Website and Internet Guidelines

Guidelines for Area 61 Website and Internet



As anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, we practice anonymity on our public website always. No telephone numbers are listed except for answering services, or for our intergroup and Central Office. In keeping with our 11th and 12th traditions, the site shall contain no recognizable photographs of individuals and no full names of individuals. To the extent possible, the site shall utilize position titles, rather than first names, when referring to officers, committee chairs, and others.  When a contact name is used, the name will contain only the person’s first name and last initial.

As anonymity is the “spiritual foundation of all our Traditions,” we practice anonymity on public websites at all times. In 2013, the 63rd General Service Conference affirmed that “the Internet, social media, and all forms of public communications are implicit in the last phrase of the short form of Tradition Eleven, which reads: ‘…at the level of press, radio, and films.’” As Bill W. wrote: “At this altitude [public], anonymity — 100 percent anonymity — was the only possible answer. Here, principles would have to come before personalities without exception.” In simplest form, this means that A.A.s do not publicly identify themselves as A.A. members using their full names and/or full-face photos.

Attraction not promotion

As our co-founder, Bill W., wrote: “Public information takes many forms — the simple sign outside a meeting place that says ‘A.A. meeting tonight’; listing in local phone directories; distribution of A.A. literature; and radio and television shows using sophisticated media techniques. Whatever the form, it comes down to ‘one drunk carrying the message to another drunk,’ whether through personal contact or through the use of third parties and the media.”


In keeping with our Seventh Tradition, A.A. pays its own expenses and this also applies in cyberspace. Area 61 pays all expenses for its domain names (, its hosting fees, and any necessary software.

Non-affiliation, Non-endorsement

Linking to other A.A. websites will often have the positive effect of significantly broadening the scope of a website. However, even when linking to another A.A. site, care must be exercised since each A.A. entity is autonomous, has its own group conscience, and may display information that another A.A. group conscience might find objectionable. There is no way to know when this might occur. The Area 61 website shall be limited to linking to the General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous, other official Delegate Areas, and sites established, maintained and officially adopted by groups and/or districts within Area 61

Linking to Non-A.A. Sites

Not only are they much more likely to display non-A.A. and/or controversial material, but linking might imply endorsement, if not affiliation. Linking to non-A.A. websites is problematic and prohibited.

General Social Networking Websites

Social networking websites are public in nature. Although users create accounts and utilize usernames and passwords, once on the site, it is a public medium where A.A. members and non-A.A.s mingle. Therefore, Area 61 uses social networking sites only to disseminate information, and does not require the exposure of individuals to a direct recognizable linkage to Area 61.


Information contained within this website is provided by the various groups and districts within Area 61. These groups and districts are responsible for the maintenance and accuracy of this information. Any group information may be submitted, changed or removed from this website by the G.S.R. or D.C.M. submitting the necessary information to the Area Web Committee via electronic form, by clicking the webmaster’s email link at the bottom of any Area 61 Web page, or by sending the information to the committee chairperson’s regular mailing address as shown in the Area Roster.

Events Calendar

Area 61 groups and districts may post flyers and announcements about AA related events in their community to the public Calendar of Events of the website provided that the webmaster, or a member of the Website committee, proofs the flyer for its authenticity before posting and that there is a disclaimer at the top of the page stating that Area 61 may not be responsible for the content or events.


Email Accounts

  • There shall be a minimum of 25 unique email accounts.
  • Email accounts shall follow the format:
  • Email accounts shall include a general information account (webmaster) and accounts for each area officer and committee chair.
  • At the discretion of each email recipient, individual email accounts will be accessible by both pop or imap mail clients and web mail, or mail can be forwarded to personal email accounts.
  • Mail sent to email accounts that are not active will be forwarded to the Webmaster.

Endorsement and Copyrights

  • The Web site shall include a disclaimer stating that it is neither endorsed nor approved by AAWS, and that all references to AA, AA literature, and the Grapevine are to registered trademarks.
  • To respect and protect AA copyrights, all quotes or excerpts from conference approved literature displayed on the web site shall be attributed to AA World Services, Inc. or The AA Grapevine, Inc.

