Email Is A Social Media Platform

TL;DR: There are no clear Society-wide policies regarding mailing lists; I’ve made a recommendation that they should be covered by the Society Social Media Policies.

Electronic mail has been around for my entire lifetime (give or take a couple of weeks) and is so pervasive that it fades into the background, ceding attention to the showy titans of social media that have emerged over the last two decades. But if the historical sequence were reversed, and email was introduced today, we’d likely see it as a natural evolution of that ecosystem — another social media platform.

Or at least that’s how it seems to me, which is why in discussions of SCA policy I’ve always assumed that the Society guidelines for social media — about offensive content, or copyright, or a dozen other topics — also applied to email.

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Update: Branches Can Create Their Own Facebook Events

TL;DR: SCA branches can create their own Facebook events using their official Facebook page identity without going through the KSMO; however, some kingdoms might impose additional requirements for kingdom-level events.

Earlier this year I posted about an annoying stricture of paragraph IV.C.3.d. of the SCA Social Media Handbook which specified that “On Facebook, Events are to be created through Official Kingdom Pages.”

The one problematic word there is “kingdom” — because it means that local branches have to coordinate all of their Facebook events with the Kingdom’s social media officer, and in the East that means that over fifty branches have to funnel their hundreds and hundreds of Facebook events through a single individual.

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SCA Social Media Can Allow Off-Topic Conversations

In a recent discussion of the reasons some local branch officers persist in creating “unofficial” Facebook groups, an officer from another region of the kingdom reported that two branches had gone down that path because they had been told that “official” social media channels could not allow any off-topic conversations.

This came as a surprise, as I know online conversations often wander, and it’s totally common for a local populace discussion forum (whether on Facebook, Discord, a mailing list, a video conference, or wherever) to include a mix of group business, historical trivia, crafting discussions, in-jokes and wordplay, conversations about role-playing games, pictures of people’s pets, and a hundred other topics.

I wrote to the social media officers at the kingdom and Society level and was pleased by the prompt reply: “there’s nothing wrong with having occasional off topic conversations.”

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Are Releases Needed to Re-share Social Media?

Someone asked an interesting question over on the Known World Discord server this evening, and after I wrote up my answer I thought I should also post it here (lightly edited) in case it was of use to anyone else:

Is sharing posts from individuals […] acceptable by SCA social media rules for official accounts, or is a written release required?

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Creating Facebook Events

The Social Media Handbook issued in October 2021 introduced a new requirement:

IV.C.3.d. On Facebook, Events are to be created through Official Kingdom Pages rather than Groups. 

SCA Social Media Handbook, page 9

This creates a significant challenge, because local branches can create hundreds of Facebook events every year, and requiring all of those requests to pass through this bottleneck would create a serious burden on the Kingdom Social Media Officer who operates the Official Kingdom Facebook Page, and would likely lead to delays and coordination challenges.

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