English football’s open letter to social media

Jack Dorsey

CEO – Twitter

1355 Market Avenue

Suite 900,

San Francisco, California 94103

USA

 

Mark Zuckerberg

Founder, Chairman and CEO – Fb

1 Hacker Approach,

Menlo Park, California 94025

USA

 

11 February 2021

 

Expensive Jack and Mark, 

Current weeks have seen the degrees of vicious, offensive abuse from customers of your companies geared toward footballers and match officers rise even additional, we write to ask that for causes of fundamental human decency you employ the ability of your world programs to bring this to an end.

The language used is debasing, typically threatening and unlawful.  It causes misery to the recipients and the overwhelming majority of people that abhor racism, sexism and discrimination of any type. We’ve got had many conferences together with your executives over the years however the actuality is your platforms stay havens for abuse. Your inaction has created the idea within the minds of the nameless perpetrators that they’re past attain. The relentless move of racist and discriminatory messages feeds on itself: the extra it’s tolerated by Twitter, Fb and Instagram, platforms with billions of customers, the extra it turns into regular, accepted behaviour.

The companies you present are after all vastly spectacular of their attain, scale and ease of use. Billions of communications each day are enabled by them, however a minority has discovered protected areas the place they’ll say no matter they need with out regard to the law. We ask you to simply accept that none of your customers must be hounded off your platforms, dropping entry to the great communications media of our occasions, due to their gender or the color of their pores and skin. The targets of abuse must be offered fundamental protections, and we ask that you simply settle for accountability for stopping abuse from showing on your platforms and go additional than you will have promised to do to date. We ask that: 

  • Messages and posts must be filtered and blocked earlier than being sent or posted in the event that they comprise racist or discriminatory materials 
  • It is best to function strong, clear, and swift measures to take down abusive materials if it does get into circulation 
  • All customers must be topic to an improved verification course of that (provided that required by law enforcement) permits for correct identification of the particular person behind the account. Steps also needs to be taken to cease a person that has sent abuse beforehand from re-registering an account 
  • Your platforms ought to actively and expeditiously assist the investigating authorities in figuring out the originators of unlawful discriminatory materials

Many footballers in English football obtain unlawful abuse from accounts all over the world and your firms have the ability to bring this to an end. We welcome the feedback made on Twitter by the Secretary of State for Tradition, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden,  that the UK Authorities goes to change the law to make social media firms extra accountable for what occurs on their platforms and they need to “start exhibiting their responsibility of care to players as we speak by weeding out racist abuse now.”

Gamers, match officers, managers and coaches of any origin and background and at any level of football ought to have the ability to take part within the sport with out having to endure unlawful abuse. We, the leaders of the sport in English football, will do every thing we will to guard them, however we can not succeed till you change the power of offenders to stay nameless. 

We notice the present assurances from Fb that requirements shall be tightened, however way more is required to drive change. We name for conferences together with your organisations to debate the proof of abuse on your platforms, the motion you take, and how you propose to instantly tackle the issues outlined on this letter.

Yours sincerely, 

Richard Masters, Chief Govt, Premier League

Mark Bullingham, CEO, The FA

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Trevor Birch, CEO, EFL

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Kelly Simmons, Director of Women’s Skilled Game

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Gordon Taylor OBE, CEO, PFA

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Richard Bevan, CEO, LMA

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Mike Riley, Managing Director, PGMOL

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Sanjay Bhandari, Chair, KIO

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