Zoom meetings suggestions

Safety in Online Meetings – updated 23rd August 2020

The Heart group first issued suggestions on how to keep online meetings safe on 3rd April 2020. The updated suggestions and guidelines in this note have been prepared by a group of SLAA fellows with experience in hosting and running online meetings. They were reviewed and approved by Intergroup in July 2020. They are suggestions not requirements but they have worked well for us to help create a safe place for fellows. The guidelines cover:

  • Zoom meeting settings (other platforms are available)
  • Suggested online meeting guidelines for participants and for Meeting Secretaries and zoom hosts
  • How to get your 12 step group online quickly

If you are intending to convert your face to face meeting to zoom or to set up a new zoom meeting then please let the website team know so they can list it on the SLAA UK website. They can be contacted at meetings@slaauk.org

Top Tips

It is good practice to have a host service position to administer the meeting and its’ safety guidelines. This is in addition to a co-host sharing readings.

Take time to check your zoom settings. Make sure your ID is anonymous and if you are a meeting host then change the default meeting settings as they run counter to SLAA’s spiritual foundations.

Add a statement in your meeting script that SLAA meetings are only open to those seeking recovery from sex and love addiction and are not open to under 18s. Ask attendees to ensure that no one else is present in the room unless identified and they want to be part of the meeting or asking attendees to take steps to ensure no one can see the screen or overhear meeting e.g. use headphones and minimise screen.

We recommend that online meetings have a periodic group conscience to review the safety of the meeting and consider how well the meeting guidelines, meeting settings and script are working.

Add a statement in your script that “Out of respect for your fellows, please dress and behave in the same way at an online meeting as you would if you were attending the meeting in person”.

Zoom Meeting Settings

For Zoom users: With the rush to shift to online meetings, many of us did not take time to investigate what this meant to the spiritual foundation of our recovery – namely, anonymity. Now that online meetings are accessible, we want to pass on best practices for protecting anonymity. These have been curated from the membership and online resources.

The default Zoom settings run counter to SLAA’s spiritual foundation of anonymity. The meetings are publicly accessible and full names and faces are often displayed. Additionally, by default, all Zoom meetings are recorded to the cloud. Turning that feature off is simple, fortunately.

There are other settings in the Meeting Settings tab that can also be adjusted, such as disallowing remote control of devices, file transfer, data sharing with Zoom, and screen sharing for participants.

Here are some suggested settings for your meeting to use. These are the settings that SLAA Intergroup uses for Intergroup Meetings. Please note that most, if not all, of the settings below are not the Zoom default:

In the Zoom Settings section, under the Meeting tab:

  • Enable Host Video
  • Enable Participant Video
  • Set Audio Type to Telephone and Computer Audio if you wish known members to call in by phone
  • Disable Join before Host
  • Enable Only authenticated users can join meetings
  • Enable Mute participants upon entry
  • Enable Require Encryption for Third Party Endpoints
  • Disable Prevent participants from saving chat
  • Enable Private chat (if you want to allow private exchange of numbers)
  • Disable Auto saving chats
  • Disable File transfer
  • Disable Feedback to Zoom
  • Enable Co-host
  • Enable Screen sharing (for Host only)
  • Enable Disable desktop/screen share for users
  • Disable Annotation
  • Disable Whiteboard
  • Disable Remote control
  • Disable Nonverbal feedback
  • Disable Allow removed participants to rejoin
  • Enable Allow participants to rename themselves
  • Enable Hide participant profile pictures in a meeting
  • Enable Report participants to Zoom
  • Enable Breakout room (allows the option for large meetings)
  • Enable Allow Virtual background (this is the Zoom default and allows the user to use a virtual background instead of the inside of their apartment, for example)
  • Enable Waiting room (for All participants)
  • Disable Allow live streaming meetings

In the Zoom Settings section, under the Recording tab:

  • Disable Local recording
  • Disable Cloud recording
  • Disable Automatic recording

In the Zoom Settings section, under the Telephone tab:

  • Set Choose where most of the participants call into or call from the meeting to Europe
  • Enable Mask phone number in the participant list
  • Set Global Dial-in Countries/Regions to United Kingdom

We will update this page with additional information as we learn it and encourage you to share tips and tricks with us that we can include.

Suggested Online Meeting Guidelines

The 12 traditions are the principles by which we maintain the common welfare of the SLAA groups/meetings and the fellowship. Just as in face to face meetings, it is suggested that we abide by the traditions in online meetings.

