In recent times, the online abuse has been very prevalent and many football players have been the victim of it. There have been many protests but the social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, haven’t taken any concrete steps to neutralize the abuses.
So, now English football has called for a boycott of social media for the next weekend, i.e., 30th April to 3rd May.
The official statement stated: “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 unite for a social media boycott from 15:00 BST on Friday 30 April to 23:59 BST on Monday 3 May, in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football.”
“This has been scheduled to take place across a full-fixture programme in the men’s and women’s professional game and will feature clubs across the Premier League, EFL, WSL and Women’s Championship switching off their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.”
“As a collective, the game recognises the considerable reach and value of social media to our sport. The connectivity and access to supporters who are at the heart of football remains vital.”
The statement further said on social media companies must do more: “However, the boycott shows English football coming together to emphasise that social media companies must do more to eradicate online hate, while highlighting the importance of educating people in the ongoing fight against discrimination.”
“In our letter of February 2021, English football outlined its requests of social media companies, urging filtering, blocking and swift takedowns of offensive posts, an improved verification process and re-registration prevention, plus active assistance for law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute originators of illegal content.”
“While some progress has been made, we reiterate those requests today in an effort to stem the relentless flow of discriminatory messages and ensure that there are real-life consequences for purveyors of online abuse across all platforms.”
“Boycott action from football in isolation will, of course, not eradicate the scourge of online discriminatory abuse, but it will demonstrate that the game is willing to take voluntary and proactive steps in this continued fight.”
English football also called for strong legislation. It stated: “Finally, while football takes a stand, we urge the UK Government to ensure its Online Safety Bill will bring in strong legislation to make social media companies more accountable for what happens on their platforms, as discussed at the DCMS Online Abuse roundtable earlier this week.”
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “Racist behaviour 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.”
“Football is a diverse sport, which brings together communities and cultures from all backgrounds and this diversity makes the competition stronger. No Room For Racism represents all the work we do to promote equality, diversity and inclusion and tackling discrimination.”