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Oscars adjust social media rules after controversial campaign tactics

The group behind the Academy Awards has made some tweaks to its rules in light of multiple campaign controversies. 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday it has revised its regulations ahead of next year's Oscars to "bring clarity, fairness, and transparency" to how films may be promoted after certain campaign tactics raised eyebrows during the most recent awards season. For instance, the Academy said that members, companies, a people directly associated with an eligible movie may not state their voting decisions, preferences, or strategies, nor may they "encourage or discourage members to vote for" a film or performance, on social media.

This comes after criticism was directed at actress Frances Fisher for an Instagram post where she urged Academy members to nominate To Leslie's Andrea Riseborough in the first position on their ballot by arguing her competitors were "a lock," implying they don't need the support. Riseborough ultimately shocked pundits by receiving a surprise Best Actress nomination for To Leslie, a film few had seen. Michelle Yeoh also faced criticism after she shared quotes from an article suggesting that she should win Best Actress instead of Cate Blanchett.

The Academy's new regulations also state that just four hosted screenings for a film may be held before the Oscar nominations, and none are permitted after the nominations. To Leslie screenings hosted by famous celebrity backers helped push Riseborough to her surprise Best Actress nod. Private events may still be held, but invitations "may not be sent via an Academy-approved mailing house." Additionally, voters may not discuss "voting preferences and other members' voting preferences in a public forum," including by "speaking with press anonymously," which could end the yearly tradition of entertainment outlets publishing anonymous Oscar ballots. 

The Academy previously conducted a review of Riseborough's Oscar campaign and said that while her nomination would not be rescinded, there were "social media and outreach campaigning tactics that caused concern," which would be "addressed with the responsible parties directly."