We encourage your posts and comments in social media channels maintained by Mass General.
Please understand that we cannot respond to every comment, and that we cannot offer medical advice, diagnosis or treatment via the Internet. If you have a question about your specific medical condition, you should contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional.
And, of course, if you are in the U.S. and experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911.
Mass General does not moderate or censor comments, but we reserve the right to delete comments that are abusive or off topic or that contain foul language, spam or advertisements for commercial products. Disagreements and feedback/criticism are welcome, but mutual respect is a must and abusive language is out of bounds.
For your privacy, you should consider carefully before posting personal medical information to the internet. Please remember that your posts and comments are available for all to see.
Your use of any of the social media channels maintained by Mass General is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use set forth below. By accessing, viewing, posting or otherwise using any content on or available through the Mass General sites, you unconditionally accept these Terms and Conditions of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms and Conditions, you may not use the Mass General sites.
Terms and Conditions of Use
- Use of Mass General social media does not create a physician-patient relationship with any Mass General medical professional. Mass General’s social media sites are made available with the understanding that the content and service providers are not engaged in rendering medical, health, psychological or any other kind of personal professional services through these sites. Users should consult with a medical, health or other competent professional before taking any action or drawing any inferences based upon the information accessed or viewed through the sites; any action taken by a user in response to information obtained from a social media site is at the user’s discretion. Nothing read on any Mass General social media site should be relied upon to replace or overrule a licensed health care professional’s judgment or clinical diagnosis.
- Neither Mass General nor its content or service providers guarantee or warrant the Mass General social media sites against errors, defects, delays, omissions, interruptions or losses, including losses of data, nor are any files downloaded from a Mass General site warranted or guaranteed to be free of viruses, bugs, worms or other such destructive properties.
- Users grant to Mass General the irrevocable, perpetual, transferable, non-exclusive, royalty-free worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) and right (i) to reproduce, publish, distribute and display content, (ii) to create derivative works from the content, (iii) to edit, modify or delete content, and (iv) to use content for any Mass General purpose.
- Users are responsible for content submitted to social media sites. You may not submit any material or content that infringes any patent, trademark, copyright or other proprietary rights of any party. You agree that you will not violate any local, state, federal and international laws and regulations, including those related to copyright and other intellectual property rights. You further agree that you will not submit any information that (i) is disruptive, threatening, abusive, profane, harassing, embarrassing, defamatory, libelous, obscene, hateful or racially, ethnically or is otherwise objectionable as solely determined by Mass General, (ii) contains any product or service advertisements or endorsements, or (iii) can be construed as political lobbying.
- Users may not make any commercial use of any Mass General social media site or any content, code, data or materials on or available through the Mass General social media sites. Users may not download, post, display, publish, copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, perform, broadcast, create derivative works, sell or otherwise exploit any content, code, data or materials on or available through the Mass General social media sites. Users also agree not to alter, edit, delete, remove or otherwise modify the meaning, appearance or purpose of any content, code, data or materials on or available through the Mass General social media sites, including, but not limited to, altering, obscuring or removing any trademarks, trade names, logos or other proprietary rights notices.
- Mass General reserves the right to edit, modify, remove or delete any content or other information or materials submitted by Users.
- Mass General also reserves the right to monitor, restrict, block, suspend or discontinue your access to the Mass General social media sites, at any time, with or without advance notice, and for any reason or no reason at all.
- Mass General may, without any liability to you, disclose your communications and activities with Mass General social media in response to lawful requests by governmental authorities, judicial orders, warrants or subpoenas, or for the protection of Mass General rights.
- You agree to defend, indemnify and hold Mass General and its content providers and service providers harmless from any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, settlements, judgments, costs and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, arising in any way from your use of or access to Mass General social media. Mass General reserves the right, at its sole expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter otherwise subject to indemnification by you, and in such case, you agree to cooperate with Mass General’s defense of such claim.
- Mass General may suspend, change or discontinue any aspect of Mass General social media at any time.
- MASS GENERAL SOCIAL MEDIA, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ALL SERVICES, CONTENT, FUNCTIONS, MATERIALS AND INFORMATION PROVIDED THROUGH MASS GENERAL SOCIAL MEDIA, ARE PROVIDED “AS IS,” “AS AVAILABLE,” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY FOR INFORMATION, DATA, DATA PROCESSING, UPTIME OR UNINTERRUPTED ACCESS, ANY WARRANTIES CONCERNING THE AVAILABILITY, DISPLAYABILITY, ACCURACY, PRECISION, CORRECTNESS, THOROUGHNESS, COMPLETENESS, USEFULNESS OR CONTENT OF INFORMATION, AND ANY WARRANTIES OF TITLE, NONINFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND MASS GENERAL HEREBY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL SUCH WARRANTIES, EXPRESS AND IMPLIED.
