English football unites for a four days social media boycott to protest online abuse and racism. The Premier League announced the boycott starting from 15:00 BST on Friday 30 April to 23:59 BST on Monday 3 May. The action has been taken in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football. Premier League clubs aim for #NoRoomForRacism and #StopOnlineAbuse.
Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook will face a cold-shoulder from English Football. The FA, Premier League, EFL, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out, Women in Football, and the FSA will stand together against discrimination on the internet and call on social media companies to do more to police their platforms.
A statement from the Premier League explained that English football was coming together in solidarity “to emphasize that social media companies must do more to eradicate online hate while highlighting the importance of educating people in the ongoing fight against discrimination.”
The boycott indicates all the English football teams and officials including the players would fall silent on social media, meaning no posts would be uploaded on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The action has been taken in order to encourage social media organizations to not become a platform for hate but take strong action against the users who feel free to abuse behind the screens.
“Racist behaviour, abuse, and harassment have absolutely no place on our service,” a Twitter spokesperson told Sky Sports. For Facebook-owned Instagram, a racist post is not enough to get a user immediately suspended.
Footballers suffer numerous criticism as they become subject to racist abuse and online insults over the internet. Apart from English football other sporting bodies such as Rugby union, cricket, and rugby league have also joined the protest.
Ahead of the boycott, Premier League chief Richard Masters said: “Racist behavior of any form is unacceptable and the appalling abuse we are seeing players receive on social media platforms cannot be allowed to continue.”
“The Premier League and our clubs stand alongside football in staging this boycott to highlight the urgent need for social media companies to do more in eliminating racial hatred.”
“We will not stop challenging social media companies and want to see significant improvements in their policies and processes to tackle online discriminatory abuse on their platforms.”
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