Ask-It Basket

Q: Some members of my face-to-face meeting and I wish to begin a secret group on a popular social networking website, in order to stay better connected between meetings. We want to abide by the Traditions in this project; our intent is to help strengthen OA members who might need a bit of instant encouragement. Please advise!

A: Thanks for your question and concern about honoring OA’s Traditions. An updated statement about OA’s stance on social media and the importance of personal anonymity on public social media can be found in the Business Conference Policy Manual (2011a).


“While Overeaters Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues, including social media, the delegates of the 2016 World Service Business Conference recommend that any OA member, group, or service body using social media for OA public information and public awareness maintain the personal anonymity of OA members. Members of Overeaters Anonymous are anonymous. The Fellowship is not. Members of Overeaters Anonymous using social media are responsible for maintaining their own personal anonymity and respecting the anonymity of other OA members.”

With regard to your question about forming a secret group on a social networking site:

My understanding is that secret groups in social media are secret. Only current group members can see the group and its posts, and there is a setting to prevent current members from inviting or adding new members without administrator approval. It is important that all members become knowledgeable about how to set privacy preferences on their specific pages so that the group stays secret. You may wish to caution members of the group to be sure to check their privacy settings. Also, be aware that from time to time social networking sites and other social media may change their privacy policies.

— Members of the Board of Trustees provide answers to Ask-It Basket questions

Ask-It Basket Archive

Read previous Ask-It Basket questions and answers in the Ask-It Basket Archive. Remember that these answers are the opinions of individual members of the Board of Trustees and others may have different opinions. It’s a good idea to read other OA materials that address an issue and ask around in meetings for more opinions. Also keep in mind that circumstances change and opinions are refined over time.