Under 18s and non SLAA members in online meetings

Suggested approaches to this issue include:

  1. Adding a statement in your meeting script that SLAA meetings are only open to those seeking recovery from sex and love addiction
  2. Asking attendees to ensure that no one else is present in room unless identified and they want to be part of the meeting or asking attendees to take steps to ensure no one can see screen or over hear meeting e.g. use headphones and minimise screen
  3. Meetings might consider that they specifically ask “Is there anyone in the meeting who has someone present with them including any under 18s?” If so then suggest a group conscience before proceeding to seek agreement over participation e.g ask fellow to attend meeting on own, discuss safety of meeting and under 18s etc
  4. Suggestion that host/moderator to monitor if any others are present and if so then use private chat function to ask anyone else present to leave room etc
  5. Suggestion that secretary or any attendee call a group conscience should someone else, including an under 18, appear in screen

Group Conscience on online meeting safety

  1. We recommend that new online meetings and existing meetings converting to zoom have a group conscience at their foundation to agree meeting safety guidelines, zoom settings etc at their inception.
  2. We recommend that online meetings have a periodic group conscience to review the safety of meeting and consider how well the meeting guidelines are working.
  3. Guidelines and resources for setting up new meetings can be found on slaafws.org/download/SLAAGroupStarterKit.pdf

Guidelines for online meeting participants

  1. For your own anonymity, please just use your first name on your zoom account.
  2. Out of respect for your fellows, please dress and behave in the same way as you would if you were attending this meeting in person.
  3. It is OK for meetings to require that you have your video feed on during the meeting. Please comply with that requirement in order to respect the conscience of the meeting and help other participants feel safe. If you are a regular attendee to a specific meeting and you are unable to use video for some reason then it is suggested that you contact the secretary or member of committee in advance of the meeting to discuss reasons why.
  4. Please do not attend the meeting whilst you are with other people, including children and infants, who could overhear the meeting or see the meeting.
  5. Please do not use the private chat function to chat with other fellows during the meeting this could constitute cross talk.
  6. If there is something urgent that needs to be made aware to the secretary then please chat with the meeting host so that they may take action. Or you may speak up if you are not comfortable with safety in the meeting.
  7. Please keep yourself ‘muted’ unless you have been invited to share or do a reading. Please remember to mute yourself after you have shared/read.

Guidelines for online meeting hosts and secretaries

  1. It is good practice to have a host service position to administer the meeting and safety guidelines. it is also good practice for a meeting to have a co-moderator or host in order to share the responsibility of keeping the meeting safe and sharing readings.
  2. Hosts should take time to review your zoom meeting settings and SLAA guidance of the settings before meetings start and take steps to ensure the meeting is safe for all to attend.
  3. We note that many meetings have found that the waiting room function is a good way of managing entry into a meeting and enables the host to send a message to the person. However, in Zoom it isn’t possible for the person to respond back. It is helpful to have “mute on entry” in the meeting settings so that late entrants don’t disrupt the meeting.
  4. Online meeting IDs should be anonymous but identifiable e.g. First name and perhaps first letter of surname. Just using “iPhone” or “iPad” for example is not sufficiently identifiable. It is OK for fellows to use a nick name or other identifier. Script should include asking attendees to check their ID to make sure it is anonymous.
  5. It is OK for an online meeting host to change ID to protect anonymity, removing a surname for example, but to do no more than that.
  6. It is OK for individual meetings to insist that video feed is on in order to attend the meeting. There are telephone or audio only Skype meetings for fellows who find this uncomfortable or are unable to comply.
  7. It is suggested that the script includes the following reference to online meeting behaviour; “out of respect to your fellows please dress and behave as if you were attending a face to face meeting”. See section below for suggested additions to a meeting script. The meeting script might also suggest that fellows can call a group conscience at any point in the meeting if they feel unsafe or to speak up if they are not comfortable.
  8. It is recommended that in order to keep meetings safe then malicious disruptors are immediately removed from the meeting by the meeting host. In the case of inadvertent disruptors, who might not be behaving as if they were in a face to face meeting, then there a number of options available:
  9. Move to waiting room and host to send message to fellow, but remember anyone in the waiting room will not be able to respond to the message and the waiting room function will need to have been enabled in the meeting settings
  10. Host to use private chat to communicate with fellow whilst they are in the meeting
  11. Call an impromptu group conscience
  12. Move to the breakout room together with a co-host to explain the nature of disruption and agree on a course of action. Note, breakout room would need to be enabled in meeting settings beforehand and this requires a co-host in order to manage the process
  13. Recommend that during a meeting that chat is only possible with the host as chat would constitute cross talk. Suggest that chat is re-opened just before SLAA related announcements in order to enable sharing of numbers etc.
  14. No one should feel pressured or compelled to share numbers with all online meeting attendees. Fellows might make others aware that they are willing to share their numbers via private chat.
  15. Meetings might consider making any newcomer reps co-hosts at the end of the meeting so they can co-ordinate the sharing of numbers.
  16. If there are technical problems during a meeting then we suggest the Secretary or host ask attendees to be patient, not to interrupt the flow of the meeting and be reassured that the host will seek to manage any technical problems.
  17. We note that meetings have adopted a variety of methods to select shares during the meeting, including:
    • Raised hand in front of face with chairperson, or a share picker, scanning the screen to select a fellow
    • Raised voice
    • Raised digital hand, selected by fellow who wishes to share by clicking on their name in the list of attendees and selecting raised hand. Please note hosts or co-hosts are unable to select this option so will need to notify chairperson in a different way
    • Chairperson picks people by people listing their names in the chat at the start of the meeting, and then goes down the list
  18. We note that meetings have adopted a variety of methods to collection Tradition 7 donations including:
    • Posting in chat details of how to make donations to Intergroup on slaauk.org/donate
    • Setting up a Square Cash account – setting up a personal account with Cash App is easy and can be anonymous – by downloading the app via cash.app on a phone or going to cash.app/account on a computer. The money collected in the Cash App account can be transferred to a bank account in order to send money to Intergroup or pay for a Zoom meeting subscription.
    • Setting up a paypal account specific to the meeting – please note donations won’t be anonymous
    • Posting in chat the account number and sort code of a bank account specifically set up for the meeting
  19. Meeting hosts might find it helpful to create a summary of the meeting guidelines which they could post in the meeting or share with newcomers and/or latecomers to the meeting

