Social Media Guidelines
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There are now many districts around the country that
create videos to post on social media and YouTube of
roundtable sessions for unit leaders unable to attend in
person. Electronic communication can be a valuable tool
for that purpose, but its use must comply with the BSA’s social media guidelines.
The BSA does not ban the use of social media in the
context of Scouting, and the National Council and many
local councils engage in social media campaigns. The
BSA focuses on safe and appropriate use of social media,
including electronic roundtable methods. The BSA’s
social media guidelines have several goals, including:
- Ensuring that Scouting-related posts always present
a positive image of Scouting as a whole, as well as
the individual users and posters.
- Ensuring that youth protection principles are applied
as rigorously online as in person.
- Safeguarding the privacy rights of the participants.
The first goal is achieved by creating, participating
in, and posting YouTube videos, Facebook posts, etc.,
Oath and Scout Law. Content must be appropriate for
Scouting; the people involved must behave in a Scoutlike
manner; and they must be dressed appropriately
in photos and videos depicting Scouts, Scouters, or
Scouting activities. Doing otherwise may bring negative
publicity to the participants and to Scouting as a whole.
When in doubt about the propriety of a post or video, wait
awhile before posting it so you can think about it, and
consider seeking a second opinion.
The second goal is achieved when there is no
nonpublic communication between adults and Scouts
or between Scouts. In-person conversations with youth
must occur in public; the same applies to electronic
communications. The BSA social media guidelines
provide specific guidance for email, Facebook,
YouTube, instant messaging services, texting, and other
The third goal is accomplished when no one is
depicted verbally or visually without consent. Adults
must agree to the use of their image or verbal statements
before they can be posted online. A parent must consent
in case of a youth under age 18. Additionally, captions or
stories that include a minor should not contain the minor’s
full name or address. The BSA recommends using this consent form.
Good roundtables promote great Scouting. Our youth
deserve the best! So let’s provide good roundtables.
Share your roundtable delivery experiences (and tips)
by contacting Dan Maxfield at firstname.lastname@example.org.