Members of the Oxford Union have voted for a motion to ban online campaigning.
The motion prohibits all forms of online campaigning, except for one-on-one messaging and the publication of plain-text manifestos. A ban on direct online “hacking” would be difficult to regulate.
The motion passed on 8th June following the Union’s debate on the government of Narendra Modi.
Recent Union elections saw Hannah Edwards’ #IMPACT slate use carefully designed promotional materials that were posted to Instagram and Facebook, featuring the members running for election. When the motion takes effect in Hilary of 2024, this style of campaigning will be prohibited.
It was supported by a significant coalition of more than 50 members, including former President Charlie Mackintosh, ex-Librarian and former Presidential candidate Daniel Dipper, ex-CCC (Chair of Consultative Committee) and former Presidential candidate Chloe Glynn.
Chris Collins, a current member of Standing Committee and the motion’s proposer, stated: “This Motion is an antidote to the needless toxicity of student politics. It will make elections more meritocratic and manifesto-based, stop the mudslinging and popularity politics, and cut down on all the election spam that floods Members’ timelines in 7th Week.”