Labour is drawing up a social media code of conduct in an attempt to prevent the kind of cyberbullying which has dogged Jeremy Corbyn and other party members recently.
The decision was taken at Labour’s latest National Executive Committee meeting where it was agreed that guidelines were necessary to curb the "very damaging way in which social media is being used"
NEC member Peter Willsman wrote that "Several NEC members raised the issue of the very harmful leaks to the media and the very damaging way in which social media is being used. It was agreed that we need to develop a Labour Party Code of Conduct in relation to the use of social media.”
Jeremy Corbyn has been subject to a numerous cyber-attacks in the ten weeks since taking over as Labour leader and, according to Willsman, he thanked party members and NEC staff "for their support in the face of a hostile attack on him personally and on the party".
The abuse has led Corbyn to champion a kinder politics which forgoes personal attacks. In his conference speech he demanded that activists “cut out the personal abuse, cut out the cyberbullying and especially the misogynistic abuse online and let’s get on with bringing real values back into politics”.
Inside attacks towards Corbyn such as that perpetrated by Andrew Fisher, a policy adviser to Corbyn have led to the establishment of the code. Fisher was suspended by the party over allegations he was rude about former members of the shadow cabinet online, as well as urging a vote for a Class War candidate standing against Labour in Croydon at the general election.
MPs opposing Corbyn have criticised the move, arguing that it was designed to prevent them and other members from criticising the party leadership on social media.
Alice Perry, another member of the NEC, addressed the concerns saying that the guidelines were about “tackling bullying and cyberbullying of party members and the importance treating everyone with respect”, rather than a move to silence critics of Corbyn.