Meeting Directory Guidelines – Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous

Meeting Directory Guidelines

Any online AA group or meeting may be listed in the Directory provided that it subscribes to the Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, using the Submit a New Meeting Form. Meeting submissions will be reviewed and filtered based on the guidelines below by the Policies and Admissions Committee (PAC).

The Online Intergroup does not list:

  • Face-to-face AA meetings (visit “How to Find AA Meetings” at AA World Services, Inc.).
  • Digital recording, “daily readings,” or “social networking” sites or blogs (see, for example, “General Social Networking Web Sites” in the publication AA Guidelines on Internet).
  • Non-AA web site and email list providers. However, if your online meeting is hosted by a provider such as Google, Zoom, etc.; submissions will be considered if the description is about the AA meeting and not about the provider. Likewise, the group or meeting name should not contain the provider’s name.
  • Meetings that appear to be conducted by an organization or by individuals who are not AA members; for example, commercial sites that have created “meetings” for the purpose of attracting traffic to their sites. Only AA members may conduct AA meetings.
  • Groups or meetings calling themselves “AA” but that participate in “affiliate programs”; that is, they receive income from ad placement (or from any non-AA source). “An AA group ought never go into business.”

For an overview of how the Traditions apply to groups, see the pamphlet “The AA Group … Where it all begins.” In brief:

  • all group members are alcoholics (or have a desire to stop drinking) and the group is willing to “open the door to all alcoholics who seek help, regardless of profession, gender, or other distinction” (“The AA Group,” p. 15)
  • the group is fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions
  • the group has no other affiliation
  • the group does not endorse outside enterprises
  • the group has no opinion on outside issues
  • the group maintains the anonymity of its members (no full names or photos of members in public view)

From page 22 of the pamphlet “The AA Group” (copyright AAWS, Inc.; reprinted with permission):

“Even the appearance of being linked to any organization, club, political or religious institution needs to be avoided.

“Therefore, an AA group that meets in a correctional or treatment facility or a church [or on a non-AA web site, chat server, etc.] can take care not to use the institution’s name, but to call itself something quite different. This makes it clear that the AA group is not affiliated with the hospital, church, prison, treatment facility, or whatever, but simply rents space there for meetings.

“Our AA group conscience, as voiced by the General Service Conference, has recommended that ‘family’ meetings, ‘double trouble’ and ‘alcohol and pill’ meetings not be listed in our AA directories. The use of the word ‘family’ might also invite confusion with Al-Anon Family Groups, a fellowship entirely separate from AA.

“The primary purpose of any AA group is to carry the AA message to alcoholics. Experience with alcohol is one thing all AA members have in common. It is misleading to hint or give the impression that AA solves other problems or knows what to do about addiction to drugs.

“It has also been recommended by the AA Conference that no AA group be named after any actual person, living or dead, AA or non-AA. This is one way we can ‘place principles before personalities.'”

Keeping the Directories Current

The Online Intergroup Web Committee attempts to keep its directories current. While we do perform periodic “roll call” updates to ensure correct listing information and primary and secondary contacts, we must rely on information supplied by the meetings and groups.

If your meeting changes meeting days, times, meeting id’s, links and info (passwords) it is important for you to provide a meeting directory update as soon as possible.  If your meeting stops entirely it is important to notify OIAA to remove the meeting from the directory. The only way the meeting directories can remain current is with your help.

We urge you to think of the newcomer when you view the directory listings. Imagine him or her, full of hope, following instructions and clicking on a meeting link only to find that they need a password when one is not provided, or the password doesn’t work, or that the meeting simply isn’t there. Even one occurrence of this happening is too many.

Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Take a look at your group’s or meeting’s description in the OIAA directory. Is it current? If not, please provide a meeting directory update.
  • Is the email address listed with your meeting or group still actively monitored? Please ensure that email addresses listed are valid and viewed regularly.
  • Apply the concept of Attraction rather than Promotion in writing and updating your meeting descriptions.
  • Practice Tradition 4 when submitting changes to your group or meeting name.  Every group is autonomous, “except in matters affecting other groups”.  Requests to add numbers (1-2-3) or special characters at the beginning of a group or meeting name simply to affect the order of placement in the directory will be disregarded.

“Hot Links” to Web Sites

The Online Intergroup will include  “hot links” (hyperlinks) to web sites along with this disclaimer:

“The group URL links are now active to facilitate connecting to the listed groups. These URL links do not constitute or indicate review, endorsement, or approval of the Online Intergroup. “

Thank you for your help,
OIAA Technology Committee & OIAA Policies and Admissions Committee

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