The Bristol Sport group which includes Bristol City Men and Women; Bristol Bears Men and Women; Bristol Flyers; Ashton Gate Stadium and its associated community foundations will demonstrate a collective stance and solidarity in the message that online abuse will not be tolerated and should be actively prevented.
We will stand as a group alongside the EFL, the FA, the Premier League, the FA Women’s Super League and others in not posting any content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from 3pm on Friday, April 30th to 11.59pm on Monday, May 3rd. We will also boycott our other social media platforms during this period. We’re urging all our supporters, fan groups, partners and stakeholders to also support the boycott.
Bristol Sport Chairman Jon Lansdown said: “Social media has an important role in society and sport, especially in the past 12 months when it has been an invaluable connection with our supporters who have been unable to come and watch their teams in person.
“However, nothing is more important than human decency and respect. Therefore, as a sporting group we are showing our support for all who are subjected to online hatred, including those within our own teams who have suffered vile and vicious abuse.
“We encourage 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. We also want the companies who have huge global influence to use the power of their platforms to do all they can to prevent such abuse.”
We therefore urge social media companies to:
- filter and block messages and posts before being sent or posted if they contain racist or discriminatory material
- operate robust, transparent, and swift measures to take down abusive material if it does get into circulation
- mandate that all users should be subject to an improved verification process that (only if required by law enforcement) allows for accurate identification of the person behind the account. Steps should also be taken to stop a user that has sent abuse previously from reregistering an account
- actively and expeditiously assist the investigating authorities in identifying the originators of illegal discriminatory material