Farsley Celtic will join in a national sporting boycott of social media this weekend in a bid to force Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to tackle the issues of online racism and discrimination.
The boycott will start at 3pm on Friday 30 April to 11.59pm on Monday 3 May in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football.
The Celts tweeted their support for the boycott and said:
Along with the rest of the football community, Farsley Celtic will be boycotting social media platforms from 15:00 BST on Friday 30 April to 23:59 BST on Monday 3 May, to take a stand against racism and all forms of discrimination #TakeAStand #EnoughIsEnough pic.twitter.com/jvXmXyBqef— Farsley Celtic (@FarsleyCelticFC) April 28, 2021
The boycott 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. Cricket and rugby teams will also follow suit.
Tthe 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 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.
Edleen John, The FA’s Director of International Relations, Corporate Affairs and Co-Partner for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said:
“It’s simply unacceptable that people across English football and society more broadly continue to be subjected to discriminatory abuse online on a daily basis, with no real-world consequences for perpetrators.
“This needs to change quickly, and we continue to urge social media companies to act now to address this. We will not stop talking about this issue and will continue to work with government in ensuring that the Online Safety Bill gives sufficient regulatory and supervisory powers to Ofcom. Social media companies need to be held accountable if they continue to fall short of their moral and social responsibilities to address this endemic problem.
“We have recently seen how powerful it can be when everybody is united for the good of the English game. We are calling on organisations and individuals across the game to join us in a temporary boycott of these social media platforms, to show solidarity and unite in the message that English football will not tolerate discrimination in any form.”
Sanjay Bhandari, Kick It Out Chair, said:
“Social media is now sadly a regular vessel for toxic abuse. This boycott signifies our collective anger at the damage this causes to the people who play, watch and work in the game. By removing ourselves from the platforms, we are making a symbolic gesture to those with power. We need you to act. We need you to create change.
“We need social media companies to make their platforms a hostile environment for trolls rather than for the football family. We need the Government to hold its nerve and keep its promises to regulate. The Online Safety Bill could be a game changer and we aim to help make that happen. There should be no space for hate and everyone can play their part. If you watch, work in or love the game, join in.”