Church of England announces new 10 commandments for social media

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby - PA
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby - PA

The Church of England will issue a set of social media commandments to combat "cynicism and abuse" online.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will outline them on Monday in a live video message from Facebook's British headquarters.

He will encourage users to follow 10 "community guidelines" in a digital charter drawn up to reflect Christian values.

People will be able to pledge to abide by them by posting a link on social media.

The guidance acknowledges that social media provides "many joys", such as its "immediate, interactive, conversational and open-ended" platform.

But it says there can be "downsides" if users "do not apply the same common sense, kindness and sound judgment which we would use in a face-to-face encounter".

One of the commandments mirrors Christianity's "golden rule" by urging followers to speak to others online as you would speak to them in person.

Another warns people to remember they may be held accountable for posts that could remain online forever.

In a plea for kindness, the rules also encourage users to give credit if citing or sharing the work of others.

The Church hopes the digital charter will be "a resource for Christians, people of other faiths and people of no faith".

Mr Welby said: "Social media has transformed the way we live our lives.

"Each time we interact online we have the opportunity either to add to currents of cynicism and abuse or to choose instead to share light and grace."

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