We're very proud of the many strong online communities that have sprung up around the party. Online groups are a great way to make friends and discuss topics with people you might not see otherwise.
This is an ecosystem that is incredibly powerful - and we want to do everything we can to support it. Which is why in the next few weeks, we're planning to launch a new online tool - the Directory - to help connect Liberal Democrats with like-minded groups.
Hand in hand with that, we're today launching a new policy for online groups that use Liberal Democrat branding.
So what's changing?
Do you run a Facebook account, page or group that uses the party name or logo (e.g Lib Dem Friends of Buses)? If so, you'll need to agree to install a short code of conduct as well as your current rules:
As a Liberal Democrat affiliated online group/account/page, we require that comments and posts here are not discriminatory towards, nor encourage discrimination against, or mistreatment of, any person or group who identifies with any of the protected characteristics listed here <https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/equality-act/protected-characteristics>. We will also not tolerate abuse, or other behaviour that is in conflict with our Party’s values. We may block or remove you if you post any such messages.
We're okay with you rephrasing this if needed - but we'll need you to confirm the final wording with us. We'll also ask that you allow a party HQ account to be added to the group.
How do I get set up?
Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you the form. We'll need some basic details from you, including the name and URL of the group and contact details for the two main admins.
Those admins will need to agree to the code of conduct and display it on the home page/rules section.
What's the benefit?
Registered groups will be added to the brand new Lib Dem Online Directory on the party website. We'll also supply you with a lovely "Official Lib Dem" virtual badge that you can use 😊
I don't want to register!
We do ask if that's the case, however, that you remove our name and branding from your group if it's there.
We'd also be grateful if you could add a disclaimer that your group isn't officially affiliated with us.
What happens if an affiliated group breaks the rules?
Permission to use our branding isn't unconditional.
If a group continually breaks the code of conduct that permission will be revoked.
If they or any other group continue to use it, we'll explore other options, which may include legal action.
I'm concerned about the actions of an admin in an affiliated group.
If you think a group admin is breaking the code of conduct, please do get in touch with us - just fill out this form.
I have another question!
Again, feel free to get in touch! Drop us an email at email@example.com.