 

 

Suggested text to read out at online SLAA meetings

 

  • For your own anonymity, please just use your first name on your zoom account.
  • Out of respect for your fellows, please dress and behave in the same way as you would if you were attending this meeting in person.
  • Please do not use the private chat function to chat with other fellows during the meeting, unless there is something urgent that needs to be made aware to the whole meeting/secretary.
  • To protect the anonymity of your fellows, please make yourself visible by clicking “Start Video” and please do not attend the meeting in a room where there are other people who could overhear the meeting.
  • Please keep yourself ‘muted’ unless you have been invited to share or do a reading.
  • Please remember to mute yourself after you have shared/read.

How to Get Your 12-Step Group Online Quickly (detailed suggestions/guide)

    1. Create a free “Google Group” to receive emails so that multiple people can have access to the emails sent, and to share “Google Documents” with.
      • Go to groups.google.com while logged into a recovery gmail account (that’s a gmail account which is anonymous – when you create it don’t put in your full name but, for example, your first name and last initial).
      • Create a new Google Group with an appropriate name for the group ie your-meeting-name@googlegroups.com
      • Make sure you go to Manage Group > Permissions > Posting permissions and set Post to ‘Anyone on the web’
      • Go to Manage Group > Members > Direct add members (ie other fellows on the committee of your meeting). Add people in the format “John S <johns567@gmail.com>” (without the quotation marks) to the Google Group, so they will receive emails to the email address.
      • Give the following instructions to members that don’t want to use a Gmail account for their main email:
        1. Log into the Google account that you own or create a new Google account at accounts.google.com
        2. Go to myaccount.google.com/alternateemail and add the email address you normally use for emails to the list
        3. Follow the instructions in the email you receive from Google
    2. Upload meeting documents to Google Drive:
      • Go to drive.google.com/ to open Google Drive. Once in Google Drive, use the “+” button to upload all your meeting documents to a folder in Google Drive. You may have to get the documents from whoever maintains them for your meeting. Then share the folder with the email address of the Google Group you have created (ie your-meeting-name@googlegroups.com), so that other members of the committee can edit them.
    3. Get shareable links (URLs) for all meeting documents:
      • Right-click on all the documents in Google Drive and select “Get Shareable Link” for each document. This makes them accessible to the Internet. Right- click on the Google Drive folder and share that as well, so members can access all documents in the folder. It makes it easier if you convert the long Google Drive links to shorter links using a shortener service like www.shorturl.at/ or bitly.com/
    4. Sign up for Zoom video conferencing
      • Using the your-meeting-name@googlegroups.com email address (free for 40 mins, unlimited paid subscriptions also available) zoom.us/ is suggested so you can see each other. Zoom is easy and works very well– with the Gallery view, you can see everyone’s faces. It’s the closest thing to an in-person meeting as you can get. It can be used from a laptop or desktop computer, or an Apple or Android smartphone.
      • Note that all the 12-step groups in your Fellowship in the same area can use the same Zoom account, as long as they meet at different times.
      • See above for settings to make Zoom comply with the Traditions.
    5. 7th Tradition
      • If the meeting/group has decided to collect donations, ask the group Treasurer to sign up for a Square Cash account (cash.app/login) and install the app (available in the Google Play and App Store as Cash App) on their phone so they can receive 7th Tradition payments from members. It’s free for individuals to send and receive money, it’s confidential and can easily be made anonymous. Other providers, such as PayPal, are also available but are not easy to be anonymous, both for donors and the recipient.

Account settings from aasfmarin.org/zoom-meetings-protecting-anonymity-default-settings

Zoombombing problem www.nyintergroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/NYIG_Zoom-Protection-Guide_033020.pdf

Suggested meeting guidelines from www.slaauk.org/islington-saturday-morning-dating-and-healthy-relationships-meeting-now-on-zoom/ originally on an email