My social media policy aims to ensure that all constituents of Redditch County Constituency are able to interact with me as their Member of Parliament in a way that is compatible with democratic principles, politeness and good manners. Unfortunately, there are some who wish to abuse my social media accounts for their own purposes and even as an MP I have a right to protect myself from harassment, abuse and must also guard against attempts to undermine democracy.
I am also a Conservative MP, which means I have a party political viewpoint that not everyone will agree with. Some will disagree with my positions very vehemently. However, it is important to remember that my social media accounts/pages are my platform to express my positions and views and those of my party in addition to communicating with residents as a whole about what the government is doing for them.
There are two advertising accounts that support my Page on Facebook. One is funded by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) that funds advertising when the post contains information that is useful to residents as a whole regardless of how they vote. The other is funded by Redditch County Conservative Association that funds advertising when the post contains party political messaging.
Comments and Interaction
I try to interact with comments left on my social media accounts as much as possible, but please remember these platforms are not an appropriate place to raise casework issues or matters that need an in-depth response or analysis. Comments cannot replace emails – for instance I cannot forward your comment to a government minister for a response like I can with an email, so sometimes it is better to put your question/comment into an email to me on [email protected] so you can get a full and proper response.
There are some ‘ground rules’ when it comes to managing the community around my social media accounts. These are not extensive and can be updated at any time as new situations and issues emerge.
- The primary aim of my social media accounts is to serve residents of Redditch County Constituency, not residents of other constituencies.
- Abuse of any kind will not be tolerated – even if you think the words you have used are mild or were posted sarcastically. Any comments that are not polite and courteous may be deleted and the account posting them may be blocked.
- Freedom of speech is not to be confused with freedom of platform. The comments sections of my social media accounts cannot be used as a platform for people or organisations to spread their political views that I do not agree with or aren’t compatible with my party’s policies. Comments that do this may be deleted and the account posting them may be blocked from posting comments in the future.
- Spamming is not tolerated – this includes persistent posting of comments across multiple posts that essentially say the same thing, or the posting of multiple comments in a single thread with the intent to flood the thread. Comments will be deleted and the account blocked.
- Stick to the topic being posted about. Comments that are intended to deflect or divert may be removed.
- Advertising of any kind is not permitted and any genuine recommendations of products or services that people make in the comments are the responsibility of the person making the recommendation. Suspected advertising will be deleted.
- Comments that seek to campaign against my party and its candidates will be removed and the account blocked. This includes opposition activists who persistently post comments to my social media accounts.
If you have been blocked from posting comments on my social media accounts and would like to appeal this decision please contact me on [email protected] so we can discuss how to move forwards.