communication from Jennie Formby
to you as I understand that you are an admin or moderator of a Facebook
group which refers to the Labour Party or Jeremy Corbyn in its title.
The use of
the Party’s name or Jeremy Corbyn’s name can give the false impression
that the Party is responsible for these groups and that they have some
kind of official status. We are therefore writing to request that – if
your group has not already done so – you:
in the “about” section or title of the group, that the group is
unofficial and not affiliated with the Labour Party and/or Jeremy Corbyn.
measures against antisemitic or otherwise discriminatory content, which
can make Jewish people and others feel unwelcome in these spaces.
is an evil that permeates our society, and our Party is not immune from
that. We have seen members make disgusting antisemitic comments and
promote antisemitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories in relation to
left wing discourses, particularly around Israel and Palestine, and
capitalism and globalisation. They may be a small proportion of our
membership, but one is too many.
Labour staff have seen examples of Holocaust denial, crude stereotypes of
Jewish bankers, conspiracy theories blaming 9/11 on Israel, and even one
individual who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.
and images propagating such antisemitic tropes have been posted in a
number of Facebook groups. The majority of posts in Facebook groups that
have been reported to us are made by people who are not Labour members.
However, where the Party is notified of such posts made by Party members,
we investigate and take action as appropriate.
As Jeremy has
said, we all have a responsibility to help drive this evil out of our
movement. And, of course, the vast majority of members want to use
Facebook groups and other forums to share ideas and experiences about
campaigning, debate Party policies and discuss current affairs.
moderation is essential to providing welcoming and respectful
environments in which such discussions can take place. We understand that
you are engaging in these online communities voluntarily, and the sheer
number of posts and comments may be hard to moderate. However, we would
like to emphasise the utmost importance of ensuring that fellow party
members and supporters feel welcome and respected, and of rooting out any
antisemitism or otherwise discriminatory comments and behaviour.
suggestions about ways you can effectively moderate your groups to ensure
that these online spaces do not tolerate or enable the promotion of
antisemitic or otherwise hateful or discriminatory views.
- Add more
administrators/moderators so that there is greater capacity to
monitor posts and comments. Try to check posts and comments in the
group every day, or more as required.
- Use Facebook’s group
moderation options to create up to ten rules for your group. These
should clearly set out that antisemitic or otherwise discriminatory
content will not be tolerated and those making such comments will be
removed from the group and reported to the Labour Party. Set the
tone of the debate you’d like people to engage in: friendly,
open-minded, fair and respectful.
- Take seriously all
reports and complaints about comments which are seen as misogynist,
racist, antisemitic, Islamophobic, homophobic, discriminatory
towards people with disabilities, or otherwise prejudicial.
- Be proactive:
screenshot then remove posts and conversations with antisemitic or
otherwise discriminatory content, and block individuals from the
group who post such content.
- Encourage group
members to use the “Report to admin” feature, and take these reports
seriously. Frequently review the reported content using Facebook’s
moderation sidebar. Screenshot then delete posts with antisemitic or
otherwise discriminatory content, and block the user responsible.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with
screenshots and links to antisemitic or prejudicial comments or
posts if you believe the individual who has posted them may be a
Labour member so that this can be investigated by the Party.
- Change settings if
necessary to allow administrators to approve or deny requests to
join the group, so that you have greater control over who is in the
- Comment or post in the
group regularly reminding people that posts or comments which
include antisemitic or otherwise hateful or prejudicial content will
be removed and the users will be blocked, and encourage members to
report any posts they see which are offensive or inappropriate.
- Maintain a pinned post
in the group explaining the above policies and emphasising the
importance of maintaining a welcoming and respectful environment.
please email email@example.com
screenshots and links to antisemitic or prejudicial comments or posts if
you believe the individual who has posted them may be a Labour member.
This will then be investigated by the Party.
will soon be launching a political education programme to foster deeper
understanding and awareness of antisemitism within our movement. This
will include videos and other online resources. We would greatly
appreciate if you could share such content, once published, in Facebook
groups and other forums, to help us raise greater awareness about this
confirming receipt of this letter and confirming that the requests the
Party has made will be adhered to. If they will not be adhered to, I
request that you remove any reference to the Labour Party and Jeremy
Corbyn from the title of your Facebook group.
Please get in
touch if you have any questions.
The Labour Party