Arsenal have thrown their weight behind a campaign to try and tackle the issue of online abuse that targets and harms so many people.
With the issue being highlighted this week by Thierry Henry, who has removed his social media presence in the hopes of forcing the companies who own and run the platforms to take firmer action against those who are abusive online, Arsenal have moved to help build momentum behind the campaign.
A 2021 study, for instance, showed that 38% of people experience cyberbullying online with 25% of students turning to self-harm in response.
If you’ve watched The Social Network, you know the problem. If you are a woman, queer or a minority, you don’t need a film to tell you what it’s like out there.Being a woman on Social Media: ‘Gendered Islamophobic & xenophobic slurs’, ‘Racist & sexist tweets’
You can read the thread from Arsenal here or below:
“All of us at Arsenal – players, staff and fans – stand together to address the flow of abusive posts and messages on social media platforms,” Arsenal tweeted. “We call on everyone to join forces and identify, condemn and highlight abuse when they see it.
“This is about changing attitudes and making a difference every day We do this through our community work and the Arsenal for Everyone programme – but it’s time for us all to work together…
“We also echo the demands made to social media platforms by the footballing community:
“The demands are as follows..
1. Racist/discriminatory messages/posts should be filtered/blocked before they are received
2. Operate robust/transparent/swift measures to take down abusive material if it does get into circulation
3. Users subject to verification that allows for accurate ID of person behind the account. Steps taken to stop a user that has sent abuse from re-registering 4. Our platforms should actively assist investigating authorities in identifying the originators of discriminatory posts.
Arsenal also then tweeted comments from Vinai Venkatesham, who said, “How do you explain to a black footballer that a piece of pirated content is taken down within minutes, but that’s not the same for racist abuse?”
Mikel Arteta added, “Abuse has to be eradicated completely because it’s causing a lot of damage. Social media platforms have a big responsibility on that.”
Arsenal also added some ways you can help to #StopOnlineAbuse which included:
- How to report abusive behaviour to Twitter
- How to report abusive behaviour to Facebook
- Kick It Out’s online reporting form