Guidelines for Personal Web Pages

Established: August, 1995 -- Lastest update: May 13th, 1999

Section IV of UWM's Policies and Guidelines Concerning the Electronic Publication of Information allow that "Faculty, staff, students, ... may establish unofficial home pages and documents" on the campus web server. The guidelines below are designed to address issues related to these `personal pages' beyond those covered in the policy.

UWM does not seek to restrict the free speech rights of individuals using the web to publish personal pages. However, the dissemination of some material is not protected speech and may expose the page's creator to legal liability. These guidelines are assembled to alert creators of web pages to the potential problems that could arise due to the content of their pages.

The responsibility for the content of personal web pages, and any criminal or civil actions that result, lies solely with their creators.

Bear in mind that the contents of your web pages will reflect on you individually and UWM in general. Access to personal web pages is not restricted in any manner, and pages you create are available to the entire Internet. Content you publish may potentially be extracted or copied by others, and may reflect on you at a later time or in another context.

Willful abuse of web guidelines may lead to the suspension of web privileges.

General Guidelines:

  1. Content must not violate any local, state or federal laws, including any applicable export laws and regulations.
  2. Material that appears in personal web pages should be copyright-free, unless you are the copyright holder, or have permission from the copyright holder to include it on your web page. Copyright is generally implied, so the absence of specific copyright statements does not mean the material is copyright-free.
  3. Inclusion of material that would constitute computer fraud or could be used to commit computer fraud is forbidden.
  4. Users are cautioned that inclusion of material that could be deemed libelous, slanderous, patently false, or otherwise malicious could result in legal liability.
  5. Users are cautioned that revealing information about individuals, businesses, groups, or organizations without their permission, unless the information is already public, may in some cases constitute an invasion of privacy, and could result in legal liability. The use of Social Security Numbers or equivalent for purposes of identification is specifically prohibited.
  6. University policy does not allow the use of the University's `brand identity elements', including the UWM logo, signature, or seal, to appear on unofficial publications, including personal web pages, without prior specific approval.
  7. It is advisable that any user who operates a `Bulletin Board' server, which creates a forum where others may post information into the user's web area, monitor messages and remove items that are not relevant to the topic or that may be in violation of federal, state, or local law.
  8. In keeping with the above mentioned policy, university computers are not to be used for commercial purposes. Commercial use would include any content that:
    • Purports to be an official site for any organization (profit or non-profit)
    • Is used to conduct a commercial business enterprise
    • Serves as an advertisement for a business enterprise
    • Is used for personal financial benefit

    Persons who wish to pursue such activities need to make use of alternative web providers.

  9. The personal web area should not be used to house information that more properly belongs in another area of the UWM web Server:
    • The official copy of any content that is a publication of any sub-unit of the University should be housed in the official `departmental' area. (Use of personal web space for development and draft copies is allowed.)
    • Although instructors may house class-related materials in their personal web area, those making extensive use of the web are encouraged to request space for their course in the area. This offers several benefits, including making the material visible to the search engine, the option of allowing multiple persons update access to the material, and segregating the course materials from any other personal web uses.
    • Content speaking for any student organization may only be housed in the area. Any SOAR-recognized student organization may request space there.
    • Content speaking for any other organization, including professional organizations, may only be housed on the UWM server by specific prior agreement and is only allowed in the area. A decisions to grant an outside organization space on the UWM web server will be made based on UWM's contractual and/or professional obligation to the organization.
UWM's policy on the use of computing resources is that they be used for instruction, research, or administrative support. Other uses may be deemed inappropriate and may lead to suspension of a user's web privileges.