EADT and Ipswich Star to join football's social media boycott fighting online abuse

Archant is taking a stand with footballers this weekend for a social media boycott against online abuse

Archant is taking a stand with footballers this weekend for a social media boycott against online abuse - Credit: Steve Waller/Getty Images

The East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star newspapers are joining this weekend's social media blackout led by professional footballers in protest against vile online abuse.

Some of the biggest clubs and best players in the world are set to refrain from using their accounts on platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram over the coming bank holiday weekend. 

The switch-off, which includes Ipswich Town, begins at 3pm on Friday April 30, and will continue until 11.59pm on Monday, May 3. 

A whole weekend of action across the men's and women's games will be encompassed by the campaign.

Archant is supporting the boycott - the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star, and its football writers, will not post about football on social media over those four days. However, our websites - including matchday live feed - will run as normal. 

Brad Jones, editor of the EADT and Ipswich, said: "Levels of nasty, online abuse and racism only seem to be getting worse. And while this action is specifically highlighting the issues around abuse of footballers, the fact is that all social media hate and abuse is unacceptable.

"We hope this collective action will make people stop and think before they post abuse online, and makes it clear to social media companies that they have a long way to go in tackling this problem."

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The decision by the nation's footballing giants to boycott social media comes following a string of well-publicised episodes which have seen players targeted by abusers. 

Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keïta and Sadio Mané fell victim to racist abuse prior to the club's Champions League defeat against Real Madrid earlier this month.

Siblings Reece and Lauren James, of Chelsea and Manchester United respectively, were attacked online within just a few days of each other at the beginning of the year.

Repeated incidents have led to staunch criticism of tech companies, with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry among those to quit social media over a lack of action against abuse and racism. 

England Rugby and Premiership Rugby have also expressed support for the bank holiday boycott and will be taking part.

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