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Public authorities on social media

As a public authority, we are obliged to monitor our social media channels, clarify the sender, and address incoming questions and comments without unnecessary delay.

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You are welcome to contact your local communications officer to discuss whether and, if so, how you could use social media in your activities.

Contact a communications officer 

Public authority responsibility also applies on social media 

As a public authority, we are not to set up a channel without properly managing it. We are also responsible for the material we publish in the channel and, in some cases, the material others publish as well. It is therefore important that you do not publish personal data or copyrighted material on social media. Copyrighted material may not be used without permission. Always be sure to indicate the source of the material, unless it is your own or the University’s content.

Because we are a public authority, we are also required to respond to, or otherwise address, incoming questions from individuals as soon as possible and without unnecessary delay. If a question is very extensive and providing an answer thus takes time, you should inform the person who asked it. Read more about this on the following page: 

Addressing comments

An individual researcher with a personal account on social media that is partly or entirely used to disseminate research at the University does not represent the University as a public authority and does not, therefore, have the same obligations. Nevertheless, remember that you are strongly associated with Lund University and that common sense is always expected. 

General guidelines from the E-delegation

The E-delegation, on behalf of the Government, has drawn up guidelines regarding public authorities’ use of social media. The recommendations on the present pages are partly based on these guidelines.

The E-delegation’s guidelines for public authorities on social media at (in Swedish)

Content considered official documents

The material that we and others publish in Lund University’s social media channels always becomes an official document, i.e. public and accessible to all. 

Read more under ‘Filing and destruction’ below

Public access and confidentiality

Some material may be considered confidential and can thus not be published or stored on social media. 

Legal Division

When can you give advice and information?

It is important not to give advice and information on matters relating to individuals. In such cases, you should refer to the division or person at the University who can assist the person in question, and transfer the case to a more appropriate channel (e.g. email or telephone). When it is not a personal matter, it is obviously good to provide advice and information directly in the comments box, so that more people have access to it. 

State that the information comes from Lund University 

As a public authority, it is important that we clearly state who is responsible for the channel. Users are to know that the information comes from Lund University and that they are communicating with a representative of the organisation. It must also be clear to the user what the purpose of the channel is and what “rules” apply, i.e. what they can write in the channel and what happens if they post illegal or inappropriate material, for example. Examples of what to write in your account description can be found on the following page:

Account description, name and profile picture

The line between private and public

Drawing the line between private and public can be difficult. As an employer, Lund University has no right or desire to get involved in what you do in your spare time. Freedom of expression applies to all people regardless. However, an account that communicates in Lund University’s name should not comment on, like or share posts that have no connection to research and education or are of no relevance to the University’s activities.

Preservation and disposal

When Lund University communicates with the outside world (with private individuals, companies, organisations, other public authorities, etc.), the documentation (letters, emails, official notes from conversations, posts and comments on social media, etc.) usually become official. This places special requirements with regard to our responsibility for this documentation and may require preservation.

Because it is technically difficult to file all material shared on social media – as it is stored by external agents – we recommend that you exercise general caution with regard to the type of information you post. Bear in mind that: 

  • Social media are primarily to be used for information of minor and temporary importance, in accordance with Swedish legislation, and therefore does not require the public authority to store it long term.
  • If you publish more important and long-term relevant information on social media, make sure that it is also stored in a safe way within the public authority, on the University website, on paper, in a case management system or similar. This way, you don’t have to think about being able to preserve the “copy” contained in the social media channel.

Guidelines for disposing of information

The Records Management and Archives Office has developed guidelines for preservation and disposal of information published on social media.

Guidelines for preservation and disposal of information published on social media (new tab, 2 MB)

Closing an account

In some cases, you need to create social media accounts that are only to be active for a limited time. There could be other reasons why an account needs to be closed, for example, if a project or activity has terminated or if the conditions for the channel change. As a public authority, we are responsible for all of our accounts, regardless of whether or not they are active. 

Important things to consider when you close an account

  • Inform the visitor that the account is no longer active. This information should be easy to find for both recurring and new visitors.
  • Refer them to alternative channels, such as a website, another social media channel, or email.
  • If no one is able regularly to check incoming comments or post, disable this function if possible (not all channels have this option).
  • Only the administrator of the page/account is authorised to delete it. Information on how to proceed can usually be found on the help pages of the channel.
  • When a decision is made that an account is to be closed, an assessment of the documentation is necessary, and content that is retained is to be saved on a local server. The assessment is to take account of whether the page, posts or comments have:
    • aroused unusually large public interest
    • cultural and historical significance
    • value for research
    • value for understanding the archiving process in general (particularly when social media is central to the organisational unit’s operations.


Please contact your nearest communications officer to discuss whether and, if so, how you could use social media in your activities.

Contact a communications officer 

For questions regarding the content on these pages, contact: 

Anna Johnsson
Communications officer
Corporate Communications
anna_v [dot] johnsson [at] kommunikation [dot] lu [dot] se (anna_v[dot]johnsson[at]kommunikation[dot]lu[dot]se)
+46 46 222 70 21

Disposing of information on social media

Information published on social media is considered to be public documents and must therefore be treated in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Guidelines for preservation and disposal of information published on social media, in Swedish (PDF, 2 MB, new tab)