Social Media Guidelines
FA Internet and Social Media Guidelines
The Internet has become the go-to information resource for billions of people around the globe and is an undeniably useful vehicle for carrying the message of FA recovery. At the same time, this digital development poses significant risks to our anonymity and unity as well as to the peace of mind required to maintain our freedom from food obsession. As FA World Service and FA members increase our presence online, it is very important that we practice the discipline of anonymity for ourselves, our fellows, and the future welfare of FA.
The digital world is one of fast and unpredictable growth, filled with valuable information as well as potentially addictive allure and online “noise.” While it provides instant connection, it also tends to operate on sound bites and quick choices, elevating individual voices, valorizing appearances, and rewarding novelty.
In contrast, FA recovery calls for slow and steady spiritual progress. We take quiet time, attend weekly meetings, and connect with each other in personal voice-to-voice conversations — all to counter the stimulating pull of the disease of addiction and its excesses. There is real potential that newcomers and existing members could become isolated by relying exclusively on social media.
Among the hazards of members’ posting online is their being perceived as affiliating with or endorsing the sites they are posting on. Despite their good intentions, members’ submissions could be misunderstood, misconstrued, controversial or injurious to FA unity. Photos posted from FA events might also show a nametag, logo, or comment that could break someone’s anonymity. Additionally, once content is posted, there is often no way for it to be moderated. Members’ comments could be re-posted, virally spread, and permanently visible, even if their sentiments change. In short, there is no lasting guarantee of anonymity on the social web other than staying off it entirely.
Given these considerations, here are some practical suggestions which can help members use the Internet to reach the still suffering food addict while mitigating the risks to individual recovery and the FA fellowship:
- Do not post anything about FA to your own or anyone else’s social media profile, content feeds, or blogs. (Remove any existing references to FA from your personal sites). You may choose to “like,” “follow,” or “subscribe to” any Board-approved “official” FA social media channel since doing so does not necessarily identify you as an FA member.
- Do not set up FA-related social media pages, groups or “chats” for members or meetings. If you want to publicize FA meetings or Information Sessions on the Internet contact email@example.com.
- If you see negative FA-related posts online, resist the temptation to engage in conversation or debate and instead contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you choose to listen to FA podcasts and post reviews of them, please be careful to avoid identifying the speaker or identifying yourself as a member of FA. Be aware that some podcast apps will make your personal identifying information public when you post a review.
- If you see an opportunity to discuss the FA solution in response to an online article or blog, forward it to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you become aware of an organization, healthcare practice, or agency that might post the FA website on their resource page, contact email@example.com.
While society and information technology have increased the number of ways we can communicate with each other, our original principles still hold us securely. Our primary purpose is to carry the message of FA recovery to the food addict who still suffers. We will continue to update our policies and procedures as time and technology advance. As the Internet and social media expand opportunities for food addicts throughout the world to find FA, the World Service Board, taking direction from the World Service Conference and guidance from the Twelve Traditions, will continue with its mission to safeguard individual recovery and the stability of FA as a whole.