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Grapevine : November 2011
aagrapevine.org 29 Traditions. Some groups in their meeting formats have add- ed "television" because film was used in making television and it is es- sentially a home theater, so therefore "television" is at the level of "films." Fair enough. But home movies are also of film, except that they are intended for private viewing. ere are films available of many historically significant AAs telling their stories and the history of AA---as members of AA. (Inquire at your local intergroup archives or contact AA World Services to find out how you can view these films.) ese AA members allowed it because it is not a break of our Eleventh Tradition because it is not intended for public broadcast, though it is still film. "Public" is first brought up in the Tenth Tradition regarding drawing the AA name into "public con- troversy." is is also the foundation for personal anonymity in the Eleventh Tradition regarding our "public relations," not our individual or personal or social relations (i.e. social media). e purpose of the Eleventh Tradition is to safeguard Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole from the general public identifying any one indi- vidual AA member as the spokesperson for AA, or as the quantifier of AA's suc- cess in healing alcoholics. e level here is that of "public," not of a specific format of media. How about the "In- ternet"? Some groups started to add that in their format while reading the Traditions. But this is a mistake born out of not understanding how new media works more than any inherent breech of the Eleventh Tradition. New media, including social media, is inherently private, not public. You o en need to first be on the platform to connect and then, if the user has utilized the many available privacy controls, you must have been granted specific access. Furthermore, the majority of new media is utilized under pseudonyms or truncated login names. Generally speaking, the default in new media is more to "private" than "public" and therefore is not in contradiction to our Eleventh Tradition. e other issue with adding "Internet" is that it targets only one addi- tional platform without ad- dressing the principle of the Eleventh Tradition. In that fashion, we would be able to increase this list ad infinitum, such as the many social media sites, games, blogs, photo and video sharing sites, chat sites, cb and shortwave--- you get it, right? So let's just keep it simple, shall we? e ird Tradition means I am a member of AA whenever I say I am a member of AA. And the Eleventh Tradition on anonymity means, simply: Do not publicly broadcast, "I am a member of Alcohol- ics Anonymous." From that point, AA should go on treating public anonymity breaks in new media as they have done in the older medias of press, radio and films---let AA contact the individual to remind them of the value and principles of our tradition of anonymity. J.G. Stockholm, Sweden For more stories like this, visit aagrapevine.org / topic/twelve-traditions