Aberdeen Taexali Rugby Club is joining governing bodies, clubs and broadcasters from across UK sport in boycotting social media this weekend to combat online abuse and discrimination.
As part of the movement, which is being led by Kick It Out, the Aberdeen inclusive team will not post any content to its channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the duration of the boycott period from 3pm today (Friday April 30) until 11.59pm on Monday May 3.
The club, which is made up of 36 members, is standing with teams from across the world of sports and urging social media companies to do more to eradicate online hate and ensure social media can be a place for sports fans to discuss, debate and consume the best sporting action without discrimination and abuse.
The Caledonia North rugby team, which was founded in 2018 and is passionate about breaking down barriers that exist for people who ordinarily might not get involved in rugby, stands alongside rugby league organisations and teams including The Rugby Football League, Super League Europe, Rugby League World Cup 2021 and the Rugby League Players’ Association, as well as its peers in Rugby Union, Scottish Rugby, Welsh Rugby, England Rugby, France Rugby, Premiership Rugby, clubs and the Rugby Players’ Association.
Other organisations boycotting social media platforms this weekend include:
Football: Clubs from the Premier League, English Football League, Women’s Super League, Scottish Professional Football League and Scottish women’s football; governing bodies including the Football Association, Scottish FA, Football Association of Wales and Irish Football Association; European governing body Uefa; a number of other football organisations
Cricket: The England and Wales Cricket Board, first-class counties, women’s regional teams and the Professional Cricketers’ Association
Corporate bodies: Premier League and Women’s Super League sponsor Barclays, England sponsor Nationwide, Adidas; broadcasters Sky Sports, BT Sport and Talksport
The British Basketball League, Women’s British Basketball League, British Cycling, British Horseracing, Great Britain and England Hockey, Professional Darts Corporation, and the Lawn Tennis Association are also involved.
ATRC publicity and social media officer, Kyle Yeats explains: “Since launching we’ve been driven by the ambition to provide a safe, inclusive and active space in the sport of rugby union in the north east, where players can meet and train weekly to gain skills and experiences to improve both their physical and mental health.
“As a truly inclusive club, we represent a plethora of members, including a number of LGBTQ+ players and a mix of different nationalities and races. Proud of our diverse and inclusive team, we know only too well, how much discrimination people can face online and we are fiercely passionate about eradicating this.
“Since establishing our team, our social media channels have proved hugely effective in growing the club and strengthening our support. We now hope to use this powerful position toemphasise that social media companies must do more to eradicate online hate, while highlighting the importance of educating people in the ongoing fight against discrimination.”
“Social media companies must do more to #StopOnlineAbuse. Join us and switch off too, as we collectively demand change.”
Social media companies will also be urged to do more in three key areas:
• Put stronger preventative and takedown measures in place 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.
The boycott also calls on the government to make sure its forthcoming online safety bill will make social media companies more accountable.
To find out more: https://www.kickitout.org/