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Rangers announce seven-day social media boycott in stand against online racism

Rangers have joined Swansea City and Birmingham City in boycotting social media, becoming the first club in Scotland to do so in response to online abuse and discrimination.

The Scottish champions confirmed on Thursday that all players and management will post content on any platform for the duration of a week, beginning at 7pm that night. 

The Gers said in a statement that they are concerned with the daily racist abuse levelled at players and that tech giants must be more accountable for the issue that is ‘spiralling out of control’.  

Rangers Football Club will observe a seven-day social media boycott to combat online abuse

Rangers Football Club will observe a seven-day social media boycott to combat online abuse

Rangers managing director, Stewart Robertson, told the club’s official website: ‘We can confirm that as a board and as a club, we are fully behind our players and management on this issue.

‘Furthermore, we have arranged to meet Facebook and Instagram to underline our growing concerns.

‘Having spoken to a wide range of clubs across the United Kingdom, we know these concerns are shared by all clubs and it is fair to say everyone is losing patience with the lack of action from social media companies.

The Scottish giants called on tech giants to do more with the issue 'spiralling out of control'

The Scottish giants called on tech giants to do more with the issue 'spiralling out of control'

The Scottish giants called on tech giants to do more with the issue ‘spiralling out of control’

All players and management will not post on social media for seven days, starting Thursday

All players and management will not post on social media for seven days, starting Thursday

All players and management will not post on social media for seven days, starting Thursday

‘Rangers hope is that clear and direct action is taken from social media platforms. 

‘The basic verification of users, as part of the sign-up process, to any social media platform, will ensure that users are both identifiable and accountable for their actions and words. We will raise this next week in our scheduled meetings.’  

Rangers star Glen Kamara revealed that he has received racist abuse every day since the Gers’ Europa League Round of 16 exit to Slavia Prague, in which Ondrej Kudela was accused of directing racist abuse towards the Finn.

Kudela was handed a one-match provisional ban while UEFA continues its investigations, and could be handed a ten-game ban if found guilty. Police Scotland are also investigating the incident in which the Czechs have accused Kamara of assault. 

Gers star Glen Kamara says he receives abuse online every day since an incident of alleged racism during the side's Europa League clash with Slavia Prague

Gers star Glen Kamara says he receives abuse online every day since an incident of alleged racism during the side's Europa League clash with Slavia Prague

Gers star Glen Kamara says he receives abuse online every day since an incident of alleged racism during the side’s Europa League clash with Slavia Prague

Kamara told ITV News: ‘I haven’t paid much attention to what he (Kudela) has done after this whole incident, but I’ve seen their fans, how they’ve reacted, and I’ll get (racist) abuse probably every day on my Instagram.

‘Every day, easily – I’m not the one that get really affected by it, so I’m all right. But how the team has reacted and taken it, it’s sad to be honest.

‘I feel like I need to tell my story – the online messages I’ve been getting, the racial abuse online – Instagram, Twitter, everywhere else. I feel like as the victim, it needs to be said.

‘If I could go back to the time of the game, I’d walk off the pitch, 100 per cent. My manager (Steven Gerrard) was actually trying to get me off the pitch, but I was on my own… I couldn’t hear anybody.

‘It’s an everyday life thing. I don’t know if in our lifetime we will see it change, but if I can make a change in some way, I’ll do it.’

The Premier League (pictured chief executive Richard Masters) and EFL will take part in the meeting which is set to take place next week

The Premier League (pictured chief executive Richard Masters) and EFL will take part in the meeting which is set to take place next week

A collective approach across the leagues may be agreed as part of wide protests against abuse (pictured, EFL chairman Rick Parry)

A collective approach across the leagues may be agreed as part of wide protests against abuse (pictured, EFL chairman Rick Parry)

The Premier League (chief executive Richard Masters, left) and EFL (chairman Rick Parry, right) will take part in the meeting which is set to take place next week over a unified boycott

Swansea City became the first football club to announce a boycott of social media platforms

Swansea City became the first football club to announce a boycott of social media platforms

Swansea City became the first football club to announce a boycott of social media platforms

Rangers’ boycott comes after Championship sides Swansea and Birmingham made the same move on Thursday, while Sportsmail understands that Premier League and EFL clubs are set for a summit to discuss a complete social media blackout. 

The idea of all teams from the top flight, Championship plus Leagues One and Two holding a one day boycott is understood to have been tentatively mooted.

Premier League clubs were on Thursday bracing themselves to be asked their views on the subject of a coordinated boycott ahead.

The issue continues to represent a major concern to top-flight chiefs who, along with expanding their own online monitoring and reporting systems, continue to push social media companies to take the necessary steps to end online abuse.

RANGERS STATEMENT IN FULL

Rangers can confirm that as of 7pm this evening (8th April), our players and management will take part in a week-long boycott of all social media channels. 

This is to underline the ongoing concerns over a lack of accountability and responsibility from social media outlets. 

In particular, we are concerned with the daily racist abuse our players have to endure, and believe that although social media can be a very positive and healthy platform for communication, there is undoubted concern the levels of hate are now spiralling out of control. 

Rangers Managing Director, Stewart Robertson commented: ‘We can confirm that as a board and as a club, we are fully behind our players and management on this issue. 

‘Furthermore, we have arranged to meet Facebook and Instagram to underline our growing concerns. 

‘Having spoken to a wide range of clubs across the United Kingdom, we know these concerns are shared by all clubs and it is fair to say everyone is losing patience with the lack of action from social media companies. 

‘Rangers hope is that clear and direct action is taken from social media platforms. The basic verification of users, as part of the sign-up process, to any social media platform, will ensure that users are both identifiable and accountable for their actions and words. We will raise this next week in our scheduled meetings. 

‘Rangers has driven its flagship Everyone Anyone campaign forward rigorously, drawing praise and support from fellow clubs, governing bodies and politicians, and we will continue to stand firmly against all forms of discrimination. Enough is enough. 

‘We would hope that social media companies recognise the benefit of verified accounts. If they don’t, it is time for government to step in and legislate. As a club, we will continue to consider all options which increase pressure on social media platforms until they begin working proactively in the interests of wider society. 

‘The Rangers players and management will begin their boycott from today (8th April) at 7pm for one week.’ 

Full statement can be found here. 


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bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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