Ukip warns members of social media
Ukip members have been urged to steer clear of using social media folllowing a series of scandals over inappropriate comments.
Party chairman Steve Crowther said his approach to social media was "just don't" as Ukip updated its rules aimed at controlling the use of its logo on the internet.
Ukip members and supporters have been involved in several rows over their online activity, but Nigel Farage's party has also been the target of spoof accounts using its logo.
In April council candidate William Henwood resigned from the party after making offensive comments on Twitter about Lenny Henry, suggesting the comedian should emigrate to a "black country".
As well as the furore around Mr Henwood, would-be councillor Andre Lampitt was suspended hours after featuring in an election broadcast for expressing "repellent" racist and anti-Islamic views on social media.
A copy of the party's new constitution, seen by the Observer, lays out "rules for online communication", stating that "party members shall refrain from using the Ukip logo in terms of their online postings, including avatars, unless they have express written consent to do so from the party leader, the party chairman, the party secretary, the general secretary, the party director, the regional chairman or regional organiser for their region".
The Observer also reported that in a recent edition of a members' magazine, party chairman Steve Crowther said: "The NEC (national executive committee) has adopted a new set of rules for online communication to fill a notable hole in our code of discipline ... My advice: just don't.
"Remember life before you could delight the whole world with your every passing thought? It wasn't so bad, was it? I have no Facebook page, Twitter account or Instagram thingy. It's lovely."
Ukip said the rules were partly to prevent imposters using the Ukip logo on provocative social media accounts.
A spokeswoman said: "As far as I know that's been the rule for a long time now."
The Observer's report came as the party was mocked on Twitter after a blunder left a newspaper advert from the party's Rotherham branch appearing to advocate the break-up of the United Kingdom.
The party logo carried the message "say no to the UK" instead of the Eurosceptic party's usual target, the EU.
A spokeswoman shrugged off the printing error, saying: "It's ironic. You have to laugh."