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Do you think the BSA Media Guidelines should control the content of your personal non scout web page? I personally do not think that it should. But if you read the guidelines it heavily leans to this fact. These are good guidelines but are not really anything new except YP BSA guidelines have been thrown in. I know some BSA leaders who think that if a few words or pictures are used by a scout on a personal web page that they deem a "offensive" media conversation or video then the BSA guide lines including YP guidelines should be used to control that situation. Does the BSA have the right to control a Scouts personal media page just because he/she is known as a scout and has other scouts "befriended" on that page? I actually know scout leaders who say that the BSA Media Guide should also be be brought into play when a scout is on ANY type of public media outlet. Anybody remember the book "1984" by George Orwell?


I understand National has the right to try and control what is presented on Public media outlets basically used one way or another to teach, communicate or inform scouts, parents or the general public about scouting. BUT if its a personal page then they have no control over it.

Lets hope that on those occasions a scout searches himself and decides to follow the wisdom and guidance contained in the Scout Oath and law before posting something that may offend anybody.


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I don't think there will be a one size fits all, definant answer to your question.


Personally, I say a private page is just that - private. But, there comes a responsibility with that privacy.


You don't mix things together. You keep them seperate!



If my son has a facebook page one day, and he has a video of some rapper or comedian using a few choice words...that is his own buisness. Not saying I would encourage it, but it is what it is.


But I would not expect him to friend his COR, SM, the DE, the SE, and the distict or council's facebook profile on that page either.


He can have two seperate pages and two seperate profiles.


KNow what I mean? Your page is only private to the people you do not let in.


But I do see BSA's side to it also.


My son might think it was funny to make a video and act all "gansta" and use profane lyrics, but if he's wearing his scout uniform, or if his whole troop or patrol are in the video too - even if it is on his own page - I can see where BSA might say : "HEY! You are representing us in a bad way that does not work in agreement with our beliefs, views and policies!"


But if he posts a video of himself singing a song that he likes, and that song is a bit questionable, but it's on his own page that has no connection to his unit, district, or counsel - not even by mutual friendships...then BSA needs to keep their own nose out.



Let me put it another way. I am a CubMaster for a pack, I am the cub scout camp promotor for my district, I am a MB counselor for our district and I often work with our sister troop.


But I am also a male. I am also married. I do normal married person things. My wife and myself have marital relations. That's how e ended up with a son . :) Sometimes we are creative and spice things up.


Both are normal sides of me, but I keep them seperate.


I would not put pictures of my wife in her latex catsuit ( it was a halloween costume, by the way) on the same facebook page I am friends with pack members, troop members or any of the youth I work with. I would not have pictures of me getting drunk with friends, or anything extreme or risque'


And to be clear, I do not have any youth from any BSA association as my friends on any online page or site.


I do administer our pack facebook page as well as our pack website, but during that time, I am a CM

and nothing else. Seperate pages, different usernames, passwords, profile pics, etc...


I am sure many of you enjoy a beer or two or twelve at times. Maybe a mixed drink or vodka on the rocks. Nothing wrong with that at all. But you wouldn't drink that drink at a unit meeting, at church or at work.


That's how I see website privacy. Keep it private by keeping it private.

Don't post pics or videos of you doing dumb stuff in your uniform, keep intimate details intimate and away from pack stuff.



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Folks doing a little knife sharpening in preparation for Monday night?


On it's face, you can read the media guide and get that impression. But I chalk that up to overly ambitious writing. But without your question in mind, I would have read the guidlines and assumed it only referred to media specific to Scouting. BSA is notorious for it's lack of consistency among documents. The danger is cherry-picking the documents and trying to make a point without a clear understanding of the principles and the overall program.


But not the context. The media guidelines are a marketing document. They are not included as part of the Guide to Safe Scouting or as a youth protection policy. In fact, you can argue the media guidelines contradict the G2SS in that the MG prohibit private communications like email, where the G2SS describes the conditions under which private conversations, like Scoutmaster conferences, may take place. IMO, the media guidelines are overreaching and distort well established youth protection principles. But we chewed that one awhile back. You may want to search that thread.


But more to the point, who would want to go there? Do you really want to police member's internet usage? Shouldn't that be the parents' perogative/responsibility? Are you going to open up all the social media accounts for all the adults? How about the parents who are organizing the witch hunt? The members of your chartered organization ought to open up too, right? Keep in mind "social media" isn't limited to Facebook and Twitter. Do any of the adults belong to "alternative" social media sites we need to know about? Who wants to open those cans of worms.


Clearly, a Scout is expected to live by the Scout Oath and Law 24/7, online and off. But as was discussed in your earlier thread, the Oath and Law are ideals, not criminal law. We deal with boys who fail to live up to the ideas with counseling and guidance, not prosecution. Which is why your Scoutmaster is handling the situation well and everyone else needs to butt out.

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The content of my web presence of mine is bounded by one thing: my religion.

Alcohol is not prohibited, so no problem if a scout sees me slowly sipping a libation on New Years with my friends and family. Drunkenness is prohibited, so no scout should have to see me not in control of my faculties -- ever.


What BSA guidelines have to say is irrelevant.

