East Riding FA along with the Humber Premier League, East Riding County Women's League, East Riding County Football League, Kingston Upon Hull Sunday Football League, Hull and District Veterans Football League, Hull and District Youth Football League, East Riding Girls Football League and the East Riding Futsal League are uniting to join the Premier League, EFL, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out, Women in Football and the FSA in a social media boycott from 3pm on Friday 30 April to 11.59pm on Monday 3 May, in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football.
This has been scheduled to take place across a full fixture programme in the Humber Premier League, East Riding County Women's League, East Riding County Football League, Kingston Upon Hull Sunday Football League, Hull and District Veterans Football League, Hull and District Youth Football League, East Riding Girls Football League and the East Riding Futsal League and will see us and all the regions leagues switch off our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
This action will be equalled in the men’s and women’s professional game with clubs across the Premier League, EFL, Barclays FA Women's Super League and Women’s Championship also switching off their social media accounts.
As a collective, the game recognises the considerable reach and value of social media to our sport. The connectivity and access to supporters who are at the heart of football remains vital.
However, the boycott shows English football coming together to emphasise that social media companies must do more to eradicate online hate, while highlighting the importance of educating people in the ongoing fight against discrimination.
In the FA's letter of February 2021, English football outlined its requests of social media companies, urging filtering, blocking and swift takedowns of offensive posts, an improved verification process and re-registration prevention, plus active assistance for law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute originators of illegal content. While some progress has been made, we reiterate those requests today in an effort to stem the relentless flow of discriminatory messages and ensure that there are real-life consequences for purveyors of online abuse across all platforms.
Boycott action from football in isolation will, of course, not eradicate the scourge of online discriminatory abuse, but it will demonstrate that the game is willing to take voluntary and proactive steps in this continued fight.
Finally, while football takes a stand, we urge the UK 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, as discussed at the DCMS Online Abuse roundtable earlier this week.