“Building on our Stop Online Abuse campaign, we are joining 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 FSA for a social media boycott from 15.00 on Friday, April30 to 23.59 on Monday, May 3.
This has been scheduled to take place across a full fixture programme in the men’s and women’s professional game and will see us switching off our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, YouTube and LinkedIn accounts.
While we realise social media is one of the ways we can feel closer to our supporters across the world, across football and beyond we’ve seen an online world poisoned by hateful, racist and discriminatory words. We have seen our own players and legends and many of the Arsenal family receiving abuse and we cannot underestimate the impact it has. A boycott action from football in isolation will not eliminate the issue of online discriminatory abuse, but it will continue the emphasis on asking social media companies to do more to eradicate online hate.
In 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, the weekend’s boycott will serve as a reminder of the requests.
While football takes a stand, together 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 stand by Arsenal Football Club‘s decision to do this as we all collectively continue to tackle online abuse.