Racist attacks: English FA is considering collective social media boycott

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The rising cases of racist attacks could force the English Football Association to call for a collective boycott of social media, according to a recent statement from the association.

In a statement issued hours after Tottenham Hotspur announced that the club’s winger, Heung-Min Son, was racially abused on social media after Spurs’ 3-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United on Sunday, the FA said the association could embark on social media boycott if such an action could make a favorable impact.

Racist attacks: English FA is considering collective social media boycott
Tottenham Hotspur star Heung-Min Son.

In recent times, the rate at which footballers suffer racist attacks on social media is alarming despite efforts that are being made to stop such a trend.

A few days ago, Liverpool stars – Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita, and Sadio Mane were victims of racist attacks weeks after Arsenal’s legend, Thierry Henry deleted his social media accounts in protest against the rising cases of racist attacks.

Even though clubs like Birmingham City, Swansea City, and Rangers went on a week boycott of social media and statements from the owners of the platforms announcing different measures against racists, the issue of racial abuse has not subsided.

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Due to this, a statement from the FA issued today, April 12, says the football association is in support of any club that decides to take a stand against racist attacks, like Arsenal who started an online campaign against racism days after Henry announced that he has left social media.

The FA also announced that the football association has started discussing with clubs the possibility of going into a collective boycott of social media.

An FA spokesperson said: “The FA, alongside other English football authorities, continues to proactively challenge online discriminatory abuse directed towards participants in English football, urging social media companies to do more so there are real-world consequences for perpetrators.

“We recognize 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.

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“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 organization 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.

“We also welcome the government’s proposals for the Online Safety Bill later this year which they have promised will ensure that social media companies are held to account more stringently and recognize their duty of care to protect users.”

Late on Sunday, April 11, Tottenham Hotspur issued a statement to show support for the club’s winger, Heung-Min Son, who suffered racist attacks during the weekend.

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In the club’s statement shared on Twitter, the club said the club would work with the Premier League to review the racist attacks on Son. The club went on to describe the attack on the winger as “abhorrent racial abuse”.

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