Social Media and Our Guiding Principles


Social Media and Our Guiding Principles

NCRSC 2012

Anonymity is essential in preserving the stability of our fellowship, and making personal recovery possible.

-It Works: How and Why, Tradition Twelve What does your anonymity mean to you?

“…At the level of press, radio and films…”

• Does social media fall under the scope of our eleventh tradition?

• The Eleventh Tradition was written before the widespread use of television, and yet the language of the tradition is flexible enough to cover that form of media.

• The internet and social networking sites can be a little more complicated… Are social media sites considered public?

What is the spiritual intent of the Eleventh Tradition?


Honoring the guidance offered by our Eleventh Tradition calls on each of us as individual members to be mindful of the public visibility of our online interactions -The credibility of our program of recovery can be greatly affected by the actions of individual members

Privacy and Anonymity- Our Own and Others’

‘What we say and what we do reflects on our NA recovery and the NA fellowship. As responsible NA members, we want that reflection to be a source of attraction rather than a source of embarrassment.’ It Works: How and Why, Tradition Eleven

Social Media Statement for Events

Photos, Videos, and Social Media:

We recognize that it is a common practice for members to take photos and videos at NA events and post them on social networks. We do not believe this to be in conflict with our traditions so long as they are for the enjoyment of members and are not made available to the general public. Please be considerate of our guiding principles and the anonymity of others as you share your photos and videos from this NA event. For more information, please see the service pamphlet Social Media and Our Guiding Principles.


Small Group Discussions

Scenario #1

An inexperienced member of an area activities committee wanting to 
 promote an event has, without group conscience. set up a Facebook page for an MEETING AND COSTUME DANCE, with 
 event, NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS NOTAHONOMO SPEAKER public settings. The flyer reads: Costume Dance; "All you ex hoes and ex pimps 
 come dressed like you were back in the day." 

 There are no controls on who may send invites to the group.

Several enthusiastic 
 people in early recovery send invitations to their entire friends list.

Scenario #2

A member with two years clean, who is very involved in posting the Just For Today, and other NA literature and logos relapses.

This member decides that it was NA’s fault, and continues to post information about NA… but now its about how NA doesn’t work…

Scenario #3

• You are so proud of your one year chip that you post a picture of it and tag all of your NA friends. This picture is now visible to everyone connected to their page…

-Does everyone in your life know that you are a recovering addict in Narcotics Anonymous? -Do you want them to know?

Share Your Findings

Using Online Communication Tools for NA Services

• Online tools can be helpful for facilitating greater communication and collaboration among members • When setting up tools like this, be sure to take the time to understand the privacy settings available in order to respect all members’ anonymity

NA Logos and Copyright Issues

• Individual members- and people outside of NA- are

not permitted

to use NA’s trademarks, including NA logos, and even the full name Narcotics Anonymous.

– Information about this is outlined in the

Fellowship Intellectual Property Trust (FIPT), and Property Bulletin #1, Internal Use of NA’s Intellectual Property

Some Tips for Maintaining Privacy and Anonymity Online

• Be familiar with the privacy settings available – Segmenting ‘friends’ lists, resrticting visibility or posts etc.

– Don’t post or tag information/pictures of others without permission – Be mindful of others’ anonymity, and your own

Ask yourself, could this reflect poorly in any way on NA as a whole?


• These forums are resources that can serve to facilitate greater communication and interactions among NA members.


• With NA’s public image and the anonymity and privacy of our members at stake, it is crucialthat those of us who choose to use these resources take great care in doing so.