Multiple English soccer leagues including its players, managers and officials plan to boycott social media from April 30 at 10 a.m. to May 3 at 6:59 p.m. ET in response to the continued online harassment players and others connected to the sport have faced.
The Premier League, Football Association, English Football League, FA Women's Super League, FA Women's Championship, Professional Footballers' Association, League Managers Association, Professional Game Match Officials Board, Kick it Out and Women in Football will all take part in the boycott, per a statement.
All those involved will turn off their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts during the five-day time frame. In a February letter addressed to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, signed by executives from the organizations listed above, the organizations called for change and action when it came to social media platforms monitoring online harassment.
The letter called these social media platforms "havens for abuse" and made four major requests. The first requested that messages and posts should be filtered or blocked before being sent or posted if they contain racist or discriminatory material.
Second, abusive material should be taken down swiftly by social media platforms so it does not circulate. The third asked for an improved verification process in order to identify those using the account and users that have previously sent abusive messages and posts who shouldn't be allowed to reregister an account.
Lastly, the letter requested all platforms should assist the authorities to identify the originators of illegal material.
"Your inaction has created the belief in the minds of the anonymous perpetrators that they are beyond reach," the letter read.
The organizations said although some progress has been made since the letter was sent, it's not enough, and this is why this boycott is necessary. The organizations also called for legislation and urged the UK government to ensure its Online Safety Bill will hold social media companies more accountable for what happens on their platforms.
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