In response to English footballs announcement that they will boycott all social media from Friday afternoon until Monday night, the PDPA will join with all other sports to unite against social media abuse.
Our members have have been subject to sustained social media, discrimination, integrity issues and online abuse for too long, and it’s now time to do something about it.
As a collective, all sports recognise the considerable reach and value of social media to our sport, its fans and the media. The connectivity and access especially to supporters who are at the heart of sport remains vital.
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However, the boycott shows English sport 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 on February 2021, 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 some progress has been made, we reiterate those requests today 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.
Social Media Boycott:
Friday 30th April 15.00hrs – Monday 3rd May 23.59hrs
Boycott action from sport in isolation will, of course, 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 continued fight.
Finally, while sport takes a stand, 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.
We at the PDPA along with the PDC are more than happy to join forces with all other sports.