Have You Read Church Of England’s Nine Commandments For Worshippers To Follow When Using Social Media?

Have You Read Church Of England's Nine Commandments For Worshippers To Follow When Using Social Media? 1

The Diocese of Bath and Wales created the nine commandments for the modern day tablets to help people ‘navigate the landscape of social media’. It said: ‘All are based on principals of common sense and good judgement.

1. Don’t rush in
2. Transient yet permanent
3. You’re an ambassador
4. Don’t hide
5. Blurring of public/private life boundaries
6. Safeguarding
7. Stay within the legal framework
8. Confidentiality
9. Be mindful of your own security

Am sure when our great grand children comes, they’ll tell them we have 10 commandments of God and 9 commandments of social media lol…A break down of the commandments when you continue!

The rules address both Christians and Church of England workers. The first rule states ‘don’t rush in‘ and advises the user to question whether they would want ‘God or their mother’ reading their post.

While it praises social media for its ability to allow people to communicate quickly, it warns that this can mean that in the rush to publish something, people can post something without thinking it through.

It says:

‘The immediacy is one of its benefits – we can respond quickly to questions, correct misunderstandings, give our perspective about a breaking story in the news media.
‘Responding quickly doesn’t mean doing so without due consideration.
‘Ask yourself, is this my story to share? Would I want my mum to read this? Would I want God to read this? Would I want this on the front page of a newspaper?’.

The third rule is that: ‘You’re an ambassador.’ It says: ‘like it or not, if you are ordained, lead in or are employed by the Church, others will see you in your public role as a representative of the Church.’

The fourth rule is ‘don’t hide‘. The diocese warns that ‘anonymity on social media is frowned upon.
‘It’s also at odds with what we consider the main reason for using social media networks. How can anyone really connect with an alias?

‘On any social media platform, if you choose a username or profile different to your real name, include brief personal details in the about section.’

The church warns its clergy and employees to use privacy settings safely in its fifth rule about being weary of ‘blurring of public/private life boundaries’.

It warns that there are risks associated with personal opinions being seen as public statements, a minister’s private life being invaded and the difficulties of detaching from work.

‘Consider setting up different accounts for ministry and personal use to help set definite boundaries.’
It also warns about ‘safeguarding’, reminding users that a private message is like meeting someone confidentially.

‘The informality that social media encourages can mean that it might be harder to maintain a professional distance that is required when working with children, young people and the vulnerable.’
One of its lessons is about staying ‘within the legal framework’, which warns people that publishing some posts can mean committing an offence – such as defaming someone.

It warns: ‘If you wouldn’t say something in a public meeting or to someone’s face or write it in a newspaper or on headed paper – don’t say it online.’

The Church also warns people of the perils of ‘breaching confidentiality’ and its last rule is not to over share personal information.

‘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.’

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