'Significant overhaul' of Oscars social media and campaign rules after Andrea Riseborough nomination controversy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced a raft of changes around social media and campaigning, following controversy surrounding one of this year's top nominations.

British star Andrea Riseborough's surprise Oscar nod for best actress for her role in low budget indie film To Leslie, followed endorsement from Hollywood heavyweights including Kate Winslet, Jennifer Aniston, Edward Norton and Cate Blanchett.

Not previously considered to be a contender in the race, some felt her nomination had come at the expense of black performers previously expected to make it into the category.

While a review found that no guidelines had been broken, and Riseborough's nomination remained in place the Academy did say that "social media and outreach campaigning tactics" used by the film had "caused concern," and that changes would subsequently be made.

Now, in what the Academy have called "the most significant overhaul since their inception in 1994," there have been key updates to campaign promotional regulations and awards rules for next year.

Changes include clarification of rules regarding private events and gatherings, with individuals now able to host formal "for your consideration" events but prohibiting studios and companies from funding or endorsing them.

Members cannot use social media to "encourage or discourage members to vote for any motion picture, performance, or achievement".

Voters will no longer be able to speak to the media about their choices, even anonymously.

Studios can now only put on four "hosted" screenings in the pre-nomination period (these are normally celebrity led), however the new rules allow for an unlimited number of Q&As and panel discussions throughout the voting season.

And the Academy's Board of Governors are completely barred from hosting private events, gatherings, screenings or moderating an event unless they have direct involvement with a film.

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The Academy has also expanded its language on regulation violations and penalties, including the process for reporting and reviewing a violation, and tweaked submission deadlines across various categories.

Next year the Oscars will introduce new diversity rules in a bid to improve representation in the industry, forcing studios to satisfy two of four criteria for their films to be eligible for best picture from 2024.