This is the second in a series of articles about Scouting and social media; here’s the introduction, my guidelines for appropriate behavior and content, and some thoughts about what works. Also be sure to read the B.S.A. Social Media Guidelines.
Social media tools have powerful potential for communicating with Scouts and their families to share information, supplement training and educate Scouts and adult volunteers alike.
It is not the goal of this document to provide a step-by-step “how to” on creating and using the specific features of social media channels. Such guides already exist and can be found elsewhere. Additionally, social media changes regularly, so this document reflects the current guidelines as determined by the BSA and is subject to modifications and amendments from time to time as required
Using social media has a powerful potential and it is also time consuming. Social media applications change all the time and they must be maintained regularly to be useful.
As it relates to social media, two-deep leadership means there should be no private messages and no one-on-one direct contact through email, Facebook messages, Twitter direct messaging, chats, instant messaging (Google Messenger, AIM, etc.), or other similar messaging features provided through social media sites. All communication between adults and youth should take place in a public forum (e.g. the Facebook wall), or at a bare minimum, electronic communication between adults and youth should always include one or more authorized adults openly “copied” (included) on the message or message thread.
No one on one contact is a central concept to youth protection; all electronic communication needs to be conducted in the open where others can see what is being said.
Anyone using social media tools for their work in Scouting or who represents themselves as being involved in Scouting online should read the B.S.A.’s social media guidelines and adhere to the advice they offer.