Carlisle United is to boycott social media to take a stand against the discriminatory abuse received by people connected with football online.
The FA, Premier League, EFL, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out and the FSA will unite for a social media boycott from 3pm on Friday to 11.59pm on Monday, 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 see clubs across the Premier League, EFL, WSL and Women’s Championship switch 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.
Those involved in the boycott say it 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 a letter sent by partners from across the game in February, 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 it is believed that some progress has been made, the game is reiterating those requests 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.
⚽ “Carlisle United as an organisation is supporting this boycott. We are asking all our players, staff and supporters to join with the club to send the message that social media companies need to act now …”@EFL announce social media boycott https://t.co/AIoeK3143M
— Carlisle United FC (@officialcufc) April 24, 2021
A spokesman for Carlisle United said: “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.”
United’s chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “Carlisle United as an organisation is supporting this boycott.
“We are asking all our players, staff and supporters to join with the club to send the message that social media companies need to act now to help to eradicate this type of harassment and abuse.
“We are asking for your personal support by joining with us, and the wider game, by boycotting your own social media channels through this period.
“I understand this is a big request to make, but we feel that this weekend of action is a powerful way of sending this strong message that these platforms have to be accountable for all content it hosts, good or bad.
“This the beginning of an effort to stamp out online hate and discrimination, and we are sure that you understand the need for action like this to be taken.”