Northern football clubs demand end to racism on social media as 4-day boycott finishes

Newcastle United were one of several Premier League clubs to join the call to end racism on social media Credit: PA

Football clubs in the North East and North Yorkshire have joined calls from across the sport for social media companies to take definitive action to end online abuse and stamp out racism on their platforms.

The demand follows a four-day social media boycott which saw much of British football refrain from posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat in an attempt to force social media giants to take action on racism on their platforms.

In a statement posted by the Premier League and its member clubs, it said: "English football, sporting organisations and people across the world united over the weekend to boycott social media, challenging platforms to do more to stop online discriminatory abuse.

“We now call on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to use their power to affect change and ensure there are real-life sanctions for online hate.

“We invite these social media companies to respond to our requests for action.”

Newcastle United, Middlesbrough and Sunderland football clubs were among several to post the statement on Twitter with the hashtag #StopOnlineAbuse.

The statement said they would continue to challenge social media companies to make changes to their platforms and also urged the government to intervene.

Other clubs across the Tyne Tees region, including Harrogate Town, also called for change on Tuesday, May 4 2021.

Kick It Out chief executive Tony Burnett told Sky News: "Enough is enough. If change doesn't happen, we're going to keep campaigning for the four things we have demanded - more prevention, so [harmful] stuff doesn't get onto the platforms and is taken down quicker.

Kick It Out as well as England's top sporting organisations want social media platforms to introduce better account verification, dole out harsher punishments to those who commit racist abuse and for the government to hold social media companies to account.