Internet Guidelines

as adopted by the Sovereign Grand Lodge 07/12/1996.

  1. The Internet and the World Wide Web are public media, like newspapers and magazines. The guidelines for what information should be put on the Internet are the same as the guidelines for what information can be put in a press release or newsletter.
    • All communications and postings should be positive, optimistic, and accurate.
    • No portion of the rituals, degrees, or the unwritten work of the Order may be posted.
    • No other confidential information (such as private business, units minutes, etc.) shall be placed on public access areas of the internet.
  2. The basic goals of IOOF websites are to promote communication among members, to share Order-related information and programs, to educate the membership, and to attract interest from non-members.
  3. The IOOF websites shall be organized in the following hierarchy.
    • First: There shall be one Sovereign Grand Web Site as the major or highest Web Site.
    • Second: There shall be a Jurisdictional Web Site for each Grand Body which chooses to provide one.
    • Third: There are individual unit Web Sites provided by Lodges, Encampments, etc.
  4. The Sovereign Grand website is under the authority of the Sovereign Grand Lodge. A Sovereign Grand Webmaster, appointed by the Sovereign Grand Master, shall maintain and oversee the information placed on the Sovereign Grand Web Site.The Sovereign Grand Webmaster shall ensure that all information which might be questionable in nature is approved by the SGL, or SGL Executive Committee when SGL is not in session, before being placed on the Sovereign Grand Web Site.The Sovereign Grand website shall contain information relevant to all units of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (Odd Fellow Lodges, Rebekah Lodges, Encampments and Auxiliaries, Cantons and Auxiliaries, Departments, Grand Lodges, Rebekah Assemblies, Grand Encampments, Junior Lodges, Theta Rho Clubs, etc.) and information that is international in nature. It shall contain general Order-related information such as:
    1. History of the Order.
    2. List of Jurisdictions and addresses for Grand Secretaries.
    3. List of Jurisdictional web sites and e-mail addresses for webmasters.
    4. List of Jurisdictional Publications and Periodicals.
    5. List of IOOF Homes throughout the world.
    6. List of IOOF Camps throughout the world.
    7. Current Sovereign Grand Lodge programs and interesting programs from other parts of the world.
    8. List of E-Mail addresses of important contacts.
    9. IOOF clip art.
    10. Sections of old IOOF history books that do not reveal degree content or secret work.
    11. Place to ask questions and get a fast response.
    12. Information on how to become a member.
    13. List of Sovereign Publications, Pamphlets and Periodicals, plus possibly the actual publications on line.
    14. Any other information of the general interest in the international sense, to most Odd Fellows and Rebekahs.

    There shall be links between the Jurisdictional websites, Unit websites and the Sovereign Grand website that allow the information to be found easily and fast. Links shall be used where practical to limit duplication of material.

  5. Each Jurisdictional website shall be under the control of each of the jurisdiction’s Grand Body. A Grand Webmaster appointed by the presiding officer of each Grand Body shall be placed in charge of that Grand Body’s Jurisdictional website. The Jurisdictional website shall not include information that can be already found on the Sovereign Grand Web Site, but shall provide links to that information. The information kept on the Jurisdictional website shall be consistent with that location. It may include items as:
    1. Information on the units in that jurisdiction
    2. Current activities throughout the jurisdiction
    3. History of the jurisdiction
    4. E-mail directory of those members who wish to be included on it
    5. Address list of those members who wish to be included on it
    6. Current Membership programs and other IOOF Programs
    7. List of Unit websites and Webmasters under that Jurisdiction
    8. List of Jurisdictional periodicals, pamphlets or publications available and possibly include them on line
    9. List of all the officers and committee chairmen, with addresses and phone numbers.

    The Jurisdictional website should contain the necessary links both to the Sovereign Grand website and to any individual Unit websites under that jurisdiction. Jurisdictional websites should be in the official language of the country of the Jurisdiction. Sovereign Grand website pages that are of interest to the Jurisdiction may be translated and posted.

    Space on Jurisdictional and Unit websites shall be used for information specific to the jurisdiction, country and unit, without repeating information available on the Sovereign Grand website.

  6. The information kept on an individual Unit’s website shall be consistent with that unit’s location. It may include items as:
    1. Identification and location of the unit
    2. Meeting times, current activities and events (should be kept up to date)
    3. Information on how to get to the lodge (a map)
    4. The necessary links to the Jurisdictional and Sovereign Grand websites
    5. List of all IOOF local newsletters and periodicals (possibly included on line)
    6. Membership information and current programs
    7. List of its members (with their approval), current officers and committee chairmen
    8. Information on renting the building
    9. The time of Bingo games, breakfasts, dinners, or other activities open to the public
    10. Any other information which could be useful to the members and non-members.

    The creation of a website for the unit shall be approved by a majority vote of the unit. The Webmaster for a unit’s website should be chosen in the same manner as the editor of a unit’s newsletter. The Jurisdictional website shall be notified of any new unit website or any change in the unit website location.

  7. No Grand Body nor any subordinate unit shall be compelled to create a website. However, all are encouraged to do so.
  8. Any individual with a personal home page may provide a link to any of the IOOF websites.
  9. All Unit, Jurisdictional and Sovereign Grand websites shall include methods for electronic correspondence(e-mail) to be directed either to the Webmaster or other designated person. This shall be treated as unofficial correspondence with one of its purposes being to answer questions from both members and non-members. Persons chosen should be knowledgeable, willing and able to keep up with the short response time expected on the Internet.
  10. Unit websites shall not copy or duplicate information from Jurisdictional Web Sites nor the Sovereign Grand website whenever links can be practically used. Jurisdictional Web Sites shall not copy or duplicate information from the Sovereign Grand website whenever links can be practically used.
  11. All Internet users may excerpt information from any of the IOOF websites into a press release, a newsletter, or other publication, as long as they cite the source.* Copyrights will be respected. No Web Site shall include material in violation of the copyright laws.* IOOF Web Sites may include advertisements that are in keeping with the principles of the Order.
  12. All IOOF websites and electronic correspondence related to the Order shall maintain the following standards of Conduct:
    1. No use of profanity will be permitted.
    2. Professionalisms should be maintained.
    3. All quotes should state their source.
    4. Cite the source when copying information from websites for newsletters, press releases, or other publications.
    5. No personal information should be made public without that person’s permission.
    6. All comments and suggestions should be positive and constructive.
  13. The Sovereign Grand Lodge Communication Committee shall have the authority to monitor all the IOOF websites to ensure that they are following these guidelines. If the committee determines an IOOF website does not conform to these guidelines, it shall contact the sponsoring body, inform it of the violation and instruct it to correct the problem. Failure to correct a violation constitutes an offense against the Order and subjects the sponsoring body to disciplinary action.
  14. Junior Lodge and Theta Rho Girls Club websites shall be monitored by the Grand Lodge and Rebekah Assembly of the given Jurisdiction.

Source: Sovereign Grand Lodge Website