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Social Media Policy

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The policy below provides general guidelines that can apply to the content and purpose of all social media outlets, but is written specifically to address the creation and administration of the church’s Facebook Page.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent (UUCK) has created a Page on Facebook called “Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent.” It is a Page, which differs from a Group or personal Facebook account, and is primarily maintained for whole church communication by our Social Media Committee. This Page is another means for UUCK to interact with members of our congregation. It also has potential to be an important tool in attracting visitors by enabling them to discover us through mutual Facebook “friends” of UUCK. While there are many similarities to the UUCK web site, weekly e-nUUs, and other electronic media, Facebook lends itself to a less formal atmosphere as well as offering a relatively simple way for a greater number of individuals to express themselves by posting comments, photos, web links, etc. to the UUCK Page’s wall.

Facebook Page Governance Policy

In addition to the Congregational Administrator, one or more representatives of the Social Media Committee will be designated as Facebook administrators and share responsibility for monitoring the content that is presented on Facebook. These persons shall have full authority to create, delete and maintain the content provided that the content: 

  • Is maintained within the bounds of these policies
  • Is consistent with the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism
  • Avoids slander, libel, violations of copyright, profanity, off-color humor, or advocacy of political candidates
  • Does not reveal private personal information
  • Does not advertise commercial businesses
  • Presents information that is accurate and relevant
  • When making announcements, concisely sets out the “Who, What, When, Where, Why, How, and How Much” of all items
  • Is written in clear and grammatically correct prose
  • Is updated on a timely basis

The person or persons maintaining the UUCK Facebook Page shall report to the Communications Council, which in turn shall report to the Board of Trustees.

Content Guidelines

The following guidelines for the content of the Facebook Page will be continually revised as we gain experience with this medium and learn the most effective use of the technology. 

  • The majority of the Facebook content will promote activities occurring at the UUCK, activities in which members and friends of UUCK are participating, and events in the community that are sponsored by Unitarian Universalist churches or UUA affiliated organizations.
  • Other types of content will include personal comments, photos, etc. from the Page administrators, and people who have “liked” the Page and these will be related to UUCK, Unitarian Universalism, and members or friends of our congregation. 
  • A list of filter words (including foul language, racial slurs, derogatory sexual and cultural references) will be maintained by the Social Media Committee and posts will be subject to filtering. 
  • The Facebook page will be for whole church communication, and is not intended to be specific to groups or committees with the church (except where these committees share communication with the entire church). Groups or committees may form a Facebook Group.
  • The UUCK logo, colors, and typefaces should be consistent with the UUCK website guidelines and resemble our other media “branding” styles.
  • The UUCK mission statement will be included in the Info section of the Page. 
  • The name of the minister should be easily accessible as well as an identifying photo, however it should be clear that administrator posts are not necessarily from the minister.
  • The account owner needs to be registered with an email address such as [email protected] so that ownership can be transferred if and when we have personnel changes.
  • The contact information for UUCK should be prominently displayed, as well as links to the church web site and other social media venues. 
  • The UUA has been notified that UUCK has a Facebook Page and we have asked to be added to any UUA social media directories or resources that are available.
  • Users of the Facebook Page, Facebook Groups, as well as other social media outlets are subject to the User Agreement (see addendum). Use of the Page, Groups or other outlets constitutes agreement to abide by the User Agreement. 
  • Photos should be of a presentable quality but this is not as critical as the requirements for photos on the web site or newsletter.
  • Photos posted will be with the consent of the owner of the photo, as well as those pictured in the photo. 
  • Individuals may “tag” themselves in photos, but should refrain from tagging others due to safety and security concerns. (More on “tagging”:
  • Photo opt-out: Individuals and parents of children may request that photos of them not be included on the Facebook Page (or other social media sites including the church website) by sending an e-mail to the Congregational Administrator ([email protected]). The Congregational Administrator shall notify the Communications Council to apply the opt-out to the website, newsletter, and all social media venues. 
  • Administrators should monitor the UUCK Facebook Page and remove any content, including photos, that does not comply with the guidelines contained herein; habitual offenders may be banned from further contributions to the Page.
  • Posting should be checked for inappropriate content on a daily basis.
  • New content should be added by an administrator at least once per week.
  • Content will include (but is not limited to) church announcements, links to the newsletter, links to sermon publications, upcoming services and events.
  • Administrators should be active in finding content. 

