English sports united in a boycott of social networks against racism

London, April 30 (EFE). The English sports world will unite from Friday, until midnight next Monday, May 3, in a joint boycott of social networks with the aim of symbolically denouncing abuses or messages that hate or persist. That athletes are exposed to in their personal files.

This campaign (which will mainly extend to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), encouraged by “Kick it out” against racism in English football, recently joined by the Union, Rugby League, Cricket, Tennis and Cycling; And even corporate bodies, like FIFA, UEFA or Barclays, among others.

Likewise, Chelsea stressed the anti-Semitic messages, and before that they had opened an investigation that ended with the expulsion of a member of the team for ten years. “Our players, employees, fans and visitors come from a wide range of backgrounds, including Jews, and we want to ensure that everyone feels safe, valuable and inclusive,” he added.

Notable figures from the British sports scene have also spoken, such as seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, of African-British descent, who stated that although this boycott “ does not solve the problem in one night, ” it will disappear. From their networks this weekend in solidarity with the British football community.

“Sport has the power to unite us. Let’s reject abuse as part of sport, and let us be the one who makes a difference for future generations,” the pilot added on his Instagram account.

Formula 1 will not formally participate in the boycott as an organization, although the authority issued a statement on social networks endorsing its commitment to discrimination “online or otherwise”.

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“Kick it out” president Sanjay Bhandari admitted that the boycott denotes the “collective outrage” of English football in the face of hate on social networks. Andros Townsend, a wing of Crystal Palace, added that this boycott would trigger a “warning” for the platforms to change or else the blackout would be “final.”

Some players, such as former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry, have already decided to pull out of social media due to the racist messages and intimidation they have received on their profiles.

In fact, a BBC Sport survey revealed that a third of respondents, among Britain’s elite athletes, had experienced abuse on their social networks.

For this reason, English sports trust this 4-day boycott to give a wake-up call to social media executives – who already sent them a letter last February – and urge them to improve their measures to eliminate hate on their platforms. .

Among the required actions are “the rapid blocking and elimination of abusive posts,” as well as “improved verification,” “preventing re-registration,” or controlling personal files that generate hate messages.

For its part, Instagram recently announced that it will include a tool that allows users to “filter offensive messages” from unknown personal files; Twitter acknowledged in a statement that it would ensure that the talks would be “safe” and that, in the UK alone, since the start of the season in September, it had “proactively” removed more than 5,000 football tweets that violated its rules. . EFE

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