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Boycott on social media: Premier League clubs join four-day shift to fight abuse

The boycott will begin on April 30.

The Football Association, as well as league bodies and other organizations, including the anti-discrimination charity Kick it Out, will also be involved.

“This boycott means our collective anger,” said Sanjay Bhandari, president of Kick it Out.

“Social media is now, unfortunately, a regular recipient for toxic abuse.

“As we withdraw from the platforms, we are making a symbolic gesture to those who have the power. We need you to act. We need you to create the change.

“We need social media companies to make their platforms a hostile environment for trolls, not for the football family.”

David McGoldrick of Sheffield United, who suffered racial abuse last year, welcomed the change, saying, “It was about time. What happened on social media, happened to me.

“It happened to a lot of players. Something needs to happen, it is very easy to be racially abused there.”

Speaking to Sky Sports on Saturday night, after scoring in the 1-0 win over Brighton, the striker added: “The Super League was cut in 48 hours, why is racism behind? It is bigger in my eyes. “

Brighton striker Neal Maupay was also the target of online abuse and he told Sky Sports that the boycott was a “very good” move.

“Players are abused a lot online and we need to fight it. It is a good way to do this. It is good to be together in this,” said the Frenchman.

The Football Supporters Association, the League Managers Association, Women’s Football, the Women’s Championship and their clubs, as well as the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) referee, also committed to boycott Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The move will come three weeks after Swansea City shut down its social media accounts for a week to take a stand against the abuse after several of its players were targeted.

Birmingham City championship rivals and Scottish champions Rangers followed Swansea’s example by announcing a boycott on social media.

Former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry withdrew from all social media in March because of racism and intimidation across multiple platforms.

In an interview with the BBC’s Newsnight program, the 43-year-old said that “enough is enough” and that he must take a stand against racism on social media.

In early April, Liverpool said racist abuses on social media “cannot continue” after Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane were targeted in April.

A joint statement from the governing bodies of English football said the boycott was a way of “emphasizing that social media companies must do more to eradicate hate online”, while “stressing the importance of educating people”.

“The isolated boycott of football will obviously 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 ongoing struggle,” the statement continued.

FA equality and diversity director Edleen John said “English football does not tolerate discrimination in any way”.

“We are calling on organizations and individuals across the game to join us in a temporary boycott of these social media platforms, to show solidarity and to join in the message,” she said.

“Social media companies need to be held accountable if they continue to fail to fulfill their moral and social responsibilities to deal with this endemic problem.”

The UK government had previously threatened social media companies with “heavy fines” that could amount to “billions of pounds” if they fail to combat abuse on their platforms.

Facebook said in February that tougher measures would be taken to resolve the problem.

Last week, Instagram – which belongs to Facebook – announced a tool to allow users to automatically filter abusive messages from those who do not follow the platform.

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