Church of England set to publish social media guidelines

The Church of England is set to publish its first ever social media guidelines today as the Archbishop of Canterbury visits Facebook.

Justin Welby will hold a live Q&A session at the social network’s UK headquarters this morning.

His talk will coincide with the publishing of a ‘digital charter’ that the church hopes people will sign up to in order to create a more positive atmosphere online. It is based on five principles: truth, kindness, welcome, inspiration and togetherness.

Meanwhile, the social media guidelines contain things like ensuring the safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults as well as being kind, respectful and honest to others.

‘Social media has transformed the way we live our lives,’ Welby said.

‘As Christians, we are called to engage in a way which is shaped by the example of Jesus. As we respond to the call on each of us to be witnesses to Jesus Christ, I encourage all of us to consider how we live our lives as witnesses online.’

‘Each time we interact online, we have the opportunity either to add to currents of cynicism and abuse or to choose instead to share light and grace.’

‘My prayer is that through these guidelines and charter, we can encourage regular and not-so-regular churchgoers, sceptics and those who are surprised to find themselves interested, to be open to think and experience more of the Christian faith.’

The church says it will be moderating the social media accounts it runs and anyone who posts inappropriate, unsuitable or offensive comments will be reported or blocked.

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