Social media statement

By philsawford on April 7, 2018

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Election campaigns, like many other aspects of life, are adjusting to a digital age. The days of public meetings, street corner rallies and hustings are now regarded as a thing of the past and new methods of campaigning are developing.

Along with the changes there are problems, as we are witnessing on the news in respect of recent elections and allegations of Russian interference.

The fact that the owner of 'Facebook'  was summoned to meet Members of Parliament (though he didn't attend) gives some idea of the seriousness of the matter and the concerns that are shared by many people.

In an attempt to have some basic control of social media sites the Electoral Commission have set out some rules to at least help to identify who has posted what, who is responsible for the content and how they might be contacted.

Social media

1.34 You should display your full imprint details prominently on your profile. You can include a shortened link to your imprint in your tweet or post. If it is impractical to place a full imprint on to an image, you should include the text of a link, or a hyperlinked logo or emblem that leads to your full imprint.

1.35 We also suggest that if you use online discussion forums you make your identity as a candidate clear where possible.

(Extract from the Electoral Commission booklet- Parish and community  council elections in  England and Wales)

In a fast changing environment the rules may seem a little vague and it may be that tighter rules will be introduced in due course but in the meantime issues of possible interference in the democratic process, fake news, illegal gathering of data, etc, continue to cause concern.

Rules regarding the use of web sites and electronic mail-

LIBEL AND FALSE STATEMENT: all literature and website text must be checked to ensure it is not defamatory, libellous or contains false statements as to personal character or conduct of another candidate.

IMPRINT: all printed materials, posters, newspaper adverts, emails and websites used to promote the candidate must carry a proper imprint so it is clear to everyone who has printed and promoted the items. It also allows the agent and candidate to be contacted in the event of a breach of electoral or other law.

Emails must also carry an unsubscribe option

Text messages must say that it is from the Labour Party and offer an unsubscribe facility.

Along with the above rules it is important to comply with other general rules of conduct (example below)

During the campaign, you must not

• Knowingly make a false statement about the personal character of another candidate.

(Extract from the Electoral Commission booklet- Parish and community  council elections in  England and Wales)

Desborough Labour Party is committed to complying with the law and the rules set out above and have taken advice as to the best way to ensure that we do not  break these rules. Having given the matter very serious consideration we have taken a decision to refrain, as much as possible, from the use of social media sites for the period of the campaign and have issued the statement below to make our position clear.

Desborough Labour Party and the Labour candidates in Desborough welcome comments and questions from local residents and take these contacts very seriously. To ensure that we comply with legal requirements during the election period, and also to avoid unnecessary duplication we do not intend to conduct the campaign through social media sites and contributions on such sites will be minimal.  

 Desborough Labour Party and Labour candidates can be contacted by e-mail: . You can find out more about our candidate and the Labour campaign by going to the web site -

Promoted by: Rosemary Sawford on behalf of Phil Sawford (The Labour Candidate) both at 46 Federation Avenue, Desborough, Northants, NN14 2NX.
Printed by: Kettering Constituency Labour Party, 12b Market Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16 0AH.

Desborough Labour Party candidates and supporters will be out and about over the coming weeks trying to meet as many residents as possible. We have provided a telephone contact number and e-mail address on our leaflets and also on our web site so that local residents can contact us if they have any queries or comments and we look forward to hearing from you.

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