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Club News

Owls back social media boycott

29 April 2021

Social media companies must do more to stop online abuse, which is why this weekend we are coming together with English football and other sports and organisations to boycott social media and demand change.

The Owls will join football and the wider sporting world in switching off our social media accounts from 3.00pm on Friday 30 April through to 11.59pm on Monday 3 May.

Football as a collective will demonstrate our anger at the constant abuse on social media received by players and people in the game, as well as others across the world, which goes without consequence for perpetrators.

We know that a boycott alone will not eradicate the scourge of online discriminatory abuse, but as part of the collective, we will continue to take proactive steps to call for change.

What change does football want to see?
We are asking for significant action from social media companies, including:

• Apply preventative filtering and blocking measures to stop discriminatory abuse being sent or seen

• Be accountable for safety on platforms and protect users by implementing effective verification

• Ensure real-life consequences for online discriminatory abuse: ban perpetrators, stop account re-registration and support law enforcement

• A warning message to be displayed if a user writes an abusive message and need to enter personal data if they wish to send the message

• Platforms to have robust, reliable and quick measures in place if abusive material is sent or posted

• Transparent quarterly reports on the work social media companies are doing, internally and externally, to eradicate abuse on their platforms

We are also urging the Government to ensure its Online Safety Bill will bring in strong legislation to make social media companies more accountable for what happens on their platforms.

Owls captain Barry Bannan said: “I am proud that Sheffield Wednesday are 100% behind this movement because there has to be change.

“There is no room or reason for any form of abuse on social media. Footballers are human beings like everybody else and no one should be subjected to some of the terrible abuse that we see week in, week out.

“Everyone getting together like this will help but in the long term it will take more than this. If what football is doing this weekend can help towards the changes that need to be made then this can only be a force for good.”

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