Social Media

The following is an excerpt from an AA Guidelines Report, MG-18 A.A. Guidelines – Internet, which is a report regarding internet activity. This source can be found on A.A.org, the official website for Alcoholics Anonymous. – Please be mindful of Anonymity. 

“GENERAL SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
Facebook and other social networking websites are public in nature.
Though users create accounts and utilize usernames and passwords,
once on the site, it is a public medium where A.A. members and nonA.A.s
mingle.
As long as individuals do not identify themselves as A.A. members, there
is no conflict of interest. However, someone identifying themselves as
an A.A. member using their full name and/or a likeness, such as a fullface
photograph, would be contrary to the spirit of the Eleventh Tradition,
which states in the Long Form that, “…our [last] names and pictures as
A.A. members ought not be broadcast, filmed or publicly printed.”
Experience suggests that it is in keeping with the Eleventh Tradition to
not disclose A.A. membership on social networking sites as well as on
any other website, blog, electronic bulletin board, etc., unless composed
solely of A.A. members and password protected.
Websites and social networking offer individuals the chance to post a
great deal of personal information about themselves (and others). Our
experience suggests that some A.A. members do not post anything that
is “A.A. jargon” on their personal profiles and in “status updates,” while
others feel it is alright to do so as long as A.A. or Alcoholics Anonymous
is not mentioned.
These websites often allow users to create social networking “groups”
and the ability to invite others to “events” for like-minded individuals.
Some A.A.s have chosen to create A.A.-related groups. Since this is a
relatively new medium, A.A. members are frequently “learning as they
go,” and technology and applications change practically on a daily basis.
Our experience has shown that the evolving nature of social networking
platforms makes it difficult to provide specific guidelines for using
these resources for A.A. purposes. Any A.A. group or member that is
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thinking about entering this public arena should closely consider the privacy
policies of such sites, in light of A.A.’s tradition of anonymity. For
example, social networking sites may provide full names and pictures of
group members, contrary to A.A.’s practice of avoiding such disclosures
in public media. Even “closed” or “private” groups might still reveal an
individual’s identity. Being well-informed prior to joining or starting such
a group is the key to protecting your own anonymity, and that of others.
G.S.O. has received numerous complaints from concerned A.A. members
regarding anonymity breaks online, inappropriate use of the A.A.
name, and copyrighted materials and protected trademarks being improperly
used on Facebook and other social networking websites. No
local online A.A. or non-A.A. entity should purport itself to be a spokesperson
for A.A. or act as if they represent the General Service Office,
A.A.W.S., or the General Service Board. Each A.A. entity is autonomous
and encouraged to make decisions by informed group conscience decision
in light of the guidance provided in our Twelve Traditions.
A.A. members sometimes contact G.S.O. for suggestions on how to
remain within the Traditions on Facebook and other social networking
websites. Keep in mind that G.S.O. staff members are not specifically
trained in technology, but can act as a resource regarding A.A.’s Twelve
Traditions and the shared experience of the Fellowship in the U.S. and
Canada. How A.A.’s spiritual principles play out in new technologies
needs to be carefully discussed by each A.A. individual or entity creating
an online presence.”

Source ~ Alcoholics Anonymous MG-18 A.A. Guidelines – Internet AA.org


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