GW Web Content

 

Policy Summary

It is the policy of the university to promote accurate, current, useful, accessible and attractive university websites, and to promote a unified brand and positive image of the university.  All content appearing on university websites must conform to the requirements set forth in this policy.   

The purpose of the Web Content Policy is to ensure accuracy, consistency, integrity, and protection of the identity and image of the university by providing a set of minimum content standards that all university website owners must follow.  University websites are important media through which the university carries out essential functions including teaching, research, scholarly communications, student and personnel recruitment, alumni relations, development and public relations.  It is therefore important that the university websites accurately represent the university. 

The George Washington University (GW) supports and encourages freedom of expression and an open environment for the pursuit of knowledge. However, this autonomy must be responsibly managed in a conscientious and accountable manner that is in accordance with both university and regulatory policies. The reputation and image of GW are determined, in part, by the quality of information published electronically by its faculty, students, staff, and affiliations.  Therefore, it is important that university websites are maintained in a manner that best represents the university in an accurate and positive light. 

Who is Governed by this Policy 

  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Students
  • Those who have websites associated with the university or who are responsible for migrating, maintaining, modifying or developing university websites. These websites may be hosted on university servers or hosted externally with permission by GW Information Technology’s University Web Services.  This includes websites, social media content, official blogs and personal blogs hosted on the GW Blogs service. 

Policy

Legal & Regulatory Requirements 

All university websites and the content appearing therein must comply with all applicable university policies and codes of conduct, and all applicable local, state and federal laws.   

Privacy Policy 

All university websites must include a link to the GW Privacy Notice. The privacy policy link must appear within the global footer (see below for additional information on this requirement).  

Global Header and Footer 

University websites must include the global GW header and footer to maintain consistent GW brand placement and ensure that GW names, logos and trademarks are properly used. The global header and footer must comply with all official GW Identity Standards & Guidelines.  

Commercial Activities & Interests 

University websites and the content therein may not be used to promote personal financial activity, commercial activity, for-profit organizations, or political or religious groups unless permitted by other university policies or applicable laws and regulations. If a page within a university website links to an external organization, the university is not responsible for the content of that page. Linking to external content does not represent an endorsement of that content by the university.  

Illegal, Abusive and/or Offensive Content 

The use of profanity and any abusive or offensive content is expressly forbidden. Prohibited content may include, but are not limited to content that encourages or supports:  

  • Expressing prejudice, racism and bigotry 
  • Engaging  in illegal activities 
  • Defaming a person or group 
  • Exploiting  minors 

University Content Standards & Guidelines 

All university websites and the content therein must follow the standards and requirements set forth by the GW Identity Standards & Guidelines. University websites should also follow the standards and guidelines in the GW Style Guide. Additional resources are set forth in the Related Information section of this policy. 

Individual content publishers are responsible for ensuring that their content appearing on the university website(s) is up-to-date and accurate.  

If social media is integrated into a university website, the social media content shall comply with the university’s social media policy.  

Policy Non-Compliance 

Failure to comply with this policy may result in the removal or disabling of the relevant university website from university servers, networks and/or support services.  If the relevant university website is revised to remove prohibited content, the website may be republished at the sole discretion of university officials from External Relations.  

Additional Information & References 

Visit the Division of External Relations’ Online Strategy website or contact the Office of Online Strategy for further information and requirements regarding web content and website migration, maintenance, modification or development requirements.  

Definitions

University Website(s): Websites and other online and social media platforms that are hosted on university servers or otherwise associated with the George Washington University. 

Content: Content is any information that is distributed on a university website. Content can take the form of text, images, diagrams, animations, video and/or audio. 

Related Information

Copyright Policy

GW Website Privacy Notice

GW Information Technology Help Desk 

GW Identity Standards & Guidelines

GW Terms of Use Visitor Agreement 

GW Marketing and Creative Services 

GW Online Strategy 

Social Media Policy 

GW Style Guide

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) 

Contacts

Contact Phone Number Email Address
Office of Online Strategy 202-994-8788  [email protected]

Responsible University Official: Vice President for External Relations
Responsible Office: Office of Online Strategy

Last Reviewed: February 4, 2020

 

Non-compliance with this policy can be reported through this website.