Addendum: Social Media User Agreement

This user agreement pertains to the creation, administration, and participation in social media outlets that are affiliated with the church, such as Facebook or Yahoo groups, e-mail lists, etc. 

We all want the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent Social Media Community to be a safe and comfortable environment through which people connect and share ideas and information, and to be a useful and productive tool for growing and learning together. To ensure this, each participant agrees to the following as a condition for participation:

  • I will behave responsibly and respectfully towards everyone using the UUCK’s social media outlets, respecting their values and viewpoints as well as their rights and feelings.
  • I will work with others to ensure that the community remains welcoming to new participants and ideas, and embraces diversity.
  • Acknowledging that differences of opinion and conflict will undoubtedly occur, I agree to resolve conflict constructively.
  • I understand that every member of this community is entering into this same agreement and that we all have a stake in seeing that it is observed and enforced. My behavior towards other members of this community will reflect that I am abiding by this agreement.
  • I acknowledge that if the Social Media Committee and/or the Committee on Ministry and/or the board concludes that I have repeatedly and willfully violated this agreement, my rights to participate in this community can be terminated.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent Social Media Reminders

Users of UUCK social media outlets (email lists, Facebook groups, and the like) are expected to observe commonly held and understood rules of behavior. Be careful and cautious about what you say about whom/what. Anything you say here you should be willing to see in print on the front page of the New York Times, for example. Communication that is not appropriate for such broad distribution will be deleted. Be cautious with electronic communication. Without the body language and facial gestures of face-to-face communication, it can be easily misinterpreted and escalate a touchy situation into a full-fledged argument before those participating realize what has happened.

Social Media Dos and Don’ts

  • Do engage in civil discourse and treat each other decently and with respect.
  • Do have authentic conversations – from the head, the heart, and the gut.
  • Do foster a spirit of group creativity, experimentation, exploration, and good will.
  • Do have a shared commitment to work together toward better communication and better conversations.
  • Do share your insights, your knowledge, and your gifts and talents.
  • Do help newcomers feel welcomed, and contributors feel valued.
  • Do support each other in a positive and affirming way.
  • Do discuss problems and controversial issues in a constructive and general way to avoid hurting others’ feelings or starting flame wars.
  • Don’t send personal attacks, slurs, or offensive or disruptive messages.
  • Don’t “flame”: “Flaming” is sending messages that are far more belligerent, sarcastic, accusatory, or just plain mean than you would be in person. If you are tempted to send an angry message, take a walk around the block first.

Email List Dos and Don’ts

  • Don’t talk if you don’t have anything to say: avoid posting messages that say “me too!” or “I agree!” when you don’t have anything to add to the discussion.
  • Do use descriptive subject lines: a subject line that says “Need 4th grade curriculum about Islam” is much more useful than one that just says, “Help!”
  • Do identify yourself: sign your messages with your entire real name and your email address if it is not identified in the header.
  • Do include the relevant parts of the original message when replying, but trim the unnecessary parts that each reader doesn’t have to wade through headers, signatures, and other stuff that doesn’t pertain to your message.
  • Do reply privately when your message isn’t of interest to the group. If you want to make a point that contributes to the group discussion, post your reply to the mailing list. If you want to criticize, ask a personal question, or ask something off the topic of the list, send your reply directly to the person who wrote the message.
  • Don’t forward somebody’s private email to the entire list without his/her permission.
  • Don’t post chain letters, pyramid schemes, virus warnings, email petitions, mass forwards, or other types of email spam. While people usually mean well, these are almost always bogus or outdated and even if they aren’t, they rarely have the intended effect.

The messages posted on church sponsored email lists or other social media do not necessarily represent the views of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent, its staff, Board of Directors or members. 

Approved 8/2011

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