30 Apr 2021
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 LMA will unite with The FA, Premier League, EFL, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, PFA, PGMOL, Kick It Out, Women in Football, the FSA and wider sport in switching off our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, from 3pm Friday 30 April to 11.59pm on Monday 3 May.
Why are we boycotting social media?
We want to demonstrate our collective anger at the constant abuse on social media received by footballers, managers 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 with 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.
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.
LMA Chief Executive Richard Bevan said: “The LMA fully supports the social media boycott across the professional game. A unified silence will send a loud and powerful message to those that perpetrate online abuse that their actions will no longer be tolerated, and to the social media companies that they have a responsibility to do everything in their power to eradicate online abuse.
We also urge Government to understand the significance of this collective action and to ensure that its Online Safety Bill delivers appropriately strong legislation.”