Proposal 5: Change language about not using URLs in messages to allow links/ID’s to AA Zoom meetings.
In Weekly Format Letter, “Topic for the week” section:
[ Introduce the Topic of the Week – Remember that we do not include URLs to sites outside GROW except links to the AA, Grapevine, and GROW websites, and AA meetings on Zoom. ]
In GROW Mail List Guidelines (5th bullet):
We do not send attachments, chain letters, solicitations, virus alerts or announcements of non A.A. functions. We do not include URLs to sites outside GROW except links to the AA, Grapevine, and GROW websites, and AA meetings on Zoom.
With the pandemic, AA zoom meetings are taking place all over the world. They have quickly become an essential tool for many in recovery. Because our ESH is vital to AA meetings and our sobriety, sharing the Zoom ID and password (or the URL link) would be appropriate in these uncertain times.
Summary of Discussions
There were many comments on this proposal covering a wide range of related topics. There were a few areas where participants agreed. There were also areas where comments may have been similar, but they did not represent general agreement. Rather, they suggested things where further discussion is needed.
Areas of agreement:
Zoom meetings are an important part of sobriety, especially during the pandemic. Participants were unanimous that AA meetings on Zoom are a valuable tool for sobriety and that referrals to specific AA meetings on Zoom are appropriate information to include in GROW messages.
Links should not be included in GROW messages. One member reported experiences with her e-mail being hacked and created serious problems. One of our listkeepers also shared her experience in helping members whose e-mails were hacked and the additional workload the hacks created for her. It was also pointed out that the language used in the Weekly Lead Format and the GROW Mail List Guidelines refers to URLs, which are not the security problem. The problem is links that may import viruses or malware into our personal e-mail programs. Therefore, the chair proposes to revise Proposal 3.4 to address “links” rather than “URLs” and will submit a new proposal to amend existing language in the Weekly Lead Format and GROW Mail List Guidelines to replace “URL” with “link.”
Referrals to Zoom meetings should not contain links but should instead refer to the Zoom meeting name, ID, and Password. GROW members can find specific AA Zoom meeting with this information, and a link to the specific meeting is not necessary. They can find further information on AA meetings on Zoom through a web search or through the OIAA website.
Areas where more discussion is needed:
Should GROW supply information on AA meetings on Zoom or leave it to individual members to give their recommendations? One member pointed out that only one Zoom meeting had been presented to GROW in a member’s message. Other members seemed to suggest that GROW should provide a central information point for this information. One member suggested that GROW create a webpage with information on AA meetings on Zoom.
What information does GROW want to distribute to its members? GROW could send different kinds of information for AA meetings on Zoom: referrals to specific meetings, the OIAA webpage with a partial listing, or searches on Zoom (I tried this with no success). Some participants have pointed out that it is easy to find this information through web searches or OIAA, arguing that there is no need for GROW to take this on.
Another thing to consider: If GROW lists AA meetings on Zoom as a service to our members, is it endorsing one meeting above another? Would we be communicating an implicit preference as a group (as opposed to a personal referral by a GROW member)? One participant mentioned that she feared that GROW providing the information could become almost an infomercial. This is something we should consider.
How would GROW inform its members of information about AA meetings on Zoom? The mechanisms that participants discussed included individual GROW members’ messages, the FYI letter, and a possible webpage. If we rely on GROW members’ referrals, the larger group would not be responsible for the accuracy or timeliness of the information. If we were to insert the information in the FYI letter or create a webpage, several issues should be decided:
Who would be responsible for the information? We know that at least one AA meeting on Zoom will continue beyond the pandemic. But if other meetings are discontinued or their schedules change, who in GROW would be responsible for making sure they are removed or updated? How can we assure that the information is kept up-to-date?
Is the FYI letter the appropriate way to get this information to GROW members? This is personal opinion: We already include a lot of information in the FYI Letter that goes out at the beginning of the month. Based on my own behavior, I don’t think members who’ve been with GROW over a few months will read the whole letter, if any of it. Members like me would never see it. Personally, I think it is better to send the info out separately in a short message that members will pay attention to. The question becomes the source of the information. What meetings will be included? Who is responsible for identifying appropriate meetings?
Is the GROW website the appropriate place to make the information available? The website seems to be a natural place to house the information on AA meetings on Zoom. Several questions follow. Would this be in the private members area or on the public side of the website? Who is responsible for identifying the AA meetings we want to list? What would be the process for listing specific meetings? Should there be a Trusted Servant responsible for assuring the accuracy and timeliness of the information?
The Chair recommends that we revise Proposal 5.4 after we have resolved issues on which comments did not reveal a consensus. The Chair will present a new proposal to one area where there was clear consensus: changing references to “URLs” to “links” in the Weekly Lead Format and the GROW Mail List Guidelines. (Summary of Discussions follows these talking points.)
We will have another three days to discuss these points:
- Should GROW supply information on AA meetings on Zoom or leave it to individual members to give their recommendations?
- What information does GROW want to distribute to its members?
- How would GROW inform its members of information about AA meetings on Zoom?
- Who would be responsible for the information?
- Is the FYI letter the appropriate way to get this information to GROW members?
- Is the GROW website the appropriate place to make the information available?