The Daily Mail has reported that Tottenham Hotspur and the other 19 clubs in the Premier League are considering a blanket social media boycott for a round of fixtures to send a strong message against racist abuse targeted at players.
A number of top-flight players have been the victims of vile racist abuse on social media over the last few months, with Tottenham’s Davinson Sanchez and Son Heung-min among the players who were targetted.
Swansea became the first British club to ditch social media last week with a self-enforced seven-day ban.
The Mail reveal that English football’s key stakeholders were locked in talks on Monday over the possibility of a blackout, with a growing number of clubs said to believe that it will put pressure on social media companies to take action.
However, it is explained that the situation could prove complex, with many clubs having agreements with firms that include promotion on their social media channels.
Despite this hurdle, there is said to be a growing belief that the clubs can engineer a collective boycott to show a united front and send out a powerful message that racism will not be tolerated.
According to the report, the idea of a boycott from this Friday at 5 pm through to 9 am on Monday, has been floated among clubs.
Spurs Web Opinion
While a boycott will send out a powerful message, I am not sure if it will force the hands of social media companies to act. One of the negatives ingrained with allowing people to comment and interact anonymously (which is a part of the service social media companies are offering) is that some fringe elements will dare to say things that they may not in real life since they know their words would not have the same consequences. This can be solved by social media companies demanding IDs to register accounts but I am not confident that the likes of Twitter would do that as it would impact their bottom line.
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