate these Rules or the Terms of Service.
- Facebook bans all fake or impostor timelines.
Parody, Commentary and Fan Accounts Policy
Social Media Impersonation in the News
Students Face Felony Charges from Social Media Postings
(Education Views, 8/2012)
To further help users understand the ramifications of running a parody account, we provide portions of Twitter’s official guidelines.
- Twitter users are allowed to create parody, commentary, or fan accounts (including role-playing). Twitter provides a platform for its users to share and receive a wide range of ideas and content, and we greatly value and respect our users' expression. Because of these principles, we do not actively monitor users' content and will not edit or remove user content, except in cases of violations of our Terms of Service.
- Accounts with clear intent to deceive or confuse are prohibited as impersonation accounts and subject to suspension.
- If an account is engaged in parody and follows all of the above recommendations, it will generally be free to continue in its parody so long as it doesn't mislead or deceive others. These are considered best practices for clearly marking accounts as one that is engaging in non-impersonation parody/commentary.