Social Media Policy
At ARBC, we know that social media can be an essential tool in our ministry to children, youth, and their families. Social media websites like Facebook can be a powerful ministry resource. With great power, however, comes great responsibility.
Avenue Road Baptist Church adheres to a comprehensive social media policy for the protection of ARBC staff, volunteers and guests. This policy is subject to revision, and should be reviewed from time to time -- especially as new technologies begin to emerge.
Please keep the following guidelines in mind when posting on personal websites, or using social media:
1. You are responsible for your actions.
Anything you post can be seen by everyone who connects with you by social media (as well as anyone that those people show it to). Be responsible in what you post, exercising good judgement and common sense. Ultimately, you are responsible for what is posted on your site or profile.
2. You are representing Christ, the Christian
Church, and the Congregation of ARBC.
Please be aware of the beliefs and core values of the church, and do not post things that would be deemed inconsistent with those beliefs. Be respectful of others, including those of other races, religions and cultures.
Please do not use ARBC Church logos without permission, or anything that would cause confusion as to whether your personal site/group/page/post/profile is an "official" site/group/page/post/profile of ARBC. As a ministry volunteer, how you conduct yourself in the online social media space not only reflects on you; it is a direct reflection on the minstry, leaders and congregation of ARBC, and ultimately, on Jesus Christ.
3. Interact Wisely.
When interacting with children, youth, and their families, act thoughtfully. Refrain from using aliases and nicknames. Be sure to fully disclose your affiliation with ARBC, and your role as a ministry volunteer. Keep records of significant conversations. Adults who minister to children and youth are also encouraged to set very stringent privacy settings on any social networking profile and think carefully about sending/accepting "friend" requests from minors and youth.
Closed groups/pages can be an effective way to use social media for ministry relationships. Groups/pages should have at least two (2) unrelated adult administrators if possible. If possible, youth administrators should send group/page invitations. Social networking groups for youth should be open to parents of current members.
4. When in doubt, don't post.
As a ministry volunteer, you are an online spokesperson. Please ensure that posts are completely accurate, not misleading, and that they do not reveal any information that might be considered confidential or damaging to others. Do not claim authorship of something that is not yours. If you are using someone else's content, make certain they are credited for it, and that they approve of you using it.
Don't use copyrighted material without permission. Do not post materials of any kind that could be deemed abusive or inappropriate. Please be extremely careful when posting photos and/or videos of ARBC, its programs or participants. You should ALWAYS have permission when posting photos and videos of others, and should never post photos and/or videos of minors that include any type of identifying information. Exercise common sense, and if there is any doubt, DO NOT POST.
5. React appropriately to abusive/inappropriate
Any material, on any site (whether affiliated with the church or not) that raises suspicion that a child has been or will be abused/neglected/exploited should be immediately reported to the Pastor. If the material is on a church-affiliated site, the material should be documented for church records and removed from the site after consultation with the Pastor and/or police.
All other inappropriate materials should be removed from the site immediately. Any content that details inappropriate behaviour during a church-sponsored event or activity should be addressed by adult youth leaders or parents. Examples of inappropriate content include, but are not limited to:
- references to photos/videos of alcohol or illicit substances
- photos/videos with revealing clothing
- pornography/comments or joking of a sexual nature
- disclosure of confidential information relating to past, present or future staff, volunteers, members, participants or guests
- any discriminatory, harassing or racist remarks
6. Know that the Internet is permanent.
Once information is published online, it is essentially part of a permanent record, even if you "remove/delete" it later, or attempt to make it anonymous.
7. Recognize your position of authority.
As a ministry staff or volunteer, please recognize that you are in a position of authority. Please refrain from online activities that might make a child, youth, or one of their family members feel intimidated or harassed. Be respectful of al individuals who request not to be contacted via social media, or decline participation in online groups/pages.