Swansea to boycott social media in stand against online abuse

(Reuters) - Swansea City will take a stand against online abuse and discrimination by boycotting social media for a week, the Championship (second-tier) club said on Thursday.

Swansea said that from 5pm local time (1600 GMT) on Thursday all academy, first-team and women's players, as well as the Community Trust, staff and official club channels, which includes Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, will not post any content for seven days.

The moves comes after several Swansea players were racially abused in recent weeks.

The club's chief executive Julian Winter has also written to Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, and Facebook's founder, chairman and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg calling for more stringent policing and punishments for users guilty of sending abusive messages.

"We feel it is right to take a stand against behaviour that is a blight on our sport, and society at large," Swansea said in a statement.

Swansea's boycott will cover their Championship matches against Millwall on Saturday and their trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Liverpool condemned "abhorrent" racial abuse of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane on social media after the trio were targeted following their 3-1 Champions League defeat by Real Madrid.

The Liverpool trio were the latest in a long list of players to be racially abused online, including Manchester United's Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial and Arsenal's Willian and Eddie Nketiah.

With English soccer bodies piling pressure on social media companies to tackle the issue, Instagram has announced a series of measures and Twitter vowed to continue its efforts after taking action on more than 700 cases of abuse related to soccer in Britain in 2019.

Last month, former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry deleted his social media accounts to protest against platforms for not taking action against anonymous account holders who are guilty of racism and bullying online.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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