30 Apr 2021

Social media Boycott

Social media companies must do more to stop online abuse. That is why this weekend we are coming together with English football and other sports and organisations, to boycott social media and demand change.

Betfred Super League and its clubs, alongside the Rugby Football League, will join English football and wider sport in switching off our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, from 3pm Friday 30 April to 11.59pm on Monday 3 May.

Why are we boycotting social media?

We want to demonstrate our collective anger at the constant abuse on social media received by people in the sport, as well as others across the world, which goes without any real-world consequences for perpetrators.

We know that a boycott alone with not eradicate the scourge of online discriminatory abuse, which is why we will continue to take proactive steps to call for change. We will not stop challenging social media companies until we see enough progress.

What change do we want to see?

We are asking for significant action from social media companies, including:

  • Apply preventative filtering and blocking measures 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.
  • A warning message to be displayed if a user writes an abusive message and need to enter personal data if they wish to send the message.
  • Platforms to have robust, reliable and quick measures in place if abusive material is sent or posted.
  • Transparent quarterly reports on the work social media companies are doing, internally and externally, to eradicate abuse on their platforms

We are also urging 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.

 How can you help?

You can report posts to the respective social media channels by using the following links: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | TikTok | Snapchat | YouTube 

By reporting online abuse, you can help stop the behaviour and protect other people from seeing the abusive content. Online abuse does not have to be experienced directly by someone in order for that person to report. Everyone has a responsibility to report online hate they see.

The Rugby Football League has also published a sport-wide action plan to make Rugby League a truly inclusive sport by tackling discrimination and breaking down any barriers to involvement. 

TACKLE IT marks a firm and tangible sport-wide commitment to inclusion, diversity, and anti-discrimination, which aims to:

1 - widen the reach and impact of Rugby League

2 - diversify the game's talent pool

3 - improve the culture of Rugby League

4 - clarify processes, instil confidence in and encourage reporting of discrimination, and ensure that appropriate sanctions are in place.

Read the full Rugby Football League versus discrimination: TACKLE IT strategic plan here.

How can you follow this weekend's Betfred Super League action? 

Betfred Super League and its clubs fully supports the decision to boycott social media this weekend. We also appreciate that some fans who are not able to watch this weekend's fixtures rely on our social media platforms for score updates and match highlights.

You can follow each game in round 5 via our Match Centre which will provide regular match updates for all of this weekend’s fixtures as they happen. 

We will also be showing match highlights from all round 5 fixtures on our website and via our YouTube channel approximately one hour after full-time.