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SOCIAL MEDIA: Boycott the answer to ending abuse and discrimination?


Football clubs, players and managers along with the Football Association are considering a social media boycott amidst the abuse on the platforms.

Swansea City shut down their social media channels for seven days in response to three of their players being abused online.

Fellow Championship side Birmingham City and Scottish champions Rangers have followed suit and boycotted social media for a week.

Swansea boss Steve Cooper hopes Premier League clubs join in the protest. He also said Swansea may boycott permanently if they feel it's necessary.

"Yes, is the answer to that [a permanent boycott]," Cooper said. "What we do here is have open discussions with everybody – players, senior management and staff.

"This stance has been a collective from top to bottom of the football club, and if we need to do something further than we’ll definitely have those discussions."



The FA are considering a collective social media boycott as players and staff continue to receive abuse after each game.

English football's governing body say they'll back anything that makes an impact in changing social media abuse.

An FA spokesperson said, "The FA, alongside other English football authorities, continues to proactively challenge online discriminatory abuse directed towards participants in English football.

"We recognise that clubs and individuals may wish to use their platforms to tackle online hate in different ways. Whether that is a boycott of social media, or engaging their followers in how they can support with attempting to reduce hate speech.

"We fully support any club or player that wishes to take a stand against any form of discrimination in a respectful manner, including the boycott of social media platforms.

"Creating a game that is free from discrimination remains a core priority for our organisation and we will continue to use our platforms to openly challenge online hate.

"We are in regular dialogue with other English football authorities and, if it is felt collectively that a boycott of social media platforms would achieve the desired effect in leading to tangible change, it is something we would consider."

The FA have known about abuse on social media since 2014. An article on their official website from then says they'll work to eradicate it.

It came after Dispatches on Channel 4 showed the level of abuse players live with on social media.


Social media boycott: is there any other option to end abuse?


They're fighting a losing battle, however. As long as anonymous accounts can be made, there's little way of stopping it.

Discrimination such as racism, sexism and homophobia is rife throughout social media. Prominent public figures like footballers usually bear the brunt of the abuse.

Last year, players took part in a 24-hour boycott to highlight the discrimination on the platforms.

Yet the problem still exists and is potentially worse than ever.

Is a social media boycott the right answer to ending abuse online? Probably not.

But what other option is there to tackle this abhorrent behaviour from a minority of mindless humans?

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