Connexional Social Media Policy
- This applies as policy
to lay employees of the Methodist Council. It is good practice guidance for
Ministers and other office holders or those with a representative role within
the Methodist Church.
- All new forms of
communication provide opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in
the world. They come, however, with new values. Whereas the printed word has a
certain finality of declaration about it, social media is interactive,
conversational and open-ended. Moreover, it happens in a public, not private,
space. The Methodist Church therefore encourages the user to use social tools
as a means of engaging in an interactive conversation with people of all faiths
and none. As Gospel people, our conversation should be ‘seasoned with
salt’ (Colossians 4:6), and these guidelines aim
to help us to do so.
- The principles applied to this are:
- Be credible. Be accurate,
fair, thorough and transparent.
- Be consistent. Encourage constructive criticism and deliberation.
- Be cordial, honest and professional at all times. Be responsive.
When you gain insight, share it where appropriate.
- Be integrated. Wherever possible, align online participation with other
- Be a good representative of the Methodist Church. Remember that you
are an ambassador for Christ, the Church and your part of it. Disclose
your position as a member or officer of the Church, making it clear
when speaking personally.
Let Galatians 5:22-26 guide your behaviour.
- Be respectful: respect confidentiality. Respect the views of others even
where you disagree.
- You should participate
online in the same way as you would with other public forums. You take
responsibility for the things you do, say or write.
- Never share personal
details like home address and phone numbers except with someone you know and
trust, and if you decide to do so then use a private message. Be aware an
address can be disclosed in many ways for example via photos or a GPS position
as well as in written form.
- Always remember that
participating online results in your comments being permanently available and
open to being republished in other media. Once something is posted to a blog or
other internet site, it should be assumed to be still available even if it is
later deleted from the original site.
- Stay within the legal
framework and be aware that safeguarding, libel, slander, copyright and data
protection laws apply, as well as the Constitutional Practice and Discipline
(CPD) of the Methodist Church.
- For general guidelines
on confidentiality, refer to With Integrity
and Skill – if telling a story about anyone, ask
yourself Is this my story to tell?
- Be aware that this may
attract media interest in you as an individual, so proceed with care whether
you are participating in an official or a personal capacity. If you have any
doubts, take advice, but remember that you are responsible for your online activities.
- Staff should be aware of and act in line with Speaking for the Methodist Church, the Team email policy and the Team policy on the use of IT equipment, as well as With Integrity and Skill and the whistle blowing policy where necessary.
.org.uk/global/contact-us/email/ or at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF