Social Media During a Crisis

Binghamton University communicates with the campus during crises via social media.

The following sites are considered the official primary social media sites during an incident: 

Facebook: facebook.com/binghamtonu

Twitter: twitter.com/binghamtonu

Members of the Social Media Task Force and other users throughout the University are encouraged to repost or re-tweet official crisis communications.

Chancellor's Task Force on Social Media Responsibility

In late 2015, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher established the Chancellor's Task Force on Social Media Responsibility. The task force was established in response to ongoing issues across SUNY campuses involving anonymous threats on social media networks. Its goal is two-fold: one, to develop guidelines for campuses on educating their students and campus population on best practices for engaging on social media; and two, to develop guidelines for campuses on how best to respond when a threat does occur.

Reporting information

"If You See Something, Say Something" is a globally recognized campaign that was born in the wake of 9/11 as a tactic to involve citizens in efforts to prevent acts of terrorism. One of the main goals of this campaign is to encourage people to think of preserving not only their own safety, but also to take actions to preserve the safety of their community. The concept of not being passive when you see something that could be harmful to others can be applied to social media as well.

It is impossible for the University to monitor all social media activity taking place at or referencing the school. We must rely on the community to help, to pro-actively alert us of issues of concern you see on social media. An obvious example would be reporting a threat to life posted on social media. Other situations include reporting cyberbullying, self-harm, illegal behavior, or other similar serious negative events that can be prevented if responsible individuals are alerted.

Threats conveyed over social media have real legal consequences, even if made in jest and/or via theoretically anonymous applications. Many students are unaware that others who have made threats online, including threats that were believed to be anonymous, may face significant prison time as a consequence for their actions. Threats made online, even when analyzed not to be serious, are not taken lightly and should not be posted under any circumstances.

Threat analysis and incident response

Once the University Police or Public Safety have been notified of a threat they will begin the process of analyzing the threat. In addition to analyzing the threat, University Police or Public Safety will begin notifying campus leadership of the threat and their informed opinion on the validity of the threat. Other notifications may be made to SUNY System Administration and to local or other law enforcement agencies for technical or operational support if needed.

If the threat is determined to be credible, the University Police or Public Safety will initiate a criminal investigation. The Chief of Police, Director of Public Safety and/or their designees will advise campus leadership on response options and suggested changes to campus status including limited/full evacuations, sheltering in place, building closures, and class cancellations.

Read the full report generated by the Chancellor's Task Force.

Last Updated: 10/21/15