(Adopted by the Board of Corporate Trustees 12 September 2020)
In your Entered Apprentice Degree, the Worshipful Master clearly told you, “There you stand a just and upright Mason, and I give it you strictly in charge ever to walk and act as such.” Are you doing it? Do your words in Lodge match your actions in society?
When we represent ourselves as members of the Fraternity, we become someone’s impression of Freemasonry. As such, it is important that we act accordingly and subscribe to the lessons we are all taught as Masons in terms of how we communicate and interact with Masons and non-Masons.
Your individual postings reflect on the entire Fraternity as well as you as an individual. Be mindful that your image online could be viewed by your colleagues and co-workers, future employers, as well as your Lodge Brothers and their families. If we promote anarchism and chaos, or if we address each other with hate and vitriol, some will believe that those ideas come from Freemasonry. This may seem to be an extreme perspective, but society views us as thought leaders, and many in society want to tear us down. Let’s not give them the ammunition to do that by being careless on social media.
Social Media Policy of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota
The Grand Lodge of Minnesota recognizes that social media has grown exponentially in recent years and has a goal of supporting the regular and extensive use of it. We know that many Brethren regularly connect by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other means. We as Masons must be mindful that our individual postings not only reflect our own character but that of Freemasonry across this Grand Jurisdiction. To this end, the following policy will apply to all those under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, AF & AM:
Social Media Policy
- A Mason must conduct himself with the same courtesy he would in front of the general public. 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 negative opinion about him personally and about the organizations to which he belongs.
- A Mason may never use disparaging comments, profanity, etc. when posting; including, but not limited to, graphic, video, and audio recordings.
- A Mason may never identify any man as a member of the Craft unless he has provided his consent or has already identified himself as such on that specific social media network.
- A Mason may not post secret portions of the ritual, nor “tyled” information.
- Masonic pages are to be supportive of the organization and its members, promote upcoming events, discuss past events, video sharing, and discussion of times of fellowship and promotion of Masonic bodies.
- A Mason may not use Social media to obtain personal advantage in promoting political, religious or business activities by targeting other Masons. Social Media pages or groups set up or endorsed by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota for the express purpose of allowing business connections between Brothers are exempted from this restriction.
- A Mason may not use social media to contact other Grand Jurisdictions unless you are a member of that jurisdiction. Remember that all intra-jurisdictional communication is, by Masonic protocol, conducted by and between Grand Lodge offices.
- No discussion or other information regarding to an application, background, investigation, or ballot of an applicant is ever appropriate or condoned.
- Nothing may ever be written or discussed relative to the business of a Lodge or of any discussions/actions which have occurred behind Tyled doors, with the exception that official Lodge pages may promote events, raisings, etc. within the bounds of the Code and other rules set forth herein.
- Information about Lodge or District social activities must comply with the Grand Lodge regulations already in place for such events.
- The Grand Lodge of Minnesota AF & AM is the absolute Masonic authority in this jurisdiction. Only the Grand Lodge of Minnesota AF & AM can make authoritative statements on behalf of Minnesota Masons.
- To ensure our fraternity represents itself to the high standards we must regulate our actions by individual restraint and through Brother-to-Brother intervention. As a Freemason, quietly advise a Brother if you feel that what he has posted is improper within the framework of our Grand Constitutions, laws, rules, regulations, edicts and the general regulations of Freemasonry.
- Actions taken which violate this policy may be construed as unmasonic behavior, and may subject the violator to charges and discipline as such, conformant to the Minnesota Masonic Code.
Ultimately, your actions as a Mason online should promote the highest standards of morality and integrity. You should always be mindful of the penalties as described in the Grand Constitution relating to trial, suspension, and/or expulsion for any un-Masonic behavior. Posting a comment related to the Fraternity and then posting a disparaging comment about a social or political stance can easily be misconstrued by readers that your stance is representative of Masonry and all Masons. Remember that the public and members of the Masonic Fraternity are reading your posts online.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Grand Lodge Webmaster or the Grand Secretary. We encourage you to be a positive and proactive force for projecting Freemasonry in the world!
“A Brother who has a proper appreciation of our ancient institution, of its beauties, its ties, its requirements, or its privileges, will under no circumstance give utterance, even outside the Lodge, to opinions or sentiments that will make him obnoxious to his Brethren, or wound their feelings.”
MWB A.T.C. Pierson, 1861
As restated by MWB Ethan Seaberg, 2020