Campaigning: terms and conditions

If you’re encouraging people to use to talk to their representatives about a particular issue, you must adhere to the following terms and conditions.

Note that wilfully ignoring these terms constitutes an abuse of our service, and will automatically trigger filters which will ‘freeze’ your supporters’ messages.

These terms exist for a reason. If you didn’t adhere to them, the only effect it’d have on representatives is annoying them - and that won’t do your campaign any good.

  1. Do not give people text to paste into their messages.

    Spamming lots of representatives with near-identical messages is definitely bad behaviour in our book.

    Please be aware that if you do this, most of the duplicate messages will be filtered out automatically and will never get to the representatives.

    We will let all the people who sent identikit messages know that their messages have been blocked, and we will tell them that it is because you broke our terms and conditions. All you will achieve is irritation amongst your own supporters (here’s more information about why we do that) .

    It’s better to provide a short list of points which people can then make in their own words. Messages written by individuals will never be blocked by our systems unless they are clearly abusive or break our conditions of use.

  2. Don’t spam people either.

    If you’re gathering the troops by email, only gather those who have already committed to your cause.

    In the past, we’ve seen people using professional spammers (sorry, "email marketers") to get the word out. Once again, this kind of practice is only going to irritate people. We don’t want to be associated with that kind of behaviour, thankyouverymuch.

  3. If you’re talking to a very large audience, please try to let us know in advance.

    If you’re going to mention in a campaign which reaches tens of thousands of people at once, please tell us first!

    If our servers can’t cope, it breaks your campaign. With a few days notice, we can make this much less likely.

  4. Don’t supply people with a postcode to use.

    People should be writing to their own representatives, not anyone else’s.

    Otherwise one poor representative will end up with a whole load of messages and the others, who may have been able to help, will get none. Read more about that here.

  5. If you’re talking to an international audience, stress that only people living in the UK should use our service.

    We’ve seen too many large campaigns that have inadvertently encouraged non-UK residents to dig up a UK address to use as their own when contacting a representative.

  6. Be considerate.

    By now, the common pattern to the above guidelines should be clear: if you irritate representatives, users or us, you’re not helping anyone.

  7. When linking to us, either link to our front page or use our handy linking form.

    You can also use the WriteToMP tool described in WriteToThem for your website.

  8. If in doubt, ask us first.