“The starting point is to treat all people with dignity and respect” – Labour clampdown on abuse

21st September, 2016 10:24 am

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This is the pledge for existing and new members of the Labour Party agreed by the PLP yesterday.

“I pledge to act within the spirit and rules of the Labour Party in my conduct both on and offline, with members and non-members and I stand against all forms of abuse.

“I understand that if found to be in breach of the Labour Party policy on online and offline abuse, I will be subject to the rules and procedures of the Labour Party.”

This pledge will be included in the membership terms and conditions for new joiners and on any future T&Cs updates that go out to existing members.

 

This is the statement and principles which, along with the member pledge, form the pillars of the NEC’s new Social Media Code of Conduct.                    

Appendix 1: NEC 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 gender, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.           

Any member found in breach of the above policies will be dealt with according to the rules and procedures of the Labour Party.

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 should be avoided.           

Anonymous accounts or otherwise hiding ones identity for the purpose of abusing others is never permissible.           

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 not unwelcome.           

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. 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.

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