These Guidelines are as follows:

  1. Area 61 will provide a website.
  2. The website shall be named
  3. The purpose of the website be followed as listed under the Administrative Committee’s guidelines for the Area 61 website.
  4. The website shall include the following items and features:
    1. The Twelve Steps
    2. The Twelve Traditions
    3. The Twelve Concepts
    4. The A.A. Preamble
    5. The Serenity Prayer
    6. The “Responsibility” Statement
    7. Declaration of Unity
    8. An Area Map
    9. Links to GSO and AA Grapevine
    10. Calendar with Area, State, Regional, GSO and District activities that Area 61 officially participates in.
    11. Upcoming Assembly agenda, Dates, and registration information
    12. Email to the Webmaster
    13. Internet Website Guidelines
    14. Link to the Rhode Island State Convention, if possible
    15. Links with disclaimers to Rhode Island Central Service and Intergroup.
    16. Link to RICYPAA, and ICYPAA, if available and held in Rhode Island.
    17. Area Newsletter, if one is being put out
    18. The Rhode Island Area Accessibilities document (pamphlet)
    19. A password protected area of the Website for posting of the area minutes (excluding the resource pages) and the Webmaster will change the password every twelve months for security at the direction of the web chairperson
    20. Posting of the current motions on the password protective area 10 days after assembly. (The motions are to be forwarded from the Area Secretary to the Web chairperson who will send them to the webmaster)
    21. The Webmaster or his/her designee will e-mail the area minutes with the resource pages to those requesting e-mail minutes, to the addresses supplied by the Registrar. The e-mail list is to be maintained by the Area Registrar
    22. To provide a Spanish Translation and access for the sight and hearing impaired whenever possible.
  5. The website shall be administered by the Website Committee (NOTE- THOSE GUIDELINES ARE LISTED BELOW).
  6. The website, its name, content and all related computer hardware and software, except for the web hosting service and the internet service provider shall be owned and supported by the Area 61.
  7. The Website shall conform to the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous.
  8. In keeping with AA Traditions, the website shall cooperate with other AA entities by providing reference only including a non-affiliation disclaimer. There shall be no reference or link to any non-AA material except to reference or link to specific Internet software necessary to view the website.
  9. In keeping with AA Traditions there shall be no mention or reference to individuals including email addresses and telephone numbers


  • Two domain names shall be registered, owned and maintained by Area 61:
  • When a user enters into a browser, the user shall be brought to the Area 61 home page.
  • When a user enters org into a browser, the user shall be redirected to the Area 61 home page.
  • The AA General Service Committee of Rhode Island shall be named owner / registrant of the Internet domains.
  • The administrative contact shall be the Area 61 Web Site Chair.
  • The technical contact shall be the Area 61 Webmaster. As a result of this registration, the Area 61 Chairperson and acting webmaster shall have direct control over the technical access to the website.


  • The website Chairperson is given a budget each January approved by the Finance Committee, the Area Committee and the area Assembly. He/she is responsible for the expenditures of the Committee, including expenditures for supplies, hardware, District workshops, and other related expenses to conduct the business of the website Committee.


  • The Webmaster is not given any budget. Any expenses incurred by the Webmaster need to be approved through the Website Committee (Voting Members).


  • To insure the Area 61 website complies with all the Traditions and Concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Is responsible for establishing and maintaining the guidelines and policies that the website must adhere to, subject to approval by the Area Committee and the Area Assembly. The Committee would determine what material is appropriate for inclusion and exclusion on the Area website.


  • To carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers, to professionals and the general public, and to members of the fellowship Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • To encourage participation of Rhode Island Area members, groups, districts, and committees in the Rhode Island A.A. services and activities.
  • To administer the Area 61 website to provide accurate, consistent, and updated information about Alcoholics Anonymous in general as well as the Area 61 business information and A.A. sponsored events within the Area.
  • To administer the NFAC website as a resource for the A.A. members, professionals working with alcoholics, the media, and the general pub


  • To have one elected Chairperson, one appointed Webmaster, one appointed Alternate Webmaster, one appointed past Delegate, appointed District Committee Members (DCMs) and
  • The DCMs, the past Delegate are all appointed by the Area 61 Chair. Only the Webmaster and Alternate Webmaster is appointed by the website Chairperson.

Duties (Website Chairperson)

  • Website Chair- To act as the Area 61 website Administrative Committee leader.
  • The Chairperson needs to have a working knowledge of the A.A. Traditions and Concepts.
  • Responsible for maintaining the registration of the domains
  • Responsible to shop for the best price for cost of services provided for the website.
  • Provides a report at Area meetings, quarterly Area Assemblies and other meetings as requested.
  • Coordinates, announces and facilitates periodic committee meetings.
  • Ensures the payment of all budgeted expenses incurred by the website according to standard Area policies.
  • The Chairperson is responsible for coordinating information within the committee and to facilitate the needs of the area with the Committee and Webmaster.

Duties (Webmaster)

  • Shall maintain the website and only add or remove data when directed by the Website Chairperson or designee as approved by the Website Administration Committee and/or the area assembly. To keep the site updated, scrubbed, passwords changed every twelve months, e-mail minutes out to list maintained by the Area Registrar, and implement the technical aspects of the website as directed by the Website Chairperson.