The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has just enacted new rules concerning the use of Social Media by Massachusetts Freemasons.
- A Mason should conduct his Social Media activities in a way that reflects his membership in the Craft.
He should act in a way that presents a positive image of his membership in Freemasonry to the world.
- As a Mason, he must be aware that his postings are a permanent record; therefore, his conduct may
influence the world with a positive or a negative opinion about him personally and also about any organizations to which he belongs.
- His actions on the various Social Media outlets should reflect the highest standards of morality and integrity he would practice within the Lodge.
- To ensure our fraternity represents itself to the high standards we believe in, we must regulate our actions through Brother-to-Brother intervention. As a Mason, you should advise a Brother if you feel that what he has posted is improper within the framework of our Grand Constitutions, rules, regulations, and edicts.
- Do not identify any Freemason as a member of the Craft unless he has provided his consent, or has already identified himself as such.
- Lodge notices, and information contained within Lodge notices beyond the time and place of meeting, should not be discussed.
- There should never be discussion related to the application, background or investigation of an applicant.
- There should never be discussion regarding the ballot of an applicant.
- There should never be discussion related to the business of a Lodge and what is discussed within our tyled doors.
- The posting of pictures or videos of Lodge events must comply with the Grand Constitutions, rules, regulations, and edicts.
- Information about Lodge or District social activities must comply with the regulations already in place for Lodge Notices (for example, no reference to alcohol or games of chance).
- The posting of social activities of a Lodge or District should comply with the regulation standards already in place for the distribution of Lodge Notices and inserts.
- No official communication with other Grand Lodges or their subordinate Lodges may take place online. Contact must be conducted through the Office of the Grand Secretary.
May 1, 2012
Social Media Committee
You can read the original Massachusetts Freemasons Social Media Code of Conduct PDF document here.
While most of these regulations are common sense rules promulgating proper protocol and etiquette, still there seems to be the continued penchant for Grand Lodges to feel that they have to control the behavior of their members. It was not so long ago that some Grand Lodges forbade its members to operate their own Masonic websites.
The regulations on videos, references to alcohol and games of chance, and the prohibition of communication with other Lodges and Grand Lodges using social media seems to be a bit draconian and to harken back to an era of stricter public moral regulation.
Freemasons are free thinkers and free – free from the restraints of conservative sectarian religious dogma. The attempt to CONTROL the daily lives of Freemasons rather than merely offering a pathway to enlightenment is a disturbing use of Grand Lodge power, especially in the 21st Century.