Zoom Screen User Name / Profile - accidentally breaking anonymity?
The Steps and Traditions of AA stress the importance of preserving the anonymity of members and warning against breaking anonymity in various media forms. The 'digital' era provides new challenges compared with press and radio, especially because members using 'digital' platforms might accidentally reveal their own identity just by signing-in to video-conferencing using the (default) setting full name or email address. These things can be changed easily in Profile settings, and we thought it might be helpful to share the how-to-screen details. See below:
How to Maintain Anonymity in an Online Zoom Meeting: When you join a Zoom meeting, you will see a screen “Join a Meeting” and a box with your name in it. You can change your name in the box before joining a meeting so that you maintain anonymity.
For Background reading, click here: Click here: AA Guide to the Internet & Anonymity
ANZAA 2020 - Trans Tasman Woodstock - Postponed - more information
UPDATE: AA WEEKLY MEETING GROUPS IN NSW & COVID-19 -- 3 April 2020
In response to the impact of COVID-19 and the requirements of the Federal and State Governments, the whole State of NSW is essentially in lock-down. All venues for AA meetings such as halls and centres have been closed until further notice. It is practicably prohibitive to run AA ‘physical’ meetings due to the COVID-19 quarantine measures. There are unmanageable risks to public health and severe possible consequences for those failing to comply. The message is clear: we must stay at home to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and those around us.
The Service Council Office at Parramatta and AA Reviver both remain on lock-down, but are functioning remotely thanks to our small core of devoted helpers.
We at AA NSW Service Council hold the conviction that the safety, good health and well-being of those in our AA community should be the number one priority. There is considerable uncertainty over how long this crisis will last, and we know there’ll be an extraordinary several months ahead. As an AA service body, we – like all other service entities around Australia – do not have any governing authority over AA groups. We do not issue rules or directives and we respect, as an article of faith, that each AA group or AA entity is autonomous and makes decisions through its group conscience. Thus, providing guidance on health issues is beyond the responsibility of us or any other AA body. This is the view recently articulated by AA World Services.
Here are a number of key points:
We understand that you might be feeling overwhelmed with information about the spread of Coronavirus. Updates are available by calling the National Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080.
Because everyone must be minimising social contact, only in exceptional circumstances should an individual sponsor visit a sponsee to provide one-on-one support. We must adhere to best practice in social-distancing and personal hygiene, and never impose ourselves on AA members who are self- isolating. We should follow the same precautions as are required of essential services.
All levels of Government in Australia and various health authorities, including AHPPC and NSW Health, recognise Alcoholics Anonymous is an "essential" Health service – echoing the professional opinion of Dr William Silkworth.
Given the Coronavirus restrictions, our routines, plans and expectations regarding AA need to be restructured and reorganised. We can keep in touch with AA friends over the phone to see if they’re alright, and perhaps use the letterbox with inconspicuously packaged AA literature.
Various forms of online communication are springing into action, which we now have a vital need for in our AA fellowship. There are electronic alternatives to AA meetings – the shift to 'virtual' meetings – and we can use technology to electronically engage with fellow AA members. We will provide more detailed info on this later.
AA Reviver magazine issues have been printed and posted to subscribers. Because of meeting closures some groups may be unable to collect their copies. We are endeavouring to get the AA Reviver (and all other AA Literature) available on-line, subscribe at: aansw.org.au However, we need your support! Please supply us any online alternative meeting details (without breaking anyone’s anonymity). Also, we’ll be delighted to receive more member literary contributions, especially ID shares, to bolster our content for a much better ‘Meeting-in-Print’.
AA NSW Service Council will convene an online Delegates Meeting on Sunday 31 May 2020, from 1pm to 3pm. This will be a "Zoom" Video Conference (first 100). We will be allocating significant time for attendee sharing, including from urban, suburban, regional and remote areas throughout NSW. We request agenda items, and we will greatly appreciate group CSR Delegates, meeting secretaries and indeed all AA members from far and wide who Zoom-in to share their experience, needs and any practical suggestions.
We could really benefit from your Tradition Seven financial contributions. For your ‘e.hat’ donation, please find below our bank details:
AA NSW Service Council Inc.
BSB: 062 128 Account: 1103 9114
A final sobering note: Coronavirus is most likely to spread from person to person through direct close contact; so, vigilance must be foremost. We hope you are not too disrupted by the measures now in place because of the current pandemic. At any location practical and in any safe way, we alcoholics share our experience, strength, and hope with each other in order to stay sober and help other alcoholics.
Yours in Unity and Service,
AA NSW Service Council Inc.
AA WEEKLY MEETING GROUPS IN NSW & CORONAVIRUS -- 31 March 2020
This message gratefully acknowledges and borrows from the recent message issued by AA World Services, Inc.
Many members have sought guidance on whether AA Weekly Meeting Groups in NSW can or even should continue to have physical gatherings despite the increasing Coronavirus (COVID-19) “Social Distancing” restrictions. Your Service Council is a repository for all AA members and groups in NSW who are looking for the shared experience of the Fellowship. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, we are fully committed to continue to serve as a resource centre of shared experience to help navigate this unprecedented public health emergency.
AA does not have an authoritative body over our groups, it does not initiate rules or directives, as each AA group and entity is autonomous and decisions are made through its group conscience. Providing guidance on health issues is outside the scope of any AA body. For anyone experiencing a health and safety question, it is suggested that they contact the Australian or State health authorities for appropriate information. However, in response to the global outbreak, we do have some general experience regarding how some AA groups and members have responded.
Many building owners have required AA meetings to cease. Many groups have decided that whilst AA is recognised and respected by all levels of government as falling under “essential” health services, it is practically prohibitive to run AA “physical” meetings due to the unmanageable risks and severe possible consequences. They are following the “Social Distancing’’ guidelines, while at the same time maintaining their recovery and attending “digital” AA meetings. By way of digital meetings, groups can continue to focus on AA’s primary purpose: to carry its message of recovery to the alcoholic who still suffers.
Many groups have alerted local AA offices if they are temporarily not meeting in their regular space. Some groups have shared that they are utilising digital platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or conducting conference calls. AA groups are also creating contact lists, keeping in touch by phone, email or social media. Many local AA central/intergroup offices, and areas have added information to their websites about how to change a meeting format from “in-person” to a digital platform. AA in the digital age has certainly taken on a new meaning in these challenging times.
Yours in Unity and Service,
AA NSW Service Council Inc.