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#StopOnlineAbuse – FSA joins social media boycott

Social media companies must do more to stop online abuse. That is why this weekend we are coming together with English football and other sports and organisations, to boycott social media and demand change.

The Football Supporters’ Association will join English football and wider sport in switching off our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, from 3pm Friday 30th April to 11.59pm on Monday 3rd May.

Why are we boycotting social media?

We want to demonstrate our collective anger at the constant abuse on social media received by footballers and people in the game, as well as others across the world, which goes without any real-world consequences for perpetrators. We know that a boycott alone will not eradicate the scourge of online discriminatory abuse, which is why we will continue to take proactive steps to call for change. We will not stop challenging social media companies until we see enough progress.

What change do we want to see?

We are asking for significant action from social media companies, including:

  • Apply preventative filtering and blocking measures to stop discriminatory abuse being sent or seen
  • Be accountable for safety on platforms and protect users by implementing effective verification
  • Ensure real-life consequences for online discriminatory abuse: ban perpetrators, stop account re-registration and support law enforcement
  • A warning message to be displayed if a user writes an abusive message and need to enter personal data if they wish to send the message
  • Platforms to have robust, reliable and quick measures in place if abusive material is sent or posted
  • Transparent quarterly reports on the work social media companies are doing, internally and externally, to eradicate abuse on their platforms

We are also urging 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.

How can you help?

If you have experienced or witnessed discrimination on social media, you can report it to Kick It Out through their online reporting form or via their reporting app available on both iOS and Android. You should also make your local police force aware by filing a report here.

You can also report posts to the respective social media channels by using the following links: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | TikTok | Snapchat | YouTube

By reporting online abuse, you can help stop the behaviour and protect other people from seeing the abusive content. Online abuse does not have to be experienced directly by someone in order for that person to report. Everyone has a responsibility to report online hate they see.

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the FSA said “We are fully behind the game’s efforts to stamp out online hate and discrimination and will join this weekend’s social media boycott. Much media attention has rightly focused on the vile abuse aimed at players, managers and journalists in the men’s and women’s game and we see that aimed at fan groups too. It has to stop.

“Many of our most active fan groups tell us that they have received disgusting abuse when they are doing nothing more than trying to represent their supporter base. It’s a threat to the very existence of supporter organisations who are run by volunteers in their spare time. As fans we stand with players, managers, referees and all in the game in calling for the social media companies to step up.”

Want to join the boycott? The Football Supporters’ Association joined the FA, Premier League, EFL, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out and Women in Football, when announcing the boycott last week. We welcome the support of all fans’ organisations and have a small pot of funds which can help with local initiatives which are in keeping with our Fans for Diversity campaign. If you’re interested in that – get in touch.

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English football announces social media boycott 

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 Football Supporters’ Association will unite for a social media boycott from 3pm on Friday 30th April to 11.59pm on Monday 3rd May, in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football. 

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe