Code of Conduct: Social Media Policy
All codes of conduct and NEC statements form part of the agreed relationship between individual Labour Party members, and set the minimum code of conduct expected by the Labour Party of all its members.
National Executive Committee Statement
A starting point for all our actions as members of a party and a movement is to treat all people with dignity and respect. This applies to all our dealings with people, offline and online. Everyone should feel able to take part in discussion about our party, country and world. We want to maximise this debate, including critical discussion, as long as it does not result in the exclusion of others.
Abusing someone online is just as serious as doing so face to face. We stand against all forms of abuse and will take action against those who commit it. Harassment, intimidation, hateful language and bullying are never acceptable, nor is any form of discrimination on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment or identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.
Chapter 2, Clause I.8 of the Labour Party Rule Book is clear – and we unequivocally re-endorse it here:
“No member of the Party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party. The NEC and NCC shall take account of any codes of conduct currently in force and shall regard any incident which in their view might reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on age; disability; gender reassignment or identity; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; or sexual orientation as conduct prejudicial to the Party: these shall include but not be limited to incidents involving racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia or otherwise racist language, sentiments, stereotypes or actions, sexual harassment, bullying or any form of intimidation towards another person on the basis of a protected characteristic as determined by the NEC, wherever it occurs, as conduct prejudicial to the Party.”
Any member found in breach of the rules, codes of conduct, policies and/or guidelines of the Labour Party will be dealt with according to the rules and procedures of the Labour Party, and this may include being investigated and becoming subject to disciplinary action.
We wish to build a diverse movement that reflects the whole of society, so should always consider how our actions and words may limit the confidence or otherwise exclude either those less knowledgeable than ourselves or those already under-represented in politics. Those with privilege, whether due to their volume of experience, party position or status in society should have regard to how their actions may be felt by those in different circumstances to themselves.
It is perfectly possible to have vehement disagreements without descending into personal abuse, shaming people or exhibiting bullying behaviour. Forcefully made points and criticisms of the political views of others are totally legitimate, personal attacks are not. Debates amongst party members should be comradely, acknowledging that whatever our diverse views, we are one party with shared goals. Derogatory descriptions of the positions of others, as well as derogatory language, should be avoided.
Anonymous accounts or otherwise hiding one’s identity for the purpose of abusing others is never permissible.
The use of sexualised language or imagery, and unwelcome sexual attention or advances are not acceptable, nor is the publishing of others’ private information without their explicit permission.
We should not give voice to those who persistently engage in abuse and should avoid sharing their content, even when the item in question is unproblematic. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes where members either share or like (or otherwise favourite) any social media content that is racist, antisemitic, Islamophobic, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, ableist, or uses otherwise racist and/or discriminatory language. Those who consistently abuse other or spread hate should be shunned and not engaged with in a way that ignores this behaviour.
We all have a responsibility to challenge abuse and to stand in solidarity with victims of it. We should attempt to educate and discourage abusers rather than responding in kind.
We encourage the reporting of abusive behaviour to the Labour Party, administrators of the relevant website or social media platform, and where appropriate, to the police.
This is a collective responsibility and should not be limited to those who have been subjected to abuse.
Trolling, or otherwise disrupting the ability of others to debate is not acceptable, nor is consistently mentioning or making contact with others when this is unwelcome.
Principles for the Labour Party’s use of Social Media
- We are direct, confident and proud in what we have to say – we speak boldly and with clear intention.
- We are clear about our position and our policies, and will give our members and supporters the language and tools to disseminate these.
- Collectivism is at the heart of what we do. Our members and supporters are crucial to all our achievements and their contributions, including door knocking, selecting candidates for public office, deciding policy and online activism, are valued and acknowledged.
- We want debate and discussion to flourish on our channels and will encourage feedback wherever appropriate.
- We make legitimate criticisms based on policy and political actions, never making personal attacks.
- We use accessible language and avoid jargon that could exclude or alienate.
- We put the stories and experiences of the public first. We prioritise the issues that affect people in their everyday lives, rather than providing news for insiders.
- We are inventive and innovative with our digital strategy and that means experimentation. We need people to be open-minded to change and encourage us to offer the best digital experience possible – even when that means trial and error.
- We know that not everyone will agree with us. Constructive criticism is welcome, but we want to create a welcoming space for our supporters, so if comments become abusive we will report them.
You can download the full Labour Party rule book – which contains all of Labour’s codes of conduct – below.