RSSB Policy Prohibiting the Use of Social Media

Introduction
Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) has an official website, which provides comprehensive information and content about the organization, Sant Mat, Satsang Centres, designated Satsang programs, and Publications to meet the requirements of the sangat and seekers in India and abroad. The information on the website is updated to keep everyone abreast of the latest developments. Yet it has been noticed that at times, the information that is going viral on social media platforms such as WhatsApp is not always true. Not only that, information meant for specific segments of the sangat is being made universal.

Thus there is a need to make everyone aware of the official policy for the release of information; those authorized for dissemination of this information; and the media through which it will be communicated. This will save the sangat from the risk of being confused by misleading and unofficial information.

Disseminating Official Information
There are two authorized sources for the dissemination of official RSSB information, both within India and abroad. Within India, it is the office of Secretary, RSSB, and for abroad it is the office of Overseas Satsang Centres.

The information goes out to the senior Sewadars and Departments, both within India and abroad, who then reach out to everyone, as per the requirement. Within India, Satsang Centres in India has a hierarchy of sewadars, who are managing the establishment right up to the last level. Abroad, information is sent by OSC by email to all Chairpersons, Representatives and Coordinators. They in turn pass it down the line to sevadars and the sangat.

The recommended method of dissemination of information in India is e-mail, which is sent to all the senior office bearers. They, in turn, can communicate information by e-mail or SMS. At the lowest rung, i.e., satsang centres/sub-centers/satsang points in India, information is communicated to the sangat by announcements at these places, through notice boards displayed at the Satsang Centres, and when required, by phone-tree, as is done abroad.

Abroad, e-mails are the primary method used to pass information to key sewadars. The primary way to communicate information to the sangat is by announcements and notice boards at Satsang and through newsletters. In special situations, local Phone-trees are also used to pass on the information directly to the sangat.

No other methods are recognized for the dissemination of official RSSB information.

Prohibition on the use of Social Media
RSSB does not use WhatsApp or any other social media platforms. The reason is because information disseminated through these platforms runs the risk of being manipulated, which can mislead the sangat. The sangat may find it difficult to distinguish between what is official information and what is not. RSSB thus, as a policy, prohibits the use of social media like WhatsApp for disseminating official information both within India and abroad.

Reasons
  1. People can forward information too easily to others in their sangats or even in other regions or countries.  Those recipients may not be covered by that particular instruction or information, thereby causing confusion;
  2. People can edit or alter information either deliberately or inadvertently and then forward it to others, also confusing or misleading the recipients;
  3. So much material is copied and circulated on these platforms that people cannot determine what is official and what is merely rumour or speculation.  The only way to counter this is to make it clear that absolutely nothing on these platforms is official.