The Diocese of Bath & Wells in the Church of England released a list of nine commandments for Christians using Twitter and other social media. It boils down to this: don’t be tempted by the illusion of privacy; everything you say is a public witness.
Before putting finger to keyboard, the web-savvy diocese is instructing pious Twitter users to think, “Is this my story to share? Would I want my mum to read this? Would I want God to read this?”
Among the list of other commandments is “don’t rush in”, while believers are also instructed to remember that they are “an ambassador for the church” and that all updates are “transient yet permanent”.
And while officials maintain that Twitter is an “important missionary tool”, they warn worshippers never to conceal their identity behind anonymous profiles and to safeguard the children and the vulnerable.
The final three commandments call for users to “stay within the legal framework”, “respect confidentiality” and “be mindful of your own security”.
The diocese tweeted the modern-day commandments on Wednesday morning, using a tablet very different from the ones unveiled by Moses, and said that the commandments were “based on principles of common sense and good judgment”.
The nine commandments of Twitter:
1. Don’t rush in
2. Remember updates are transient, yet permanent
3. You are an ambassador for the church
4. Do not hide behind anonymity
5. Think about the blurring of public/private life boundaries
6. Safeguarding: communicating directly online is like meeting someone in private
7. Stay within the legal framework
8. Respect confidentiality
9. Be mindful of your own security