Before you hit “publish.”

With a stage as large as the internet, it’s natural to be concerned about whether what you’re writing is appropriate. Here are a few questions to ask before you send that blog post out into the world.

Before you hit “publish,” ask …

  1. Would I say this in person? Do a gut-check to make sure what you’re writing couldn’t be construed as backbiting.
  2. Could this put someone in danger? If you’re able to participate actively in the Baha’i community without fear of repercussions, consider yourself blessed. Before writing about other people or sharing photos of them, ask yourself whether it could be unsafe.
  3. Am I presenting my opinions as fact? When writing about the teachings of the Faith, it’s important to remember that our knowledge is always growing over time. Staying humble about our current understanding is key.
  4. Is this truthful? It’s the foundation of all virtues. Fiction and creative writing are powerful art forms; just make sure they’re labeled as such.
  5. Does this unite the world or divide it? Partisan politics, sarcastic put-downs, and arguing for the sake of argument are a regular part of internet culture. That doesn’t mean we need to participate in it.

More guidance for Baha’is on the internet:

Is there a netiquette for Baha’is? from Baha’i Blog.

Points to ponder for constructive Internet use from the website of the Baha’is of the United States.

Guidelines for Internet communication from the Baha’i Internet Agency.

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On public discourse

At the level of the cluster, involvement in public discourse can range from an act as simple as introducing Bahá’í ideas into everyday conversation to more formal activities such as the preparation of articles and attendance at gatherings, dedicated to themes of social concern—climate change and the environment, governance and human rights, to mention a few.

-The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 2010