SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY FOR THE THAMES VALLEY CIRCUIT


A healthy Christian community is a safe place of mutual care,
where all people feel valued, loved and respected.



These guidelines for engaging on social media reflect those values.


These guidelines apply to all content and comments posted to Methodist Church social media channels.


Methodist churches, circuits and districts, and individuals are encouraged to adopt these guidelines for their own social media channels and personal social media engagement.


Why use social media?


The Methodist Church encourages the use of social media tools as a means of extending our engagement with people inside and outside the church. This includes

  • Sharing our stories
  • Engaging in conversations ‘where people are’
  • Sharing, learning and encouraging
  • Reaching those who cannot physically attend church
  • Forming and deepening relationships locally and globally

Consider the safety of yourself and others


It is important that the safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults especially, must be maintained.


If you have a safeguarding concern, please inform our District Safeguarding Officer, Philippa Read (safeguarding@methodistsoutheast.org or 07958 915747)


Conversation on social media can sometimes develop into heated and pointless argument. Be aware of the effect on yourself, and don’t feel you always need to engage. You can always ‘sign off’ from a heated conversation calmly, with something like ‘I think we’ll have to agree to disagree.



Respect


Do not post or share content that is sexually explicit, inflammatory, hateful, abusive, threatening or otherwise disrespectful. Try to think of the effect on others who may see what you post.


Be transparent


Don’t mislead people about who you are, or use pseudonyms.


Disagree with love


If you have a criticism you need to make, consider carefully the tone of what you write. If you are personally attacked, do not respond in kind. Being a Christian means that sometimes we must speak out and challenge injustice. But remember when you need to point out something you think is wrong, that there is a real, and possibly vulnerable, person at the receiving end of what you say.


Be careful when sharing content


Don’t share in haste. Read linked content thoroughly, or watch a video to the end so you know exactly what you are sharing, before you judge whether it is suitable to share.


Maintain confidentiality


If telling a story about someone else, ask yourself first ‘Is this my story to tell?’ Don’t reveal personal details about others without explicit permission.


Our responsibilities


If we deem comments (or other content) that are posted to the Methodist Church social media accounts or pages to be unsuitable or offensive, we will take action that may include hiding, deleting or reporting comments, or blocking users.


These guidelines will be reviewed regularly and updated in light of feedback and experience. If you have questions or suggestions please email: webeditor@methodistchurch.org.uk.