Apparently, racism has risen to an entirely new height in England, and time to act is now! The Premier League popularly known as the EPL, have announced that football in England will unanimously boycott social media from Friday 30th April to Monday 3rd May 2021. This is to draw attention of the world to persistent online “discriminatory abuse,” which has attained an alarming dimension in the last few weeks.
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 will all suspend all social media activities from 15:00 BST on Friday 30 April to 23:59 BST on Monday 3 May.
“This has been scheduled to take place across a full-fixture program in the men’s and women’s professional game and will feature clubs across the Premier League, EFL, WSL and Women’s Championship switching off their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts,” the Premier League announced on its official website on Saturday.
It is the first time concerned parties are coming together to address an issue that has attained an alarming dimension. While the social media companies have been doing their best to curb the worrying trend, more still needs to be done to protect players and officials online.
“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.”
The Premier League acknowledges the fact that while the situation cannot be eradicated by just staging a social media boycott, it believes the move will “demonstrate that the game is willing to take voluntary and proactive steps in this continued fight.”
Richard Masters, the Premier League Chief Executive in a statement said: “The Premier League and our clubs stand alongside football in staging this boycott to highlight the urgent need for social media companies to do more in eliminating racial hatred. We will not stop challenging social media companies and want to see significant improvements in their policies and processes to tackle online discriminatory abuse on their platforms.
Just last week, Instagram rolled out a new tool that can automatically filter abusive DMs. The new tool, according to the Facebook-owned app, will filter out abusive content sent as DM to users.
While there is no single tool that could completely eliminate abusive comments online, Instagram’s new tool could go a long way to help reduce the harm it causes. Celebrities and popular soccer stars have been at the receiving end of abusive remarks on their various social media pages lately, but things may well start changing going forward.