We are standing together with the Bristol Bears, and sports clubs and athletes across the country, to urge social media companies to use their influence to help bring online abuse to an end.
Bristol Bears and teams in the EFL, the FA, the Premier League, the FA Women’s Super League and others will not be posting any content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from 3pm on Friday, April 30th to 11.59pm on Monday, May 3rd.
We urge all our players and supporters to support the boycott.
Bristol Bisons Chair Donald Calcott said: “the last 12 months have shown what a positive impact social media can have as we all tried to stay connected despite the distances between us.
Nothing can be more important than respect for each other, and too often we see vile, hateful abuse directed at people online purely because of who they are, what team they support, or a mistake they have made. These horrific attacks are only made because of the comfortable anonymity of posting online.
We encourage everybody involved in the Bristol Bisons to call out such abuse wherever and whenever it appears, and support every action to eradicate it from our society.”
We therefore urge social media companies to:
- filter and block messages and posts before being sent or posted if they contain racist or discriminatory material
- operate robust, transparent, and swift measures to take down abusive material if it does get into circulation
- mandate that all users should be subject to an improved verification process that (only if required by law enforcement) allows for accurate identification of the person behind the account. Steps should also be taken to stop a user that has sent abuse previously from reregistering an account
- actively and expeditiously assist the investigating authorities in identifying the originators of illegal discriminatory material
If you have suffered online abuse, you can and should report it to Avon & Somerset Police.