As the proliferation of chapter, lodge, section, and region Order of the Arrow Internet websites continues, the National OA Committee felt it was appropriate to set forth some policy guidelines for OA websites. There are many people who are unsure of what is or is not appropriate, and what guidance is available to them.
These guidelines were adapted from the guidelines that the BSA electronic publishing division has established for council websites, as laid out in an October 23, 1998, memo from the Electronic Publishing Division Director.
The following guidelines were approved at the May 1999 National OA Committee meeting, and take effect immediately. They are being publicized starting at the 1999 National Leadership Summit.
An official Order of the Arrow website should follow these guidelines:
- The appropriate OA leadership must have direct control over the content of its official website (i.e. the Key 3 at each level of the organization).
- The content of the OA site must be appropriate to the Scouting movement and the Order of the Arrow. Safeguarded information such as ceremony details must be properly protected.
- The OA site shall not contain any advertisements or commercial endorsements, except those for the organization providing the site service if it is provided for free or at a discount.
- The OA site shall not engage in the electronic sale of BSA Supply Division merchandise, merchandise commissioned by the National Order of the Arrow Committee, or competing products.
- The OA site shall not contain any links directly to any sites that contain material that is not appropriate to the Scouting movement.
- The OA site shall not replicate any BSA publication currently for sale through the Supply Division.
- The OA site must abide by all laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property.
- The OA site must consider the safety and privacy of their participants by obtaining necessary permissions to release information about or identifying images of any specific individual.
- The OA site should include an email contact address for reaching the person managing the site, so visitors can report any problems or concerns.