To provide Biophysical Society members, biophysicists, and others interested in the field with information related to biophysics research & careers, BPS activities, science news, member news, and public policy matters. BPS maintains accounts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

While social media is an effective communication and promotional tool, unguided engagement may lead to negative public reaction and consequences to BPS, therefore, it is important to develop a general framework and policy to guide our social media engagement to maximize effectiveness and minimize risks. 

Social Media Posting Guidelines

Considering the diverse content that is shared on BPS social media, there are general guidelines that every post should adhere to and specific guidelines for posts around BPS sponsored events. Posts and Tweets, including reposts and retweets, should be in keeping with the Society’s mission, goals, and values. Posts should fall within the scientific efforts and/or expertise. Remember that BPS represents science and posts should be related to non-partisan science, which means that even reputable sources may not be suitable for citing or posting.

General Guidelines:

  • Posts will be clear, concise and factual in nature. Questionable content must be verified with credible sources before posting. 
  • Any posts that share a link to a third-party website will be vetted and verified ahead of time. 
  • Posts will not communicate any financial, operational or proprietary information about BPS or its members.  
  • As BPS is a 501(c)3 organization, BPS may face tax consequences for public statements directly or indirectly supporting a political campaign or specific candidate for public office. No posts will identify any partisan political preferences or promote specific political campaigns. 
    • However, posts highlighting a general group of scientists or STEM candidates running for office is permissible. 
  • Posts will avoid using language that is deemed derogatory, offensive, or inflammatory. 
  • BPS representatives are barred from utilizing BPS social media assets to communicate their personal views or opinions. Violators will be subjected to administrative action. 
  • BPS accounts will make clear that its retweets or posting re-sharing content by another user does not indicate an endorsement of that user’s statement by BPS. Posts/reposts will be selected that represent the diversity of voices within the Society
  • In the event BPS social media accounts receive a negative post or comment, the Social Media Manager will determine the best response or appropriate person(s) to whom to escalate the issue. 
  • In the event BPS social media accounts receive a request to engage on a specific policy issue, sign a petition, or share a particular viewpoint, these posts will be immediately shared with the Public Affairs Director for vetting. The Public Affairs Committee will consider relevant policy issues originating from social media to engage with. 

Specific Guidelines:

BPS Events:

  • No photos from BPS events will be shared that feature staff or members holding alcoholic beverages 
  • If BPS events are sponsored by outside organizations, posts will feature and thank our sponsors for their participation. 

Members of Congress/Public Officials

  • BPS posts will only tag and engage with the official account of the public officeholder. Staff will ensure no political accounts are tagged. 
  • BPS will engage with and support public office holders that support BPS positions and the research enterprise in general, regardless of their political affiliation.

Official BPS Statements or Press Releases

  • Due to character limits, it is often difficult to fully describe an official statement or press release on social media. Posts that share BPS positions or releases will always feature a link to the full statement/release and, to the best of their ability, summarize the position. Readers will be encouraged to view the full statement/release to ensure accurate and effective communication.

Chapters and Subgroups

Chapters and subgroups are required to adhere to all of the Society’s general social media guidelines. Chapters’ and subgroups’ social media presence is a powerful tool. It provides an avenue to build relationships and engage people. Official BPS Student Chapters and subgroups are an extension of the Biophysical Society. Every social media channel used by chapters and subgroups may be a first impression of the organization and should properly reflect the chapter, subgroup, institution, and Society. Each chapter and subgroup’s different social media channels should reflect the diverse voices that speak for the Biophysical Society. However, they should be representative of the Society’s missions and goals and identifiable as an official BPS associated account. All such accounts should feature the BPS logo along with the Chapter or subgroup logo in a clearly identifiable way.

Part of the chapter and subgroup’s identity lies in the tone or voice that is used to represent the chapter, subgroup, institution, or the Society. Consider how the language you use affects or enhances the credibility of the chapter, subgroup, institution, and the Society. A motto often used when dealing with social media is that you can relax your tone, but not your standards. This means you should keep updates conversational and friendly, but always be a source of information and never uninformed speculation.

Violation of BPS Social Media Policy Guidelines

To avoid any adverse repercussions, please adhere to the BPS Social Media Policy Guidelines. Violators may jeopardize their relationship with BPS and will be prohibited to interact on behalf of BPS and its affiliates.