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Do you think the BSA Media Guidelines should control the content of your personal non scout web page?


Why would yeh think that they do?


Da media guidelines are just an attempt at tryin' to help units that are struggling with issues. Like most things in da BSA, its an effort by a corporation that publishes youth program materials to publish a helpful youth program material. Lots of units are struggling with this internet thing, and I'm sure some poor sot down in Irving has gotten too many phonecalls on the topic and so figured it would be helpful to put something out, if only to try to stop his phone from ringing.


So it's not about "control", it's about tryin' to be helpful by supportin' units. No one in the BSA would claim that the media guidelines have any "control" over anything. Not personal pages, not unit/Chartered Partner pages, not pages maintained by volunteers or businesses on their own equipment like Scouter.Com. If someone is trying to mis-use the BSA media guidelines to exert "control", that's not the BSA's fault. That's the fault of some volunteer or council staff person who either doesn't have a clue or is tryin' to be a jerk. Or both. :p


Don't blame the BSA for what is really our own problem as volunteers. We're the ones that perpetuate all da urban legends, not the BSA.


These are good guidelines but are not really anything new


No, they are terrible guidelines written by a few folks from my pre-internet generation who have nary a clue about either modern communication or modern youth. They're a good example of what Kudu always rails about - borrowin' something from da corporate world (where media guidelines are used to control their own messaging) that really doesn't fit da scouting world.


So we can fault 'em a bit for da quality of the document, eh? ;) And honestly, this one hit quite a low in that regard. Happily most units and volunteers don't even know they exist, and of da ones that do they almost all chuckle, roll their eyes, and ignore da thing.




(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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"Do you think the BSA (social) Media Guidelines should control the content of your personal non scout web page?"


In a word - No. I also don't think my employer's (or school's, or church's, or the fire department's or my neighbor's) social media guidelines should control the content of my personal pages.


The Social Media Guidelines should be read as guidelines to units who want to create a facebook page or twitter account for their unit. It should not be read in any way to be a document meant to control a Scout's or Scout Leader's personal web pages, facebook pages, twitter accounts, etc.


At the end of the document, it suggests language to be used on a "personal" account to the effect that the site is not an official site of the Boy Scouts of America. In this instance, the word "personal" should be read to mean the Pack's or Troop's website - not an individual Scout's website (with the understanding that the exception to that is if it's a site of a PL or SPL that is solely and strictly used for Scouting purposes, and is identified as such (something like SPL Bobby's Troop XXX Facebook) which he may be using as a communication's tool to keep the PLC and the membes of the Troop informed of what's going on in the Troop).


How do you police it, anyway? Do you make the Scout submit what he's going to post on his personal web site to a committee of decency in advance? This is a telling sentence: "I know some BSA leaders who think that if a few words or pictures are used by a scout on a personal web page that they deem a "offensive" media conversation or video...". I'd like to know who made them the arbiter of what is and isn't offensive to society? They may have their own personal ideas of what is offensive, but I find it far more offensive for someone like that to insist that what they find offensive must be offensive to all.


"Anybody remember the book "1984" by George Orwell?"


It seems to me you already know what the answer should be, and more importantly, why that should be the answer. It's time to stand up to these bullies (and that's what they've become at this point) and tell them to knock it off or go play in their own sandbox. By this time, you should have spoken with the institutional head and made sure he is at least figuratively standing beside you in support so that you can make it very clear to those 'leaders' that it is time for them to go - and if s/he isn't firmly at your side, then it's time to turn the reins over to someone else.






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I was unaware of them until this thread got started.

I see two sides. On one hand I recognize that on the internet, the concept of 'privacy' is a mercurial concept. Real privacy (meaning secure privacy) is almost impossible (I mean if someone wants REAL privacy, why put that stuff on the internet?). On the other hand, if by 'private' you mean proprietary, then that is clearer. BSA has no control whatsoever over someone's private web content.

BSA does, however, have the ability to revoke membership for any reason at any time, even without having to explain the reason for that matter. If anyone is that worried about BSA 'looking over their shoulder' with the thought police, then they should be advised I supposed. But if BSA is as ham-handed with this as it is with keeping a good database, I wouldn't worry too much. Beavah's internet porn site will probably get confused with Martha Stewart's ill-fated attempt to take over General Motors and the resulting search engine crash will take the entire system down in Irving.


Overall this whole topic seems like a tempest in a teapot.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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Oh, Dear Lord.


Let's keep this real simple. Adult A discovers Scout B has a picture of Scout C taking a leak on the last campout, and C is named.


Scout B published it on his facebook page.


It's time for Mr SM/ASM to have a quick, quiet, Scoutmaster Conference with Scout B: "Would you want yours to be seen? What say you take that down, and we all go on about our business?"


Amazing what can be handled with a quiet, friendly word from the right person...

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Were it only that simple...


What do you do when Adult A finds a joke by Conan O'Brien on Scout B's personal (non-Scout) facebook page making fun of Politician C, without the use of any questionable language, that Adult A finds offensive because s/he supports Politican C, then insists the Scout be punished for not following the BSA social media guidelines? What do you do if Adult A is the CC, or the COR?

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