Church of England Publishes Social Media Guidelines

The Church of England recently published a set of social media guidelines as a way to encourage people to be kind and respectful to each other, and to "disagree well."

In other words, stop being lying jerks to each other on Facebook.

In late June, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, visited Facebook's UK headquarters and urged people to stop online abuse and sharing misleading content.

"When you put something out on social media, put the truth out," said Archbishop Welby. "Frankly there is no such thing as an alternative fact. There is truth. There is absolute truth. There is opinion and there is truth."

That means no fake news, no misleading stories, and no labeling stories as "fake news" just because you don't agree with it.

Also, no posting memes with glaring spelling errors.

That last one is actually mine, but it's still important; they should have included it.

Archbishop Welby hopes certain people will be encouraged by the church's guidelines and change the way they behave. The problem is, many of the people Welby wants to reach stopped following the teachings of the church and Jesus long ago.

Other guidelines urge followers to "Be safe," which means maintaining the safety of children and vulnerable adults.

"Be respectful" by not sharing content that is sexual, abusive, or hateful. So, you know, don't post racist things on your Twitter account, like telling certain Congresswomen to "go back to your own country."

"Take responsibility" for the things you post. You're accountable for the things you post, so don't double-down on your hateful rhetoric with more of the same.

I appreciate the Church of England's guidelines, and I think they're a good start for how we should behave on social media. I mean, they already have a whole book that tells us how and why we should just be nice to each other. But apparently enough people aren't paying attention to it, so they had to come out with this supplemental guide to deal with these specific issues.

They missed a few critical rules though. They're rules that don't so much urge us to niceness, but if were were to follow them, social media could become a better place for all of us. Here are my

Share not so many animated GIFs. They are annoying because they constantly repeat without stopping, which maketh them annoying in my sight. Also, knoweth thou that there are plugins available for Chrome and Firefox that will stop animated GIFs after they play one time.

Also, it is pronounced 'gif' with a hard G, not 'jif' like the peanut butter. It is short for Graphical Interchange Format — graphical, with a hard G. We carest not that the creator of the GIF says it is pronounced with a J. He clearly knowest nothing.

Cease sharing the Facebook privacy notice. It was debunked as a falsehood years ago, and yet you have wandered this particular desert since 2011. Facebook is a private company and they may useth your content in any manner of their choosing. Your photos, your stories, your videos, your relationships and your likes: If you share it on Facebook, you giveth Zuckerberg of the Valley of Silicon permission to use it. The privacy notice is a hoax, not a miracle.

While we're at it, double-checketh all news stories on so you do not bear false witness. Those too-good-to-be-true news stories, celebrity gossip, and promises of riches are completely bogus. Don't share garbage.

(Also, repeateth not the moronic claim that Snopes has a liberal bias. They do because alt-right trolls have created so many lies that had to be debunked it skewed their coverage.)

Useth not so many #hashtags. Seriously, nothing requires 17 different hashtags — four, maybe five tops. I'll bet that if you clicked your hashtags, you'd find that half of them are only used by you.

Cease "Vaguebooking" whenever you're upset with a family member. Instead of making non-specific, virtue-signaling insinuations about someone who has wronged you, save it for an actual conversation with that person. Meet them face to face, and explain why they upset you. Cryptic tales of manufactured grief and fake woe only create a mountain out of a molehill. We have faith, but even we can't move that mountain.

Posteth not vacation selfies where thou pretendest to support the Leaning Tower of Pisa, to fall off a cliff, or jump in front of a famous monument. Verily, it is tiresome and has been done to death. Can't we just see the monument without you in the picture?

Also, thou shalt not take pictures of thy feet at the beach or the pool. While everyone is beautiful in the Lord's sight, no one really wants to look at thy feet.

Also, we kiddeth not about the animated GIFs.

Photo credit: Antony McCallum (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 4.0),

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