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A Timely Reminder on Use of Online Resources in Church Callings Twitter Facebook Print E-mail
Written by Sharon Howell   
Monday, 29 December 2014

In August 2014, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged Church members to “flood the earth with messages filled with righteousness and truth.” He was speaking to individuals about social media, but his message is applicable to any online presence created to further the work of the Church. Websites, blogs, and social media posts can strengthen faith, assist with coordination efforts, and share Church content to great effect.

If you are thinking about creating online content…

…and intend to share it with a specific group, remember anything you post may be seen by a much wider audience then you might realize. To assist you, the Church has published “Use of Online Resources in Church Callings” on LDS.org.

Quoting from the site, the general guidelines are as follows:

  1. Local priesthood leaders must first approve the creation of calling-related websites, blogs or social media profiles.
  2. The Church logo may not be used or imitated.
  3. The name and contact information of the responsible member must be posted publicly.
  4. Members should not state their online content is sponsored or endorsed by the Church, or officially represents the Church.
  5. Church-owned artwork, videos, music, or other materials should not be posted unless clearly authorized.
  6. Photographs of other individuals or personal information must not be displayed without consent.
  7. Social media properties must be properly maintained and actively moderated to ensure any inappropriate content is promptly removed.
  8. Members should have a purpose and goal for the resource.
  9. Websites, blogs, and social media should not duplicate the tools and features that are already available at LDS.org.

For more information, go to www.lds.org/pages/online-resources-for-church-callings?lang=eng. The full article provides many examples for applying the guidelines appropriately, plus additional resources and best practices. Handbook 2: Administering the Church section 21.1.22 also lists the guidelines, and provides guidance on personal use of the Internet.

 

Comments  

 
# May Bo Hubbard 2014-12-29 20:17
I'm still super confused of if I can use pictures on www.lds.org on personal blogs (not for callings).... or share on FB... ect. What if I state the source? Is that ok?
 
 
# Alan Smoot 2014-12-30 09:22
Quoting May Bo Hubbard:
I'm still super confused of if I can use pictures on www.lds.org on personal blogs (not for callings).... or share on FB... ect. What if I state the source? Is that ok?


Please use the Media Library. You can refer to the following for more information. https://www.lds.org/media-library/frequently-asked-questions?lang=eng
 
 
# May Bo Hubbard 2014-12-30 09:55
Very Helpful Thank you!
 
 
# Julie Tomlinson 2015-01-03 12:16
I'm looking for ideas of how to get consents at a stake level. We have a young women facebook page. The young women are all excited to have their picture posted and would sign a release on the spot but we need to get permission from parents. Because it's at the stake level, we have an overwhelming number load and are stuck with how to individually collect consent forms without burdening ward leaders with another task. Any ideas of things that have worked for others?
 
 
# Mike Norton 2015-01-04 08:29
[quote name="Julie Tomlinson"]I'm looking for ideas of how to get consents at a stake level. We have a young women facebook page. The young women are all excited to have their picture posted and would sign a release on the spot but we need to get permission from parents. Because it's at the stake level, we have an overwhelming number load and are stuck with how to individually collect consent forms without burdening ward leaders with another task. Any ideas of things that have worked for others?[/quote

We also have a similar need. We can utilize the Newsletter area of LDS.org, but it lacks notification of new posts and is not as easily accessible to mobile devices. Our stake is attempting to communicate sports information such as schedules, roster forms, and other upcoming events - with attachments (not currently supported on Calendar items). Right now, Facebook seems to be a great place to update Wards and Branches. I'm open to any other suggestions.
 
 
# Cori Linn Richardelle 2015-01-04 10:47
Quoting Julie Tomlinson:
I'm looking for ideas of how to get consents at a stake level. We have a young women facebook page. The young women are all excited to have their picture posted and would sign a release on the spot but we need to get permission from parents... without burdening ward leaders with another task. Any ideas of things that have worked for others?

I am a music teacher with a class web page and a large number of students. I face much the same issue and in my state there must be physically signed forms on file for each student image posted. I don't think there is a safe short cut around getting all those signed forms. I send them home with students. If the form isn't returned, the student can't have a name or photo posted. Most kids like social media, and are motivated to complete the task. I always have a few definite no's. I use Photoshop to "blur out" students without a consent form on file. The peace of mind is worth the effort.
 
 
# Cassandra Dawn Bushman 2015-01-03 17:01
How do you get consent to use the videos? I haven't been able to find anywhere on the site where this is offered. Does my Bishopric contact you?
 
 
# Sharon Leslie Howell 2015-01-06 09:12
Wade Murdock from LDSTech offers clarification on issues raised above: "The permission form (PDF) at the bottom of article on lds.org applies to photos, videos, audio recordings, interviews, stories, performances, and other content types featuring or related in any way to specific individuals. If a person is identifiable through any of these content types, he or she must sign the permission form (along with a parent or guardian if the person is a minor). When in doubt, err on the side of getting signed permission forms. Signed permission forms should be kept on file by the site or channel administrator or the priesthood leader who authorized the site or channel. At a minimum, signed permissions should be kept for as long as the site or channel is in existence."
 
 
# Sharon Leslie Howell 2015-01-06 09:13
Wade Murdock also added: "However, given the nature of online media and the ease with which content can be copied, stored, and shared, it would be wise to keep the signed permissions indefinitely. If storage space is a concern, signed permissions can be scanned and stored electronically. Since locally and individually created sites and channels are not official Church products, there is no need to submit the signed permissions to Church headquarters."
 

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