OA Says “OK” to Social Media
by Vicki W., Region Three Trustee
The delegates at WSBC 2016 approved an amendment to OA’s Statement on Public Media in the Business Conference Policy Manual. The statement now reads:
“While Overeaters Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues, including social media, the delegates of the 2016 World Service Business Conference recommend that any OA member, group, or service body using social media for OA public information and public awareness maintain the personal anonymity of OA members.
Members of Overeaters Anonymous are anonymous. The Fellowship is not. Members of Overeaters Anonymous using social media are responsible for maintaining their own personal anonymity and respecting the anonymity of other OA members.”
This amendment specifically aims to define who is responsible for what. It says:
- OA members, groups, and service bodies are free to use social media for public information and public awareness purposes.
- OA members using social media are only responsible for maintaining their own anonymity and respecting the anonymity of other OA members.
During Conference, delegates sought clarification and agreed to amend to the originally proposed motion because, as written, it could have been interpreted to mean that OA members, groups, and service bodies that set up and manage social media hubs would be responsible for the personal anonymity of all the people who used their hubs. A point was raised that since it is impossible to control how people use a site once it is posted, some OA members, groups, and service bodies would be hesitant to use social media at all. Thus, the approved version above was drafted to clarify responsibility for maintaining anonymity.
The greatest percentage of new inquiries about OA come from the Internet, and young people, especially, rely on social media. OA’s new Statement on Public Media gives us the opportunity to correct any inaccurate information about Overeaters Anonymous found on the Internet and in social media and the freedom to move into these arenas to represent the program correctly.
It is important to the future of OA that the Fellowship embrace social media and make use of all available resources to carry the OA message and to ensure that accurate information about OA is shared there.
Reprinted from A Step Ahead, Volume 20, Number 3