Oxford will be truly united this weekend as the whole club joins football’s social media boycott to try and help stop online abuse.
The official Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts will be silent from Friday afternoon to midnight on Monday as will all player accounts, all staff accounts and the official channels from the Oxford United Women’s team, Academy, Community Trust and Walking Football teams.
The FA, Premier League, EFL, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out and the FSA will be similarly silent to emphasise that social media companies must do more to eradicate online hate, while highlighting the importance of educating people in the ongoing fight against discrimination.
Along with all of football Oxford United urge the UK Government to ensure its Online Safety Bill will bring in strong legislation to
- Make social media companies more accountable and to put stronger preventative and takedown measures in place to stop discriminatory abuse being sent or seen
- Be accountable for safety on platforms and protect users by implementing effective verification
- Ensure real-life consequences for online discriminatory abuse: ban perpetrators, stop account re-registration and support law enforcement
Boycott action in isolation will, of course, not eradicate the scourge of online discriminatory abuse, but it will demonstrate that the game is willing to take voluntary and proactive steps in this continued fight.
The boycott comes as the U’s play an important Sky Bet League 1 game away at Shrewsbury Town. Team news will appear on the official website, www.oufc.co.uk where there will be minute by minute updates in the Match Centre and reaction in iFollow and on our YouTube channel as usual.