Keeping things in check
POLICIES & GUIDELINES
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
The King’s Cross Baptist Church (KCBC) aims to use as many forms of communication as possible to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world. In this day in age social media is an integral part of such communication efforts.
Unlike the printed word which has a certain finality of declaration about it, social media is interactive, conversational and open-ended. It also happens in a public, not a private, space. Social tools are therefore used by KCBC as a means of engaging in an interactive conversation with people of all faiths and none, in a way that is open, transparent, and safe for all users.
Interacting through social media does not change understandings of confidentiality, responsibility and Christian values. These remains just as important online as they would be in any offline conversations, discussions and announcements.
This policy will set out the principles and guidelines for social media use by the King’s Cross Baptist Church, the recognised staff and members of the church, and any visitors that comment, contribute or interact on any one of the KCBC social media accounts.
- Social Site Rules and Regulations
KCBC and the users of its social media accounts should abide by the rules of the relevant social networking website. These include regulations on age limits, behaviour, copyright, data protection, and general use of the social networking site. Parents should ensure that these rules and regulations set by the social networks are abided by in relation to their children.
- Legal Considerations
The law views anything shared online as being in the public domain. Sharing thoughts and reflections with friends using social media or email might feel personal and private, but if more than one person can read what is written the law would class it as “published”, and is therefore subject to numerous laws around libel, slander, copyright, Freedom of Information and data protection. So when interacting with social media, if something cannot be said to the local newspaper or in a meeting, it most likely shouldn’t be said it online.
KCBC and the users of its social media accounts should consider what the legal ramifications might be before posting something online.
Anything said on social media should be assumed to be permanent. Even if an online comment is deleted, it could already have been seen by other people and/or re-published on other, unconnected sites.
KCBC and the users of its social media accounts should always think carefully and never make personal comments about someone that cannot also be said in public or to them in person.
Social media does not change KCBC’s fundamental understanding about confidentiality across the whole life of the Church. When telling a story about a situation that involves someone else, asking “Is this my story to tell?” is always advised and encouraged. If in any doubt, it should not be shared online.
KCBC and the users of its social media accounts should never share personal details like home address and phone numbers except with someone known and trusted, and if done, should use a private message.
- Public vs Private
Known members and staff of The King’s Cross Baptist Church should be aware anything done or said in the public domain could be interpreted by the public as being representative of the Church – even if it was said in a personal capacity rather than an official one. Be aware that controversial or sensitive comments made may attract attention of the media. If in doubt, take advice, but please remember that responsibility must be taken by the individual for all online activities.
- Honesty and Transparency
KCBC and the users of its social media accounts should not repeat unsubstantiated claims without finding out if they are true or not. Repeating an untruth could lead to a charge of libel and/or slander.
When discussing topics relevant to the King’s Cross Baptist Church, use your real name. If there is a vested interest in something being discussed, it should be pointed out. It may be appropriate to use a disclaimer to the effect that views expressed are the individual’s own.
Without visual cues, humour can easily be misinterpreted online. Great care should be taken not to pass off offensive comments as attempts at humour.
Privacy settings on social media tools might mean only accepted “friends” or “followers” can see the things said, but there is no guarantee that they will not pass them on outside the trusted circles.
As much as KCBC works to improve online security, nothing electronic can ever be completely secure. Therefore great care should be taken with any personal details shared online – again, assuming anything shared is in the public domain.
- Children and young people
Clear boundaries should be maintained. The law and the King’s Cross Baptist Church safeguarding policy apply in all communications with children and young people. Private messages should not be exchanged with young people via social media and “friend requests” should not be accepted from young people without due consideration.
If involved in youth work that includes an element of social media, effort must be made to keep all communications public and only send messages to whole groups, rather than to individuals. Please be aware that sharing photographs of children and young people online can put them at risk of harm. If in doubt, don’t.
- Monitoring and moderating
The designated King’s Cross Baptist Church Media Team is responsible for managing content and frequency of updates for social media and monitoring commentary on social media sites such as the official Facebook page, Twitter profile and SoundCloud account and any others.
Social media site content represents current and upcoming events, news, and commentary related to the activities of the King’s Cross Baptist Church. No social media sites are to be created by individuals in the name of the King’s Cross Baptist Church without prior approval.
Comments or posts containing suggestive, discriminatory, bullying, abusive, hurtful or defamatory wording, or language of a suggestive sexual nature will be removed from the KCBC social media accounts and possibly the proprietors of such blocked/banned from the KCBC profiles and reported.
The KCBC Media Team reserve the right to delete user posts and/or comments on KCBC social media accounts without prior warning or explanation if deemed not in line with the full spirit of this policy or other relevant policies set out by KCBC.
- General guiding principles
As we participate in social media interactions, KCBC Media Team, staff, members and users shall all aim to be:
- credible, accurate, fair, thorough and transparent.
- Encourage constructive criticism and deliberation.
- cordial, honest and professional at all times. Be responsive. When insight is gained, to share it where appropriate.
- Wherever possible, align online participation with other communications.
- a good representative of the King’s Cross Baptist Church or a respectful user of its social presence. Let ‘Galatians 5:22-26’ guide behaviour.
- respectful: respect confidentiality. Respect the views of others even where there is disagreement.