Labour draws up guidelines for social media

Posted on November 25, 2015


Concerned about the way its members have been conducting themselves online, the Labour Party is drafting a paper that will direct them how to use social media platforms effectively.

The Guardian writes that the party is concerned about how political debate has degenerated into personal attack, and is addressing the issue of online reputation management. One party member, Peter Willsman, said that fears were raised by:

“…the issue of the very harmful leaks to the media and the very damaging way in which social media is being used.”

Several Labour MPs have been the subject of online abuse, especially during the recent leadership campaign that saw Jeremy Corbyn emerge as the victor. In particular, Liz Kendall was accused of being a Tory, and was subject to many sexist remarks.

The policy underlines Corbyn’s wish for a different kind of politics that shuns personal attacks. In a recent conference speech, he demanded that campaigners:

“…cut out the personal abuse, cut out the cyberbullying and especially the misogynistic abuse online and let’s get on with bringing real values back into politics.”

However, some MPs that are critical of Corbyn may be afraid that the new policy is being introduced to prevent them from criticising the party leadership in online forums. However, Alice Perry, a member of the Labour National Executive Committee, said that it was an effort to “[tackle] bullying [of] party member” rather than silence critics of the party leadership.

The Guardian cites an unnamed source as saying that it was an issue of concern to ensure that people who oppose Corbyn politically can air their views without being labelled “Tory scum” on social media platforms such as Twitter.

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