Football governing bodies across the United Kingdom have united to stage an anti-social media campaign with a common goal of curbing online abuse witnessed in the sport lately.
The campaign will be rolled out next weekend. It is aimed at piling pressure on social media companies to take necessary action after failing to sanction accounts that direct racist slurs and other forms of cyber abuse at players.
During the boycott, the English FA, Premier League, English Football League Championship, Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, Professional Footballers’ Association, LMA, Professional Game Match Officials Limited, Kick It Out and the FSA will not post anything. The boycott will be from 3pm Friday April 30 to 11.59pm on Monday May 3.
The Social Media Companies
Clubs participating in the named leagues and cups competitions will within the communicated timeframe switch off their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts anticipating appropriate measures from the mentioned social media companies in regards to the intensified war against online abuse.
A joint statement on behalf of all of the stakeholders said: “As a collective, the game recognizes 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.
“However, the boycott shows English football coming together 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.”
This new campaign comes only weeks after former Arsenal legend and ex-Montreal Impact manager Thierry Henry deactivated his social media accounts due to failure by social media companies to stem online abuse.
Footballers plying their trade in Europe, more so Britain, have in recent days been subjected to heightened racism. Measures put in place to stem the vice -among them taking a knee before Premier League kickoffs – have proved futile.
Instagram has responded to the particular boycott plan by empathising with online abuse victims, insisting that no one deserves the cruel discrimination while promising that the platform will strive to ensure that every user is safe henceforth.