Using Facebook

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john84601
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Using Facebook

Postby john84601 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:11 am

I'm trying to help the Stake interprit the handbook. From reading in Book 2 Section 2.1.22 it says...

"Stake and ward Web sites may be created only by using the official Church Internet resources. Stakes and wards are not authorized to create other Web sites or blogs or otherwise have a Church-sponsored presence on the Internet."

To me that clearly says... you can't use a Facebook group or page (i.e. Stake YM/YW) to promote activities and share photos afterward. Seems as if all that would have to be done by someone using an individual account.

Am I interpreting this correctly?

Thanks...
JW

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:24 am

That seems to be a reasonable interpretation. But it needs to be read by a leader with keys to interpreting the handbook.
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lehrschallbrian
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Postby lehrschallbrian » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:04 pm

My Stake President allows our ward to use a facebook group. Our group is invite only and the stake Presidency are all admins on the group. I am in a YSA Ward

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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:58 pm

I have to believe that an organization like the church has plans in the future to provide some kind of internal or Local Unit Social interaction site. I wish we could just peep inside the dev cycle. A place to store photos, a place to gather a ward history with pictures and journal entries, etc...There are so many great uses that we may have... either that or we could specifically clear up the muddy picture were facebook is authorized for some but not for all, etc...

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:49 pm

JohnShaw wrote:There are so many great uses that we may have... either that or we could specifically clear up the muddy picture were facebook is authorized for some but not for all, etc...
While lehrschallbrian may not be aware of any approvals sought by his stake president before they began using Facebook it is clear in Hanbook 2, 21.1.22, seventh paragraph under the Official Church Internet Resources section, that young single adult activities and organization may need special consideration.

I gather from the information that the members of the stake presidency are administrators is an indication they are following guidance provided by a member of the Presidency of the Seventy.
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lionelwalters
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Postby lionelwalters » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:26 pm

jdlessley wrote:While lehrschallbrian may not be aware of any approvals sought by his stake president before they began using Facebook it is clear in Hanbook 2, 21.1.22, seventh paragraph under the Official Church Internet Resources section, that young single adult activities and organization may need special consideration.


I think this refers to a different sitatuation than what's being discussed here, as Facebook is not an "official Church Web site." I'll give you an example of this in our area: occasionally an extension of the official country page is created to advertise a national event, such as a YSA conference, and to collect registrations. This constitutes use of an official Church Web site (lds.org.au) and as the paragraph states, has to be approved by the Area Presidency internationally or the Presidency of the Seventy within the US.

The following section in 21.1.22, "Members’ Use of the Internet in Church Callings", seems to give more relevant direction to the original question, and suggests freedom to use Facebook in the manner suggested, so long as you adhere to the guidelines that are given in that section, including creating the group with a personal account. Of course, a stake presidency or bishopric could suggest further conditions or restrictions within their stake or ward as they feel inspired.

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Postby sammythesm » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:46 am

I read "21.1.22: Members’ Use of the Internet in Church Callings" to mean that members in church callings CAN use electronic resources (web sites, blogs, facebook groups, email accounts, newsletters, etc) to share information relevant to the church/their callings with others so long as they don't imply official status/sponsorship. I would think this could even extend as far as a Stake or Ward group on Facebook, so long as it includes all of the disclaimers. To be safe, however, I would not have the Bishop be the "sponsor" or one pushing for people to join it, as that implies an official status. They key to that paragraph, I believe, is "individual members may"... though we're all individual members (even leaders) some members' activities carry more weight/implication.

That being said, I believe a best-practice is for everything like this to be opt-in. It should NOT be the "official"/"authoritative" source of information, and not attempt to duplicate or replace the official tools at LDS.org. (for example, I would NOT announce to the ward that all ward events would be posted as Facebook events rather than using the calendar at LDS.org and that members must join Facebook to get that info)

Just my 2 cents, FWIW.

jaj78
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Postby jaj78 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:55 am

I guess the key is what is the web presence purporting to do. A handful of people in our ward created a private ward Facebook group (that anyone can be invited to) where folks can post notes to their lessons, ask if Mutual is cancelled, make reminders about the ward activity, solicit for a substitute to teach their classes, or let people know of a family in need.

It doesn't attempt to be official in any way, is not public, but serves as a community-driven conversation board. It's convenient to have a way to access ward members that is along the beaten path each day. The bishop is happy to mention it to new move-ins because the daily exchange with members is immensely helpful. No one is "in charge of it" and it is very organic in nature. So far so good.

Once Newsletter is "ripe", I can foresee a day when links to news items on the official ward pages are hyperlinked on facebook so people know there is an update, because let's face it, we've got a whole lot more people checking facebook each day than logging into lds.org. (many don't even have their lds account active, for shame).

For what it's worth, we do have an opt-in weekly email with the auxiliary events, details, and community announcements that goes through a Ward communications specialist. It is AWESOME and helps keep members informed, aggregating the whole ward's worth of news and information into one email each week. I expect it could be transferred to Newsletter also, once there is capability to have articles emailed to ward members.

john84601
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Postby john84601 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:03 pm

RussellHltn wrote:But it needs to be read by a leader with keys to interpreting the handbook.


My Stake Presidency needs to help understanding this better to be able to make a decision. They would appreciate my input (as the STS).

I think I can draw 2 conclusions.
1. The Chruch wants it's people to "share" on the internet.
2. The Church is concerned that some members / wards / stakes / etc. efforts might be percieved as "Official" church content.

In practice it seems that every page / group / etc. needs:
1. The "This is not an official..." disclaimer in it's description.
2. A "name" that describes / represents the group (not an individual).

So what is the happy medium... that describes (and brings people into) the group... but doesn't cross the line of sounding to "official"? For those out there that are doing this... how are you "managing" to stay within guidlines? I suspect it can be done... but am looking for ideas.

Thanks...!

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:42 pm

john84601 wrote:The Church is concerned that some members / wards / stakes / etc. efforts might be percieved as "Official" church content.


We're really not sure what the concerns are. Some have been expressed, such as the privacy of members, rights of copyright holders, purity of the gospel etc. Another may be keeping a certain amount of legal distance between the page and the church. (After all, it is World-Wide and so any misstep can carry the potential of some significant legal problems.)

If the stake presidency is making decisions (other then asking for a take-down) on a page or group, then wouldn't it in fact be a "stake page" regardless of what the name of the group was?

If the stake president is looking for directions, I would suggest talking with the Area Authority rather then asking the opinion of the forum.
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