Lilian Greenwood MP has decided to be public about abuse she is receiving as an MP – most particularly from members of her own party.

“What is acceptable behaviour by @UKLabour members nowadays?
“I emailed Nottingham South members recently to explain why I’m voting for Owen Smith.

Replies – remember this is from local Labour Party members – included “How about fuck off” … being called a ‘traitor’ & a ‘pseudo Tory’, ‘never contact me again’ and ‘If you are the Labour candidate at the next election my vote will go to the Green’s. Hopefully you will be deselected by then’
Of course most replies are a polite mix of I agree/ and I disagree but should I really just ‘ignore it’?
Is abuse and threats of deselection what Labour MPs should expect now?
And not just MPs facing abuse of course.  A brilliant Councillor told me today she’s supporting Owen but not saying so on publicly – too worried about abuse & being deselected.”

A disappointment that it’s happened.
But it gets worse as some social media correspondents thought the way to tackle this was to point out there were victims on “the other sde” too.
Proper response – new complaint, a new message or posting.

What actually might be the proper way to behave in social media is to say it should copy Parliament’s ways of working.  Frowning heavily on any kind of abuse. And kinda familar.  But how to enforce?   (And what to do when people want to exchange vitriolle with each other?)

Facebook’s Code of Conduct is one example of what could be expected in public correspondence.
As a user of the service you will uphold this code of conduct, and are responsible for all activities and content you post/upload.
In addition to upholding this code of conduct, you are responsible for adhering to all applicable local and national laws.

Prohibited Uses

  • Incites, advocates or expresses pornography, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity, hatred, bigotry, racism, or gratuitous violence.
  • Provides or creates links to external sites that violate this code of conduct.
  • threatens, stalks, defames, defrauds, degrades, victimizes or intimidates an individual or group of individuals for any reason; including on the basis of age, gender, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, race or ammuition or firearms.
  • Contains or could be considered ‘junk mail’, ‘spam’, ‘chain letters’, ‘pyramid schemes’, ‘affiliate marketing’, or unsolicited commercial advertisement.

A shame that when you report something as offensive, the complaint offers five options, not matching the structure of the code.

Not allowing people to post anonymously might stop a lot of problems.

This is an issue that Ricky Gervais has also been talking about.



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