Arsenal’s German-Bosnian defender Seed Kolasinak (R) plays the ball during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United on 10 March 2019 at the Emirates Stadium in London.
Ben Stansl | AFP | Getty Images
LONDON – The world’s largest social media platform is being boycotted by the British Sports Association, and the lack of action on the issue of online abuse by Thalits and leading sports organizations.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will be closed from 3:00 pm on Friday to 11:59 pm on Monday, London time.
Boycotts – Sports such as soccer, rugby and cricket have been embraced as US technology giants face criticism for failing to address racist and sexual harassment posted on their platforms.
Facebook, which owns Instagram and Twitter, has said racism and other forms of abuse are not on their platform.
Anti-discrimination organizations such as Kick It Out and Show Racism Red Card are participating in boycotts like the game’s governing body.
Kick It Out said in September that reports of discrimination in professional soccer had risen by 42% in the previous season, with the number of incidents rising from 313 to 446.
Former World Cup winner and Arsenal record holder Thierry Henry, who distanced himself from social media last month, announced the start of the boycott in the fight against racism and discrimination.
“(What) the world of English football is doing in minutes and what’s going to happen on weekends, people ask me, ‘Is that enough on weekends?'” He told CNN this week. “And I am, ‘This is a start.’ You know, you can’t be greedy because you have nothing. This is just the beginning. “
Watford football club captain Troy Denny told the BBC on Friday that many athletes receive abusive messages online every day, while some experience it for hours.
Alex Scott, who played before the broadcast from Arsenal and England on Friday morning, appealed to members of the public to join. “Join us and we will stop, because together we demand change,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Any form of racist behavior is unacceptable and we cannot continue the horrific abuse of players on social media platforms,” Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said in a statement.
He added: “The Premier League and our clubs are on the side of football in boycotting to show the urgent need for social media companies to do more to eradicate racial hatred. We will not stop challenging social media companies and want to see significant improvements in them. Policies and procedures to address online discriminatory abuse. “
Penalties up to 10% of annual global turnover
Prior to the boycott, Manchester United wrote on Twitter: “Since September 2019, the rate of online abuse of our players has increased. We need change.” Separately, Everton Football Club said via Twitter: “Enough” and used the hashtags “#ShopOnlineAbuse” and “NoRoomforRacism”.
British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowen wrote in a British newspaper this week that social media companies would face “severe bans” if they failed to address racial violence. “We could see a penalty of up to 10 percent of annual global turnover,” he wrote. “It could be billions for a company like Facebook or YouTube.”
Companies like Adidas, Barclays, Budweiser, Cashew and betting app Smartmarkets, like broadcasters like BT Sport and TalkSport, are participating in the boycott.
This is not the first time social media companies have received repercussions for failing to remove offensive content. Last year, more than 1,000 groups and companies took part in the boycott, and Facebook was expected to press for tougher measures to stop hate speech and misinformation on its platform. Participants included favorites such as HP, Verizon, Coca-Cola, Diageo and Ben & Jerry.
A Facebook spokesperson said it was against the company’s policies to harass or discriminate against people on Facebook or Instagram.
“We have already made progress despite agreeing with a number of players’ suggestions, including cracking down on people who break our rules in the DM,” a statement to CMBC said.
“We recently announced that, from next week, we will be providing new tools on the advice of footballers and anti-discrimination experts to help prevent abusive messages from being seen by strangers. We will continue to work with UK police on hate speech, and respond to legitimate legal requests for information We will continue to listen to feedback and fight hatred and racism on our platform. “
Twitter says it has deleted more than 7,000 tweets in the UK since September 12 that were targeting soccer conversations in violation of Twitter rules.
“This represents approximately 0.02% of total football conversations in the UK and does not reflect the majority of people involved in enthusiastic discussions about football on Twitter,” the spokesman said.
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