Monday 23 October 2017

Thou shalt not share: Diocese draws up 'Nine Commandments' for Anglicans using Twitter

Do not “hide behind anonymity” so say the Twitter commandments
Do not “hide behind anonymity” so say the Twitter commandments

Ian Johnston

'Nine Commandments' about how to use Twitter in a holy way have been drawn up by an Anglican diocese.

The new guidelines, from the Diocese of Bath & Wells, urge people to ask: “Would God like my tweet?”

“Before posting always think: Is this my story to share? Would I want my mum to read this? Would I want God to read this?” the instructions stated, according to The Daily Telegraph.

“Essentially, you should participate online in the same way as you would in any other public forums. Your actions should be consistent with your work and Christian values and you take responsibility for the things you do, say or write.

The online commandments contain advice that would apply to Anglicans, followers of other faiths and non-believers alike.

First among them is “don't rush in”, while officials are also advised to remember that updates are “transient yet permanent” and that they are “an ambassador for the church”.

They are told not to “hide behind anonymity” and to think about “the blurring of public/private life boundaries”.

One headlined “safeguarding” warns that communicating with a person directly online “is like meeting someone in private”.

The final three say people should “stay within the legal framework”, “respect confidentiality” and “be mindful of your own security”.

The diocese added that social media generally was an “important missional tool” but warned people should not abandoned Christian values in a bid to gain followers.

“These good practice guidelines have been compiled to help clergy, office-holders and staff already active on social media (or thinking about it!) fulfil, with confidence, their role as online ambassadors for their local parish, the wider Church and our Christian faith.”


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