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Policy No: 2080
Responsible Office: Computer Services Center
Last Review Date: 02/10/2022
Next Required Review: 02/10/2027

Removing Obscene, Potentially Defamatory or Infringing Material from University Websites

1. Purpose

So that there is an established process for content removal, this policy outlines procedures for removing obscene, potentially defamatory, or infringing material from the University websites.

2. Applicability

Any departmental webmaster or the Department of Web Services will be responsible for following procedures outlined when content is to be removed from the site. 

3. Definitions

Infringing content: Some content may not be free for use.  When content is added to a website without the express written consent of the creator, this content would be deemed infringing and must be removed until permission for use can be granted, unless the content is in the public domain.

Defamatory content: False information published to intentionally harm the subject of the statement.

Obscene content: Content that the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find, when taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interests or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way and lacks any serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

4. Policy Guidelines

The University strives to keep its website free from infringing, defamatory, and obscene content. When the University becomes aware of such content on its website, it shall be removed.

5. Procedures

5.1  If website content is identified as obscene, potentially defamatory, or infringing by any member of the University community or by a third party, then the content shall be reported to the department manager responsible for the page where the content has been published and to the Web Services Department at

5.2  The party responsible for the content or page may be contacted regarding the claim and given an opportunity to remove or edit the content or page to comply with this policy, after consultation with the responsible party’s supervisor. The University may decide, in its sole discretion, to remove the content or page without contacting the party responsible for the content or page.

5.3  Once appropriate action is determined by the University, and provided that the University has not decided in its sole discretion to remove the content or page, the department owning the content or page has the option to remove the violating content or edit the content so that it is no longer in violation of this policy.

5.4  If a page is removed from the website, then the page should also be removed from the site search by a member of the Web Services Department.

6. Enforcement

If appropriate action is not taken by the department owning the content or page within a reasonable time, a Web Services Department team member will remove the violating content or page.

7. Related Documents

Social Media Guidelines