Soccer-Rangers, Swansea to boycott social media in stand against online abuse

Scottish champions Rangers and English Championship (second-tier) side Swansea City will take a stand against online abuse and discrimination by boycotting social media for a week, the two clubs said on Thursday. Rangers said that from 7pm local time (1800 GMT) on Thursday none of their players or management would post any content for seven days.

Reuters | Updated: 09-04-2021 00:28 IST | Created: 08-04-2021 23:44 IST
Soccer-Rangers, Swansea to boycott social media in stand against online abuse
Representative Images Image Credit: Pixbay

Scottish champions Rangers and English Championship (second-tier) side Swansea City will take a stand against online abuse and discrimination by boycotting social media for a week, the two clubs said on Thursday.

Rangers said that from 7pm local time (1800 GMT) on Thursday none of their players or management would post any content for seven days. Swansea announced a similar move earlier on Thursday. Several players from the two teams have been racially abused in recent weeks.

"We can confirm that as a board and as a club, we are fully behind our players and management on this issue," Rangers said in a statement. "Furthermore, we have arranged to meet Facebook and Instagram to underline our growing concerns." Swansea said they had written to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calling for more stringent policing and punishments for users guilty of sending abusive messages.

"We feel it is right to take a stand against behaviour that is a blight on our sport, and society at large," Swansea said in a statement. Swansea's boycott will cover their Championship matches against Millwall on Saturday and the trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday.

Liverpool on Wednesday condemned "abhorrent" racial abuse of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane on social media after the trio were targeted following their 3-1 Champions League defeat by Real Madrid. They were the latest in a long list of Premier League players to be racially abused online, including Manchester United's Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, and Arsenal's Willian and Eddie Nketiah.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson on Thursday said he would hand over control of his social media accounts to the Cybersmile Foundation, an anti-cyberbullying charity, to raise awareness on the impact online abuse can have on people. "I have seriously considered deleting my social media accounts in the last few weeks but instead I want to use my platforms to try and drive positive change," Henderson said on Twitter.

With English soccer bodies piling pressure on social media companies to tackle the issue, Instagram has announced a series of measures and Twitter vowed to continue its efforts after taking action on more than 700 cases of abuse related to soccer in Britain in 2019. Former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry deleted his social media accounts last month to protest against platforms for not taking action against anonymous account holders who are guilty of racism and bullying online.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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