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Guide Lines for Lodge Web Sites

All efforts to communicate the image of Freemasonry in Pennsylvania should reflect the goals of the Fraternity, and its principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. The Internet is such a broad means of communication, and its parameters change almost daily. It is essential that the image of Freemasonry be preserved in all that is communicated in this public venue.

Some Lodges may choose to use commercial web-hosting services that flash advertisements to the viewers. These advertisements are not within the control of the Lodge, however, if they are inappropriate, the Lodge must seek another hosting service. This holds true for any additional services, such as guest books, or links to other sites. The Grand Lodge offers free hosting service to all Lodges in Pennsylvania who comply with these guidelines.

When considering the content for a Masonic web site, there is a wide range of material available. It is important that a positive image of Freemasonry be presented, as this is a window through which the entire world can inspect our workings. The inclusion of high-quality graphics, photos, music and animations can add variety to a web site. Your web site is a prime opportunity for potential candidates for Freemasonry to obtain a favorable impression of our ancient and honorable institution. Include only those materials (text, photos, videos, music) that you believe send a positive message about the Fraternity, such as information on parades, fairs, car washes, sports tournaments, etc.

Some Lodges post the text of their monthly Lodge notice on their web site. This is fine, except that it is NOT an acceptable substitute for the Lodge notice, which must still be produced and mailed in accordance with Grand Lodge law. Please note that it is not proper to include the names of petitioners, or candidates for degrees, on a web site. This is business that is private to the Lodge. Additionally, the personal addresses and telephone numbers of Lodge officers and committee members should not be published on a web site. Email addresses may be included, if permission is given by the owner to do so.

All material copied from another source must appear with a credit line acknowledging the source of the original material, if known. This is both a courtesy to the original author(s) and protection against misquotes and claims of copyright infringement.

Lodge web sites are the property of the Lodge, even if they are hosted on a member's ISP allocated server space. The control of that web site is always the responsibility of the Worshipful Master, who is accountable for all material placed in public. It is a good policy for the Worshipful Master to approve everything that is posted on a Lodge web site. If the Worshipful Master does not have access to the Internet, it should be the Webmaster's responsibility to get approval of a paper copy of all material before it is posted for viewing by the general public.

More detailed instructions are published on the Grand Lodge website at www.pagrandlodge.org/credit.

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