Brighton has removed around 100 abusive messages posted by users on the club’s social media channels as part of a clampdown on online hate.
The Premier League club has also written to local media outlets that offer comments sections and fan websites that provide messageboards, asking for support on the matter.
Last week, English football bodies came together to send an open letter to Facebook and Twitter demanding action amid increased levels of abuse aimed at footballers and officials on social media.
The Premier League, FA, EFL, WSL, Women’s Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL and Kick It Out have all co-signed the letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook founder, chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, asking them “for reasons of basic human decency” to use the power of their systems to end the abuse.
In a statement, Brighton chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber reminded fans of the club’s zero tolerance approach to abuse.
💬 “We simply will not stand for this abuse.
“The social media giants must do more, but until they do, we are prepared to play our part by working with the @premierleague and other authorities to identify and root out these individuals.”#BHAFC 🔵⚪️
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) February 16, 2021
“Football has always been a game of opinions, and we want healthy debate and, where it’s due, constructive criticism – provided it’s reasonable and respectful,” Barber said.
“So, this is not about the club being averse to online criticism from our supporters. People are perfectly entitled to views that differ from the club. Historically, Albion fans have always done that with good grace and humour.
“But views that are abusive, discriminatory, hateful, or bullying in any way are not acceptable.
“For context, last week alone around 100 abusive posts were removed, and users blocked and reported, for content they posted to the club’s own official channels; while some of the emails that have come into the club across the season have also fallen foul of the rules.
“Thankfully, most of the abuse we see doesn’t come from our supporters, but that won’t stop us from taking action.
“And there are those rare instances where our own followers fall foul of the rules and overstep the mark. Those individuals have paid the consequences, facing club sanctions and police action.”
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