Social Media Guidelines
Part 1: 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
- 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
- The principles applied to this are:
- Be credible. Be accurate, fair, thorough and transparent.
- Be consistent. Encourage constructive criticism and
- 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 communications.
- 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
- 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
Part 2 of the Social Media Guidlines: Understanding social media
and applying the guidelines (Pdf)
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