Milton Keynes Dons to join English football in social media boycott to tackle abuse

MK Dons has announced that the club will be joining the football community in boycotting social media next weekend.

Football governing bodies, including the FA, Premier League, EFL, and FA Women’s Super League among others, will fall silent from 3pm on Friday 30 April to 11.59pm on Monday 3 May.

This is in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football.

The action will see football clubs, including MK Dons, switch off their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

MK Dons FC Women, MK Dons SET and Stadium MK will also join in with the boycott. 

A joint statement released on behalf of all governing bodies across English football said: "As a collective, the game recognises the considerable reach and value of social media to our sport. The connectivity and access to supporters who are at the heart of football remains vital.

"However, the boycott shows English football coming together to emphasise that social media companies must do more to eradicate online hate, while highlighting the importance of educating people in the ongoing fight against discrimination."

The statement adds: "In our letter of February 2021, English football outlined its requests of social media companies, urging filtering, blocking and swift takedowns of offensive posts, an improved verification process and re-registration prevention, plus active assistance for law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute originators of illegal content.

"While some progress has been made, we reiterate those requests today in an effort to stem the relentless flow of discriminatory messages and ensure that there are real-life consequences for purveyors of online abuse across all platforms.

"Boycott action from football in isolation will, of course, not eradicate the scourge of online discriminatory abuse, but it will demonstrate that the game is willing to take voluntary and proactive steps in this continued fight."