Social Media Policy

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by bupton52, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. bupton52

    bupton52 Moderator Premium Member

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    Is it a good idea to have policies in place to determine how Freemasons should act on social media sites? Why or why not?


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  2. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    In my view, yes. I repeatedly see Masons not just being abusive to each other with insult and name calling, but foul language for which they are completely unrepentant, despite having it drawn to their attention that they are acting as a mason when making the comment.

    In some rituals it is explained that we come here to learn to subdue or passions. Some of us need clear rules for we’ve not received proper instruction elsewhere.
     
  3. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

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    My GL has published some basic advice for posting online in general.

    The behavior of freemasons online
    is honestly not any worse then non-masons.
     
  4. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I agree the behaviour is no different, and that’s the issue I see.
     
  5. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    I don't think anyone would object to there being some clear rules to that however, some may feel it's an infringement on their freedom of speech. If they are spewing vitriol, I would venture to say they aren't worth their weight in salt as a Mason. There are ways to have a discussions or even debates without condescending, name calling etc. I see it on here waaaaay more than I expected or care to see.
     
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  6. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    It shouldn’t be necessary but, sadly, it is. I have “friended” Brothers on social sites only to discover a person I’m no longer comfortable associating with.
     
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  7. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Advice? Most certainly. Policies with mandatory compliance? No!
    Precisely.
    Absolutely.
     
  8. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    Nope- masonry teaches what it teaches and it’s up to masons to use it if they wish.
     
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  9. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Yet, every ritual with which I’m familiar requires we adhere to the laws, rules, regulations… of our grand lodge.
     
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  10. TexasAggieOfc1273

    TexasAggieOfc1273 Registered User

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    I would argue, much as I would about any Legislature trying to pass new laws, that the behavior in question is likely already controlled by an existing statute.


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  11. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    Our organisation is excellent at loosely pontificating on grand generalised philosophy-But once you start trying to enforce specific rules to live by as decided by grand lodge?

    Kill me now-

    There are plenty of people willing to tell you how to live your life for free, freemasonry doesn’t serve that purpose in my life and I don’t think it intends too, to me it is intellectual gymnastics- forcing you to consider the reason behind why you conform to some rules over others.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
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  12. LK600

    LK600 Premium Member

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    I think the rules already exist. How a Mason should act is fairly spelled out so I see no need for more regulations. It being social media is irrelevant in that how we should act doesn't changed based on medium. What probably needs to take place is more consistent enforcement.
     
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  13. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Yes, we have specific rules and we enforce them. They aren’t terribly onerous.
     
  14. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Point taken, and I have seen discipline under the “tending to impair the reputation of the fraternity in the world” clause, a version of which is found in many constitutions.

    However, I fear we have to address the lowest common denominator, and specifically spell out behaviour expectations for some members.
     
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  15. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Point taken. See my post to LK600.
     
  16. Bro. David F. Hill

    Bro. David F. Hill David F. Hill Premium Member

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    If a person has an issue with an edict or rule issued by their Grand Body regarding inappropriate speech then they probably shouldn't have joined. The reason for a policy is that the person who is in the wrong usually doesn't see themselves as doing wrong. Free speech only goes so far in a private organization and the rules are usually put in place to protect the organization from being considered complicit. Even freedom of speech has it's limitations according to the courts.

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
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  17. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    On the other side of things-
    Is it not really down to the individual brother to regulate himself, followed by the people who actually know him, like his lodge for example to advise him that perhaps his behaviour isn’t appropriate?
    Why do we need the administration of an opt in organisation to tell us how to behave, presumably being an organisation of men, not children.
    Aren’t there measures in place to prevent people like this joining the craft?
     
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  18. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Yes, it is down to the individual to regulate himself, and these are the standards by which he should do so in our organization and the standards by which the lodge members can tell him his behavior isn’t appropriate and, if necessary, engage in discipline. It is usually the lodge which acts in the first instance in the US (the current issue with a particular GL aside).

    In my experience, these policies have come after inappopriate behavior has occurred. Consequently, it appears a clear standard is needed. My experience in social media confirms that in my (alleged) mind.

    You indicate it is the administration of our organization setting the standards. It is important to consider the process by which this administration has chosen in the US: by the members. Further, the members can change these policies.

    No, knowing someone for, say, three months really isn’t a sufficient predictor of their behavior over the next 40 years. We don't administer an MMPI. We’re jist a bunch of guys doing our best. And, even though I’ve been dealing with people from across the spectrum professionally for some four decades, I can still be fooled.

    We’ve had standards of behavior in one form or another since 1723. Nothing new here. These are just more specific.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
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  19. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I would divide your response.

    I suspect we all have issues with at least one GL rule. I sure do.

    I would strengthen your second point: free speech doesn’t even apply in the private context.
     
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  20. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    We should maybe take a page from the military or govt employee handbook. You can get fired where I work for posting certain things online. You can get in trouble if in the military for doing certain things, especially in uniform where it's know you are such. It's certainly a fine line between behavioral freedoms and representing a certain entity (Masonry, military, private company etc). As a commander once told a group of us, you always have a choice to do whatever you want to do but the consequences, good or bad, will still be there.
     
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