We want to be "good disciples". We're human so there will be the odd occasion where we forget ourselves and regret it later. Maybe social media allows that to happen a little more frequently than we might "face to face".
So it's important that we understand what our "online discipleship" can look like and affirm our desire to be a "good online disciple".
The Church of England has issued a Social Media Policy to which PCC have subscribed, both individually and collectively.
The simple policy is below - have a look and then we invite you to affirm that you agree.
You can affirm your commitment to follow these universal principles and be a good online disciple, by signing up on the Church of England website.
We invite all members of our congregation who use social media to make this commitment and follow these none online commandments.
Our Social Media community guidelines have been created to encourage conversations that reflect our values. (They apply to all content posted on the national social media accounts run by the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop of York.)
Social media is a very public way of enabling us as Christians to live out our calling to share the good news of Jesus Christ. One of its many joys is that it is immediate, interactive, conversational and open-ended. This opportunity comes with a number of downsides if users do not apply the same common sense, kindness and sound judgement that we would use in a face-to-face encounter.
While written specifically for all users who engage with the Church of England’s and Archbishops’ national social media channels, these guidelines are built on universal principles. They are a resource for Christians, people of other faiths and people of no faith. Dioceses and local churches across the Church of England are welcome and encouraged to adopt them.
Be safe. The safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults must be maintained.
Be respectful. Do not post or share content that is sexually explicit, inflammatory, hateful, abusive, threatening or otherwise disrespectful.
Be kind. Treat others how you would wish to be treated and assume the best in people. If you have a criticism or critique to make, consider not just whether you would say it in person, but the tone you would use.
Be honest. Don’t mislead people about who you are.
Take responsibility. You are accountable for the things you do, say and write. Text and images shared can be public and permanent, even with privacy settings in place. If you’re not sure, don’t post it.
Be a good ambassador. Personal and professional life can easily become blurred online so think before you post.
Disagree well. Some conversations can be places of robust disagreement and it’s important we apply our values in the way we express them.
Credit others. Acknowledge the work of others. Respect copyright and always credit where it is due. Be careful not to release sensitive or confidential information and always question the source of any content you are considering amplifying.
Follow the rules. Abide by the terms and conditions of the various social media platforms themselves. If you see a comment that you believe breaks their policies, then please report it to the respective company.