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Football authorities update on social media abuse

Meeting held earlier this week

26 May 2021

A meeting was held earlier this week to discuss online abuse in football. Led by English football, on the weekend of Friday 30 April to Monday 3 May, sport united across the world to call on social media companies to do more to stop online abuse. Now the pressure is on social media companies to respond to the change we want to see on their platforms.

The EFL and its clubs, including Brentford, led the initial boycott plans. They worked alongside Kick It Out, The FA, Premier League, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, the FSA and Women in Football. Soon gathering momentum, a range of other sports, organisations and individuals swiftly followed suit.

A press release was issued earlier this month outlining the next steps that football is requesting of social media companies. Brentford will continue to lead calls for change. That full statement can be seen here.

As a reminder, below is the change we are calling for, from social media companies:

  • 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 also welcome the announcement of the Online Safety Bill  and we are calling for it to be enacted in legislation as soon as possible. This announcement represents progress, and we will continue working with Government to ensure measures are put in place as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we are urging social media companies to act now to address abuse on their platforms before regulation is in place. That bill was on the agenda at a meeting and the football authorities issued the below after the discussions.

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