Using Facebook

Some discussions just don't fit into a well defined box. Use this forum to discuss general topics and issues revolving around the Church and the technology offerings we use and share.
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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:25 am

john84601 wrote: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 would have done this same thing, asking the forum or the community. The community is a place for us to exchange ideas and even use cases of a solution like facebook in our church service. I don't think my answer to the Stake President, (if I was an STS) would be to talk to the Area Authority, as the STS I would give the information that I gathered and assumed I was part of a broader approach. Or I would counsel with my Stake Clerk and make sure that in the presidency meetings where it is likely discussed that if desired the Stake President could consider speaking to the Area Authority.

My own caution in this area is the exclusivity that often accompanies using a technology like Facebook, there are various reasons, economic, temptations, productivity, online safety and security which keep people from using something like Facebook. When members use it to communicate it, it can become THE place, which turns into exclusions from many because items are not announced anywhere else, those using the solution assume everyone does it like them.

Here is what I counseled when giving advice to our Stake President in a similar situation that came up from a Bishop.

Use of a blog or Facebook tends to create a subset of the group you are trying to communicate with. Even maintaining a separate email list from what is officially in MLS can cause issues. As an example, my wife's email which has been listed MLS for as long as it could be, was not in our most recent ward's Relief Society mailing list, because they maintained something else entirely and didn't even use the MLS data she was 'excluded' from many activities, or get-togethers because of these reasons. Did it hurt her feelings? A bit, did it cause here to lose her testimony, NO, but it might contribute to that process in someone else's life. If we want to use a technology for communication, we must make sure that everyone under our stewardship will receive the same information, whether we do that by old-fashioned letter or a phone call, etc...

I would say that at this point, a creative use of the calendar and the beta newsletter would get us nearly everything we need. These items could be improved greatly, but even then, a plan should be in place if it is being used for communication.

I loved previously that someone had a Ward Communications specialist.... how fantastic....

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:25 am

JohnShaw wrote:I think I would have done this same thing, asking the forum or the community. The community is a place for us to exchange ideas and even use cases of a solution like facebook in our church service. I don't think my answer to the Stake President, (if I was an STS) would be to talk to the Area Authority,


I'll amened my answer by saying if he's looking a better understanding of the use of facebook and how it would work, then the community is a good resource. But if it's to understand policy as found in the handbook, then going to the area authority is a good answer.

I would certainly point out that the handbook has some guidance on the issue.

JohnShaw wrote:Use of a blog or Facebook tends to create a subset of the group you are trying to communicate with.


I'd also add that not everyone is on FB, and some have deliberately chosen to stay away from it. While I'm on it, I'm personally leery about the amount of information the website collects on their users.

I'd also add that there are different types of FB groups and how they work. Some would invite commentary, others would be closer to announce only.

Personally, I think the calendar properly used would do much for getting the information out. That sync feature is great. It seems to me that would have the best reach of any computer product.
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Postby lajackson » Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:41 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I'll amened my answer by saying if he's looking a better understanding of the use of facebook and how it would work, then the community is a good resource. But if it's to understand policy as found in the handbook, then going to the area authority is a good answer.


And with your amendment, you cover my suggestion: do both. Use the resources of this forum for technical and other ideas. Present the benefits and challenges to the stake president. Study the handbook, and then let him counsel with his Area Seventy for further guidance.

Aside from some legal concerns and Church liability, my biggest challenge with sites not controlled by the Church (and not just Facebook) is that there usually is no control over the extra content that appears on the page in the form of advertisements and other links. Some of these items are not at all in keeping with Church standards, and some of them can be very detrimental to both those with budding testimonies and seasoned veterans alike.

As a most simple example, to have a site with the name of a Church organization on it that advertises alcoholic beverages or includes a link to immoral sites is something that would send chills down the back of any bishop or stake president, and rightfully so.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:57 pm

lajackson wrote:advertises alcoholic beverages or includes a link to immoral sites is something that would send chills down the back of any bishop or stake president, and rightfully so.


Good point. You should see some of the ads on the pages of those whose status is "single".
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lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:00 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Good point. You should see some of the ads on the pages of those whose status is "single".


I have seen them. And don't follow any of the links. I rest my case. [grin]

leslieyardley
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Postby leslieyardley » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:09 am

I have recently been called as our ward Stake YW President. Our stake is spread out land wise a bit. We have two high schools in our stake boundary and we are really striving to unite these youth. We will be doing a lot of activities with our neighboring stake as well, and are trying to unite the youth of both these stakes as well. We know how strong the youth especially of our stake use Facebook and had the thought of using Facebook to post our recent activities, promote uplifting spiritual thoughts, allow the youth to have another resource to know what is going on within our stake as far as activities are concerned. BUT after reading the handbook I am having VERY mixed impressions if this is something that is OK to do. I am not sure how is the best way to communicate with the youth of our stake (via the internet) is. I don't want to go against the handbook in any way, but know that the youth are big time internet users... please help to guide me in this matter.

tjensen5
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Postby tjensen5 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:21 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Personally, I think the calendar properly used would do much for getting the information out. That sync feature is great. It seems to me that would have the best reach of any computer product.


Just curious, can the calendar be synced with a facebook page?

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Postby russellhltn » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:55 pm

tjensen5 wrote:Just curious, can the calendar be synced with a facebook page?


Maybe. I have no idea about how FB works.

But on the sync page it says "This URL is provided for your own personal use. It should not be shared with anyone else." Personal sync is the only sync provided.
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lehrschallbrian
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Postby lehrschallbrian » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:10 am

When I was ward clerk in a YSA Ward we had a facebook group that was approved by our Stake Presidency. The Presidency were all members and could see what was being posted. It was strictly monitored and we never had a problem.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:23 pm

lehrschallbrian wrote:When I was ward clerk in a YSA Ward we had a facebook group that was approved by our Stake Presidency.
This is the same information you provided in post #3 of this thread.

Without higher guidance and approval, the actions of your stake president would appear to be contrary to the guidance provided in Handbook 2, 21.1.22. The specific restriction is quoted in the opening post.

However an individual in the performance of their calling and following the guidance provided in the "Members’ Use of the Internet in Church Callings" section of 21.1.22 may use such Internet resources as Facebook.

Without further information about how the Facebook page was set up and whether it followed the guidance if 21.1.22, there is little value in supporting a statement that the use of Facebook in that situation was appropriate or not.
JD Lessley
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