(Moved this article from earlier this year from the website to here)
The 2019 Eastleigh Borough Council local elections are looming! With this, two candidates made posts canvassing for votes in the Eastleigh Neighbours Facebook Group, which triggered a debate on whether we should permit political canvassing, or not.
It should be noted that the moderator team behind En Admins aim to be completely impartial, and they themselves have differing beliefs. Our one main point of consensus is that we all actively promote non-offensive free and open discussion between members.
Local politics directly affect the Eastleigh Neighbourhood, so we feel are an important topic not to be ignored. We have an opportunity to learn a lot from each-other if we’re willing to listen. Local politicians can directly influence our way of local life. Working with them we can help people feel more connected with what’s going on and better drive real change in the area more quickly than if we ignore it and close the debate down.
In response to the recent tense debate, we decided to poll the group to ask for the opinion on political canvassing, here are the results:
“Permit a single canvass from each candidate”. 41% – 131 votes.
“No political canvassing”. 35% – 110 votes.
“Anyone who comes to the door with a political agenda should be sacrificed to Satan himself and fed to a bunch of angry lesbians”. 24% – 75 votes.
Group poll results for anything above 1 vote.
We think we can safety ignore the 3rd vote! Thanks facebookers! – it is noted that ZERO people voted to split out political canvassing discussions to a separate group. It should also be noted that people could vote twice, as per facebook polling rules.
As a result of this, and feedback from some some members (thank-you!), we have decided to trial new rules, which will permit & cover canvassing, with certain restrictions:
A new rule to enable political canvassing. Remember no swearing, and be polite or you may find yourself muted.
To make our trial of allowing political canvass posts fairer, we have some specific rules around the posts:
- One post permitted per candidate, per election.
- Wednesday & Thursday’s only.
- Locked for comment on facebook after 12 hours. (Discourse posts can remain open, due to easier moderation).
- Must not be negative towards another party or person.
- Must be from the candidate or representative (in which case, candidate will not be allowed to self-canvass).
- Must not link a topical article to gain more attention.
- Other members posts canvassing for a specific person will be removed.
- Topics should be related to local issues which the local council position can actually influence, see https://www.gov.uk/understand-how-your-council-works
Example - posts or comments relating to Brexit may be removed to prevent inflammation in local elections, as local elections are about local issues and not national.
Politics aren’t for me – I hate this decision!
We appreciate some people may not like this decision, and if you have any questions, suggestions or comments, we encourage you to message the En Admins page.
Some suggested advice if you don’t like something you see:
- Ignore it! If you comment on it, even to say how much you hate it, you make it more popular, and it’ll be displayed to even more people, and facebook will think you’re interested and show you more like it! Worth remembering whenever using social media!
- Report it! If people are being rude, offensive or picking on an individual, it is against our rules – hit report and we’ll pick it up.
- Block them! If you never like something a user posts, you can block the individual user and you’ll never see their posts again. – please don’t block admins though, they may want to reach you one day!
Whatever you do, if you don’t like an individual, don’t engage with them in an escalating argument, it’s pointless. Debate the topic, not the individual.
To track each canvassing post to ensure people don’t go over their limit of 1, we’ll track them on a specific thread here on discourse, which will be announced closer to the time.
Any feedback on this, just hit reply here.