Southport FC

Southport Football Club will be joining the football-wide boycott of social media to aid the fight against online abuse, racism and discrimination.

The National League is one of a host of competitions and sporting bodies – including UEFA and the Premier League – to be supporting the blackout over the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend.

A Sandgrounders spokesperson said: “Southport FC are happy to lend their backing to the campaign by posting no content on the club’s official Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

“The boycott, which runs from 3pm on Friday, 30 April to 11.59pm on Monday, 3 May, is being staged in response to increasing levels of abuse – often racial and discriminatory and aimed at individuals involved in football – being posted online.

“We also encourage supporters to join the boycott and play their part in urging social media companies to provide better policing of platforms and help identity and punish offenders more readily.”

The club is among leading sports bodies which will begin an 84-hour boycott of social media from Friday by stepping up their demands for companies such as Facebook and Twitter to do more to stop online abuse being sent or seen.

The Premier League, English Football League and the anti-racism campaign Kick It Out are among those calling for fresh measures to tackle hate and discrimination – including a requirement for social media giants to display a warning if a user writes an abusive message, and to ask them to enter personal data if they wish to send it.

They also want social media companies to have to submit a detailed quarterly report, outlining efforts they have made to prevent abuse, so they can be held more accountable.

Other sporting bodies have since joined – including the England and Wales Cricket Board, Premiership Rugby and the Lawn Tennis Association – highlighting the need for the social media giants to do more to eradicate online hate. Lewis Hamilton gave his backing to the campaign on Thursday. 

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