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What would Jesus tweet? Church of England hands down commandments for Anglicans on social media

'Thou shalt not flame El Reg' not among them, sadly*

The Archbishop of Canterbury has used a Facebook Live interview to launch a "digital charter" to provide guidelines for how Anglicans should use social media.

In the interview, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Archbishop Justin Welby said it was obvious why the guidelines were needed. "Just look at any article and then look at the comments below, and very quickly you find stuff which is just poison."

The bish is clearly not a Reg reader.

Slightly confusingly there are two launches today – one for anyone engaging with the church's social media orifices, and a call for people to sign up to a broader digital charter.

Welby said a good starting point was to treat others as you would like to be treated.

The voluntary pledge calls for people to ensure what they post on social media is true and "fair and factual". Welby said there was no such thing as an alternative fact and that social media users should go not for the person but the issue.

He also said people should be welcoming not try to shut out others. On its own social media feeds the Anglican church calls on people to take responsibility for what they post and be aware that it can be both public and permanent, whatever your privacy settings.

It notes that personal and professional lives can easily become blurred. The guidelines also call on people to "disagree well".

The final two guidelines are:

  • Credit others. Acknowledge the work of others. Respect copyright and always credit where it is due. Be careful not to release sensitive or confidential information and always question the source of any content you are considering amplifying.
  • Follow the rules. Abide by the terms and conditions of the various social media platforms themselves. If you see a comment that you believe breaks their policies, then please report it to the respective company.

Welby showed his sense of humour, we think, in the Facebook interview by saying there would be moderation of people who "use religious jargon in a way which ontologically results in epistemological confusion... to use some religious jargon". Feel free to leave a spittle-flecked comment below. ®

* We're kidding. We love your flames...

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