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Rangers and Swansea abandoned social media

The choice of boycott as a form of protest against online discrimination

 Rangers and Swansea abandoned social media  The choice of boycott as a form of protest against online discrimination

Swansea FC announced that from 17:00 on Thursday 8 April they would no longer post content on their social media accounts for a week, and so will its players, staff and academy boys. The block covers the use of social media Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Linkedin and Tik Tok and is a protest by the Welsh club against online discrimination not punished by social media managers. Swansea were joined first by Birmingham City, also a Championship team, and Rangers Glasgow, Scottish Premiership's new champions. Swansea have said they have written to both Facebook and Instagram owner Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter owner Jack Dorsey to demand tougher punishments for abuse.

The concrete actions of these clubs - which according to the Guardian could also be shared by other British teams - follow Arsenal's threat earlier this week. In fact, the London team revealed about hypotheses to the stop of their social media accounts for a limited period of time, following the choice of the former Gunners player, Thierry Henry, to leave social media permanently in protest against the online abuse suffered by sportsmen. 

All these initiatives are included in a general protest against the unpunished chance to make racist comments by social media users. Over the past six months, there has been an increase in cases of footballers reporting to receive racist messages or comments under Instagram or Twitter posts. For example, West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce said striker Callum Robinson, after his hat-trick at Chelsea on Saturday, received more than 70 racist messages on Instagram. 

On Thursday, at the ordinary meeting of Championship clubs, the topic of online abuse was the first talking point, and although all clubs supported the cause and shared their problems, many remain skeptical about abandoning (for a limited time) online platforms – the risk would be to have financial problems with sponsors. In February, however, English clubs had sent a letter to Facebook and Twitter stressing them to take action against online abuse. Instead, recent initiatives by British clubs are the first concrete act against online discrimination in social media.