Good relationships and thriving community depend on many things, not least consideration and respect for others. This was a challenge for the early Christians in local communities and we face a greater challenge today as we embrace easy access to the power of social media, which
is at its best enabling of relationships and at its worst destructive.
Whether or not you use Twitter, Facebook or any of the other social media apps, you will be aware from news reports of increasing abuse and manipulation through social media.
In an attempt to counter this, the Church of England has published some community guidelines, a Digital Charter, to encourage commitment to wise, considerate and respectful use of social media.
The guidelines include:
Be safe. The safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults must be maintained. If you have any concerns, ask a diocesan safeguarding adviser.
Be respectful. Do not post or share content that is sexually explicit, inflammatory, hateful, abusive, threatening or otherwise disrespectful.
Be kind. Treat others how you would wish to be treated and assume the best in people. If you have a criticism or critique to make, consider not just whether you would say it in person, but the tone you would use.
Be honest. Don’t mislead people about who you are.
Take responsibility. You are accountable for the things you do, say and write. Text and images shared can be public and permanent, even with privacy settings in place. If you’re not sure, don’t post it.
Be a good ambassador. Personal and professional life can easily become blurred online so think before you post.
These may seem obvious, yet even leaders of nations can fall short of such guidelines of wisdom and respect. You can sign up to this charter at