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Social Media Report Written and Submitted by Martin C., Trustee

After discussion at 2013 ABC, and in the year before ABC 2014, the Social Media Working Party agreed, and proposed to the WSO Board of Trustees, that there be an amendment to the wording of Tradition 11. This is to further protect the principle of anonymity in respect of Soclai Media (facebook, twitter etc)

We proposed that the words “and all public media of communication” be added after “Press, Radio, TV, and Films”, in respect to the preservation of the principle of anonymity. 

2014 ABC approved the idea of considering how this might be implemented, consulting the fellowship, and returning to 2015 ABC with a proposal. At the Board meeting following ABC, I agreed to take this forward.

So far I have contacted a relevant fellowship to see how they implemented the same change to wording. The response I got suggested that this had not changed in 15 years, as their specific by-laws had not been invoked. They have a specific methodology for allowing changes to the wording of the Traditions only after agreement from a specific majority of groups (3/4), but I do not feel it relevant to quote from them, because our guidance should follow from the OPPM, as an autonomous fellowship.

I have also contacted AA to see if there are any conditions they require when changes to the 12 Traditions are implemented by other fellowships. I have not yet received a reply, though I believe they have exceeded their own time limits for such replies. Once a reply is received I will advise the Board.

I have subsequently reverted to the OPPM for guidance as to a procedure that we might use to bring this issue to the Fellowship and to next year’s ABC. The only reference I could find was:

XII.ACA WSO Literature, begins by stating that

“… Twelve Traditions have been standardized and accepted at various Annual Business Conferences.”

Apart from that, I found no reference to a procedure for amending the Traditions.

The following is a personal view:

The Traditions define our fellowship, so treating them as just a piece of literature, and subjecting them to the same processes for amendment as for literature, seems inadequate.

The concern about this issue came from the fellowship, by a motion from an Intergroup discussed at an ABC attended by voting delegates from 13 countries: the proposed wording was one considered by a working party which did not include a member of the Board of Trustees: the decision of the 2014 ABC was achieved by substantial unanimity, but not complete unanimity.

It still feels to me that the whole fellowship should be consulted on this proposed change, and be made aware that it would be brought back to the 2015 ABC for a decision.

I believe that the decision for the fellowship to consider should be simply whether or not to implement this particular wording. The decision for the Board, and a subsequent ABC, should be how to proceed with consideration of this wording. If it is rejected, that does not mean that the fellowship may not propose another approach to the issue, it just means this one fails.

To proceed, it now needs the Board to agree as to how to bring this to the fellowship.

I am therefore submitting this report to the Board individually as well as inviting Karen to post it on the Repository: I request that we come up with a procedure which dovetails with the ABC preparations, invitations to submit Ballot Motions, and the subsequent pre ABC vote by Groups and Intergroups.

Respectfully Submitted,

Martin C