- USER ASSUMES ALL RESPONSIBILITY RELATED TO THE SECURITY, PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH SENDING ANY CONTENT OVER THE INTERNET. MASS GENERAL DOES NOT WARRANT OR SAFEGUARD AGAINST INTENTIONAL OR MALICIOUS ATTEMPTS TO INTERCEPT OR COMPROMISE USER INFORMATION POSTED TO MASS GENERAL SOCIAL MEDIA OR SENT OVER THE INTERNET.
- IN NO EVENT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO NEGLIGENCE, SHALL MASS GENERAL, OR ANY OF ITS DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS OR CONTENT OR SERVICE PROVIDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, EXEMPLARY OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES ARISING FROM, OR DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY RELATED TO, THE USE OF, OR THE INABILITY TO USE, MASS GENERAL SOCIAL MEDIA OR THE CONTENT, MATERIALS AND INFORMATION RELATED THERETO, USER’S PROVISION OF INFORMATION VIA MASS GENERAL SOCIAL MEDIA, LOST BUSINESS OR LOST SALES, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES IN ADVANCE.
- Any dispute, claim or action related to your use, viewing, posting or access to Mass General social media shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, without regard to its conflicts of laws principles.
- MASS GENERAL RESERVES THE RIGHT, AT ITS SOLE DISCRETION, TO SUSPEND, MODIFY OR UPDATE THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT ADVANCE NOTICE. Changes will be effective when posted. Users’ continued use of the Mass General social media after such changes to the terms and conditions are posted will be considered acceptance of those changes.
Social Media Guidelines for Employees
Social Media Guidelines for Employee and Faculty Personal Use
This document is intended to help guide Mass General employees with their personal use of social media, including:
- Networking sites (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn)
- Blogs, wikis, online forums and message boards, (e.g. Twitter)
- Virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life)
- Photo and video sharing sites (i.e. Flickr, YouTube)
As new forms of social media emerge, we will periodically update these guidelines.
Rules of the Road (or) Policies and Procedures
- Ensure that your social networking activity does not interfere with your work or workplace. Check with your manager if you have questions.
- When you participate in social media, you need to be careful about the information you provide and to distinguish personal from professional comments.
- In addition to following these guidelines, Mass General employees must adhere to the Terms and Conditions of Use that apply to all Mass General social media channels.
- When using social media, be aware that existing hospital policies apply, in particular, those pertaining to patient privacy, Electronic Communications, Confidential Information, Standards of Behavior, Outside Contacts (Media, Law Enforcement and Regulators), Use of Hospital Name By External Organizations, Web Authoring, and Intellectual Property.
- Use your personal email address (not your partners.org address) as your primary means of identification. Just as you would not use Mass General stationery for a letter to the editor with your personal views, do not use your Partners e-mail address to express your personal views.
- Consider your content carefully…a posting on the Web lives forever. Be respectful and professional. A good rule of thumb is to post only something you would want your manager to see.
- Be clear that your posts reflect your personal opinion; you do not speak for the hospital. Write in the first person (i.e. “In my opinion,” “I am not aware”). When your connection to Mass General is apparent, be clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of Mass General (e.g. “It’s my personal opinion”). In those circumstances, you may want to include this disclaimer: “The views expressed on this [blog; website] are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer.” Consider adding this language in an “About me” section of your blog or social networking profile.
- If you mention Mass General or related matters, disclose your connection with Mass General and your role. Be professional and strive for accuracy in your communications; errors and omissions reflect poorly on you and on Mass General and may result in liability.
- If your blog, posting or other online activities are inconsistent with, or would negatively impact Mass General’s reputation or brand, you should not refer to Mass General, or identify your connection to Mass General.
Guidelines for Official Mass General Use of Social Media
The following material is designed to assist those who plan to create a social media account under the auspices of an official Mass General entity, such as a clinical service or a research lab. The information includes guidelines for appropriate use of social media, comments on best practices, sample layouts, and practical tips for getting started. Please note that each Mass General entity is solely responsible for developing and maintaining its own social media.
- For official business, use Partners email and choose a log-in and password that you will be able to share with the Social Media Registry (i.e. not a password you use for other purposes).
- For any social media ventures that are tied to fundraising or are intended to promote fundraising, you must coordinate with the Development Office.
- Any posting of official hospital communications must be cleared by the Public Affairs Office.
Code of Ethics
As Mass General engages in conversations on the Internet, the following code of ethics applies, both in Mass General-sponsored sites and in comments on other sites:
- Be clear about your role at Mass General.
- Disclose any conflicts of interest.
- Make every effort to ensure that your posts and comments are accurate and factual.
- Acknowledge and correct mistakes promptly. To maintain integrity when corrections are made, preserve the original post and use strikethrough to show corrections.
- Delete spam and/or comments that are off-topic.
- Reply to emails and comments when appropriate.
- Link directly to online references and original source materials.