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Parliament praise C of E social media guidelines

Sun 14 Jul 2019
By Heather Preston

The recent launch of the Church of England's Digital Charter to encourage positive conversations and reflect the Churches values online, has been praised by the House of Lords.

Lord Ashton of Hyde, Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport welcomed the new community guidelines and pledged to engage with the Church as digital technology continues to develop.

In an assessment heard by the House of Lords this week, Lord Ashton said: "I thank the Church of England for their community guidelines and the digital charter and emphasise how aligned we are on the fundamental issues.

"We will continue to engage with the Church of England as this work progresses. This is an opportunity to lead the way and work with others globally. Through this work we will protect citizens, increase public trust in new technologies and create the best possible basis on which the digital economy and society can thrive."

 

The charter is an online pledge centred on five principles of truth, kindness, welcome, inspiration and togetherness, with an opportunity for people to sign up in support.

Both the online pledge and the principles published by the Archbishop of Canterbury earlier this month offer advice on tackling offensive behaviour and misleading content and encouraging a positive atmosphere for online conversations.

Bishop of St Albans, Alan Smith has celebrated the success of the campaign and encouraged all communities to unite in signing the pledge, to promote more positive social media behaviour.

Bishop Alan said: "These are not simply guidelines or suggestions for people involved in the Church of England.

"They are a call to action for all people, whether Christian, of other faiths or indeed of no faith at all.

"I would encourage all individuals and groups to commit to playing their part in making social media a more welcoming place.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell said the charter has trail blazed a better standard for online communication to "help us all be the best we can be."

He added: "But the internet itself, especially those who profit most from the monopolies that we have allowed to develop, also needs to be designed by agreed ethical principles."

The charter is a voluntary pledge that any individual or organisation can sign, to help make social media and the web more widely positive places for conversations to happen.

 

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