WEBSITE LINKS – Permitting web designers to provide a link to their business

The comments below were given by various members of the Conference Steps, Traditions, and Concepts Committee and do not represent a group conscience of the entire committee. The opinions expressed here are solely that of the person giving them. Take what you like and leave the rest.

The Question:
Are there any regulations that disallow individual fellowship web designers to display a link at the bottom of the site to their own page? For example: web site maintenance by xxx. I’ve noticed both instances, especially when they are hosted by a company. Is there any official policy on this? Thank you.
Note: This was a real time discussion in a CSTCC meeting and might not contain full sentences.


I agree with the fact that it violates Tradition 6. Do I take it that the Web designer is a volunteer? If not, companies might have a contractual clause that requires some kind of publicity. Even then, though, clauses should be negotiated as to not have a showing link to the company.

However, I might want to bring the fact that sometimes we need to resort to professionals, as mentioned in tradition 8. But then, again, SLAA Webpages should not be a publicity window for any outside groups.

It does seem to be a violation of Tradition 6 if the web designer puts a link to her own web page. We wouldn’t want it to seem that SLAA was endorsing this persons outside work. And Tradition Twelve should be remembered — we all volunteer our time and energy to keep S.L.A.A. going. “We give up personal desires for the common good, we realize that the sacrificial spirit — well symbolized by anonymity — is the foundation of them all ” (A.A. Twelve and Twelve)

This is a good question. Sometimes a requirement for using a free website service is a small link, “Create a free website at…”. Free websites are beneficial for Groups or Intergroups with budgets to consider. There aren’t any rules prohibiting this, though a group conscience would be in order.

That said, if you have a person designing and maintaining your website who wants to advertise themselves on its pages, that starts to touch on tradition 6. See

https://slaafws.org/download/core-files/The_Twelve_Traditions_of_SLAA.pdf. I am copying this email to some others who can provide more concise information than I on the Twelve Traditions, they will be in touch.

I am liberal in my interpretation of the Traditions. I think that it is OK in this case to have a personal link to someone’s web building business. This is provided to be of service in providing the website and an opportunity for feedback to improve the website.

This sounds tricky. It falls into possible endorsement of the individual. In our service work using Google Groups or Google Sites we see something similar to this, but we are talking among ourselves instead of having outsiders reading what is posted. This could be considered as an endorsement of a commercial site.

On the surface I thought about Tradition 6 regarding endorsement, I have to also consider Tradition 4 on autonomy by a decision in Group Conscience of the Intergroup. It might not be a problem; if it is from a member of the Fellowship that it would be good to ask if they would be willing to have a disclaimer stating non-affiliation or endorsement. This would be similar to the way that we provide links to other S- Fellowships. On the Intergroup websites of US groups about 25 – 33% have links to the web designer.

I would like to know if they have to have the link by contract and if it is something which can be negotiated.. Like the idea of a disclaimer.

I wouldn’t want to make a blanket statement because I do not know a lot about it. I would have difficulty in approving this without a lot of details. There would have to a lot of criteria around this situation. It could be a good idea, but not knowing what is on the linked website, I would want to consider the circumstances.

There are a number of website hosts who will provide sites without any advertising links or pop-ups. This could be an advantageous source for struggling Intergroups who could not afford to use a paid service which could cost $60 – $120 per month.


What do you think?
The CSTCC is a group of volunteers, some of whom were ABM delegates, and others who volunteered out of interest. We do not represent a group conscience of S.L.A.A., but are committed to bringing thoughtful discussion and study of 12 Step Fellowship literature and experience to the questions that are brought to us. We offer this summary as the results of our discussions. We present the major points of concern in the hopes that wider discussion in the Fellowship will help us evolve our customs and practice of the S.L.A.A. program of recovery to better represent the loving guidance of a Higher Power. Always, we affirm the autonomy of each group and the need for each individual to follow her/his own conscience. No decision of this group, or any other, is ever forced upon another, even when we believe a practice is clearly in conflict with the Steps, Traditions, or Concepts.