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Using social media


Patients and families coping with serious illness face many challenges. Support from friends within the St. Jude family can be an important part of the treatment process. Also, St. Jude urges its patients and families to keep in touch with loved ones at home to nurture those relationships.

The St. Jude staff knows that one common way to maintain these relationships, both inside and outside of St. Jude, is through social media. This is most true when you are a long distance from your friends and family. A few examples of social media sites are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and CaringBridge. While these resources might be helpful for you, it is important to be aware of the risks and the ways you can help keep you and your child safe.

What you can do to protect the privacy of you, your child, and others

  • Use the privacy settings provided by the social media channel to restrict who can see your information, including email addresses, photos, messages, etc. Check your settings often, as social media channels often reset them to a more public default setting.
  • Be aware that even if your setting is on “private,” friends of friends might still be able to see and share your posts.
  • Don’t post personal information, such as your email address, phone number, mailing address, patient identification number, or financial information to your social media page or someone else’s page.
  • Be careful to check the privacy settings of Facebook groups you join. Many are public.
  • Get the permission of another patient’s family before posting pictures or video of that patient on your own website or social media pages. In the same way, if a friend on a social media site posts a photo of you or your child that you do not want shared with their network, kindly ask them to remove it.
  • Get permission from hospital staff and volunteers before taking and sharing photos and videos of them with you or your child.
  • Per state and federal laws, and St. Jude policies, St. Jude employees and volunteers are forbidden from “friending” or directly connecting with patients and patient family members—or sharing or exchanging messages with patients or patient family members—on social media. Please do not ask them to friend or connect with you or your child on social media.
  • You are not allowed to photograph, videotape, stream, or audiotape medical care being given to the patient. To learn more, see “Do You Know… Photographing, videotaping, streaming, audiotaping.”

Other resources

To learn more about how to protect your privacy online, visit, a website run by the Federal Trade Commission.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).