Only a few grand lodges currently have social media policies in place for their members. This leaves over a 150 other grand lodges that don't have such a policy in place. If your grand lodge is one of these few, you should of course defer to their rules on the matter. But in the absence of such, here are some common sense pointers that should help keep you out of trouble.
The downfall of privacy.Each and every single thing you type into a computer becomes a matter of permanent record. You cannot take things back, can you not remove them 100%, you cannot go back fix the damage once it is done. Think before you act, don't out other brethren as masons without their consent. Don't tag people in photos without their consent. Does facebook allow you to? Of course it does but if you think facebook is acting in your best interests, then you need substantially further education on the topic. Facebook is a free service, that means you are the product. You are bought and sold like any other open market commodity based on your age, location and interests. When you mention, tag, photograph, link to or in any other way identify online a man as being a brother, without their consent, you are makingthem the product and you have no right to do this.
This isn't a game. This is a serious problem with real life consequences..Today's technology allows anyone online to upload a photograph of someone and immediately see all the other photographs online that have that same face appearing in them. So what you ask? Keep reading.Example (Fictional): A few years ago there was a member of my lodge, let's call him John and he was very enthusiastic not just about being a freemason but also about posting everything related his masonic career on his business website, his business card, his email footer, his facebook page and basically anywhere else that had a post or upload button. This was all well and good until one day Brother John posted a photograph of all the officers. This photograph tragically included another brother named Rakesh, our senior warden at the time. Rakesh did not even realize that his photo had been posted online. It was not until one day he flew back to his home country for a funeral that this unfortunate fact would become known to him. Now for those of you who have not been to the Middle East, when an American steps off the plane at customs, particularly a younger one, the first thing they do is type that persons name into google or facebook and see what comes up. On this sad day in a nameless theocratic nation, Rakesh's identity as a freemason was finally revealed and because freemasonry is outlawed in that country, Rakesh was immediately taken into custody for crimes against the state and sits in a jail cell to this day. There is no trial, no release date, no nothing, just our brother, gone. Snatched away from us ultimately by the indirect hand of another brother. Next time you go to click the upload button with a photograph of any mason other than yourself, perhaps you should think twice about doing so.
This page was authored by the Past Master of a regular, recognized masonic lodge. The contents of this page are not based on any grand lodge policy, it is based on simple respect and logic. If you feel something on this page is misstated, or could be stated more clearly, please let us know.