Why the Peterborough Telegraph is supporting football’s boycott of social media

Peterborough United and sports clubs across the nation are joining forces this weekend to boycott social media in protest at the rise in abuse on the platforms and the Peterborough Telegraph will be joining them.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 3:35 pm
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 3:55 pm
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Social media is an integral part of football coverage and debate and it is an integral part of the way the PT communicates with our readers.

Social media can make clubs more open and players more accessible.

Football clubs and the stars can seem a million miles away from the average fan who pays their hard-earned money to support them, but the likes of Twitter and Instagram have brought them closer together and allowed supporters to speak to and engage with their heroes just as it has allowed the PT to engage with our readers.

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It is a relationship that has helped everyone and social media brings huge benefits.

But social media also has a dark side.

The rise in abuse – racist, sexist, downright spiteful – towards players in particular has meant that football and other sports have finally said ‘enough is enough’. On occasions the levels this reaches constitutes criminality.

More needs to be done to tackle the unacceptable abuse that is directed at many.

The sport’s authorities kicked off the boycott plans last Saturday night, in response to a rising tide of online hate aimed at players, managers and pundits.

Clubs across the Premier League, EFL, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship will switch off their accounts. Governing bodies’ central accounts – such as those belonging to the Premier League, the Football Association, the WSL, the EFL, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the League Managers Association and the Football Supporters’ Association are also involved, as are anti-discrimination bodies Kick It Out and Show Racism The Red Card.

Others sports and organisations have joined the initiative.

The Peterborough Telegraph is here to report the news but we are also here to champion local causes and campaign on behalf of our readers.

That is why we have taken the decision to support the initiative by ceasing all sports updates on our sports Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels from 3pm on Friday until 11.59pm on Monday night.

We will still use social media for news related updates and all the sports content you would expect from us including blogs, match reports, player ratings and reaction will still be on our website as it happens.

We hope it will be a decisive weekend for Posh and hopefully a decisive one in the battle to stop the use of social media as an outlet for terrible abuse.