Club announcement

Arsenal joins social media boycott at 3pm

Social media blackout

As announced on Saturday, we’re joining The FA, Premier League, EFL, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out, Women in Football and the FSA for a social media boycott from 3pm (UK time) on Friday, April 30 to 11.59pm on Monday, May 3. 

Further to our announcement on Saturday, we’ve seen other sports join the movement too. 

Our participation builds on our own Stop Online Abuse campaign and will take place across the full fixture programme in our men’s and women’s professional game and will see us switching off our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, our Weibo, WeChat and DouYin channels in China, Twitch, YouTube and LinkedIn accounts. 

We realise social media is one of the ways we bring our supporters across the world closer to the club, but starting tonight and ending on Monday at 11.59pm, our academy, men’s and women’s fixtures can be followed on Arsenal.com and the Arsenal App only. 

We are streaming our FA Youth Cup quarter-final against Liverpool on Friday night (kick-off 7pm) on Arsenal.com and you can follow our men’s game against Newcastle (kick-off 2pm) and our women’s game against Everton (kick-off 1pm) both on Sunday via our website and app. 

We know a boycott action in isolation will not eliminate the issue of online discriminatory abuse, but it will continue the emphasis on asking social media companies to do more to eradicate online hate. We’ve heard first-hand how the abuse affects many of our own players, legends and many of the Arsenal family and we cannot underestimate the impact it has.

In February, English football outlined its requests of social media companies, urging filtering, blocking and swift takedowns of offensive posts, an improved verification process and re-registration prevention, plus active assistance for law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute originators of illegal content. While some progress has been made, this weekend’s boycott will serve as a reminder of the requests. 

While football takes a stand, together we urge 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, as discussed at the DCMS Online Abuse roundtable last week. 

Our chief executive, Vinai Venkatesham, said: “We really cannot underestimate the impact that social media abuse can have on an individual. We need to come together to solve this because this is a moment in time. If we don’t make positive progress I really, really worry about the path we are heading on.”

Our participation in the social media boycott adds to a number of actions we’ve taken to bring about change and fulfil our responsibility to protect our players and our diverse, global family and stamp out abuse.  You can read more about these actions here.
 

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