Ex-Premier League club Swansea will hold a seven-day social media blackout to battle abuse and discrimination on digital platforms, although some fans have suggested the gesture is futile.
The announcement was made early on Thursday afternoon.
In a caption to a post on Twitter, the club said: “Swansea City has chosen to take a club-wide stance in the battle against abuse and discrimination of all forms on social media.
“From 5pm today, we will not post any content on our official social media channels for seven days,” it continued, along with the hashtag “EnoughisEnough”.
A separate statement on the Welsh outfit’s official website explained that the decision had been taken “as a result of conversations between senior club staff, players and management”.
“As a football club, we have seen several of our players subjected to abhorrent abuse in the past seven weeks alone, and we feel it is right to take a stand against behavior that is a blight on our sport, and society at large,” it continued, while offering support to players from other outfits who have “had to endure vile discrimination on social media platforms”.
Swansea said they are also “acutely aware of how social media can impact on the mental health of players and staff, and we hope our strong stance will highlight the wider effects of abuse”.
“Something has to change soon,” it was insisted, while chief executive Julian Winter will contact his counterparts at Twitter and Facebook about the matter.
Finally. A club with balls ⚽️ 👏👏👏👏👏 It’s a shame this couldn’t be coordinated with other clubs doing the same thing. The ultimate end game should be a new social media platform where nameless unverified trolls can’t just message high profile individuals unaccountably
— Bradley (@mrbradleygrant) April 8, 2021
This will have zero impact. Social media users should have to upload ID and be banned for life. That’s what will work not this.
— Robcafc (@crimp_it) April 8, 2021
Some fans rushed to applaud the decision.
“Finally. A club with balls,” wrote one user, besides a string of clapping emojis.
“It’s a shame this couldn’t be coordinated with other clubs doing the same thing. The ultimate end game should be a new social media platform where nameless unverified trolls can’t just message high profile individuals unaccountably” he added.
But the naysayers predicted it would have “zero impact”, that is until social media users “should have to upload ID and be banned for life”.
“That’s what will work, not this,” it was concluded.
“I don’t think this is a good idea, this means the abusers are winning. Not boycotting is showing that the club is strong and standing up to them,” added another.
“Excellent. Racism is defeated,” read one sarcastic response.
Championship club Swansea are currently chasing a return to the riches of the Premier League, and find themselves fourth in the table with seven games to play. They are a full 10 points adrift of automatic promotion, meaning their most likely route out of the league is through the play-offs.
The club’s social media move comes after former Arsenal and France star Thierry Henry announced he was quitting numerous platforms until it was “safe” to return, accusing the likes of Twitter of doing more to stop copyright infringement than halt racism.