Archant backs social media boycott in fight against online abuse

Norwich City players celebrate their promotion at Carrow Road

Norwich City players celebrate their promotion at Carrow Road. This weekend they are taking part in a social media boycott to protest about online abuse - Credit: Paul Chesterton/NCFC/Getty Images/Scyther5

Archant's Norfolk newspapers are backing the social media boycott being led by professional footballers in protest at 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 weekend. 

The switch-off, which includes Norwich City, begins at 3pm on Friday (April 30) and will continue until 11.59pm on Monday, May 3. 

It will therefore encompass an entire weekend of action across the men's and women's games.

Archant is lending its support to the boycott by turning off its PinkUn social media channel for the duration, while the EDP and Norwich Evening News will not post about football. 

However, our websites and matchday live feed will run as normal. 

Norwich Evening News and Norwich Advertiser editor David Powles. Photo : Steve Adams

David Powles, editor of the EDP and Norwich Evening News - Credit: Steve Adams

David Powles, editor of the EDP and Norwich Evening News, said the wider campaign needed to extend beyond just footballers. 

He added: "Any form of abuse is unacceptable, but we have seen in recent years a massive increase in nasty and highly upsetting behaviour from some on social media. This needs to stop.

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"A lot of this abuse is directed towards footballers, but they are not alone in being the victims. It can affect anyone, from almost any background, and we hope that by joining this campaign it will show a united front in making it clear that no abuse is acceptable. Full stop. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool looks dejected after his side concedes itÕs 3rd goal during the

Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has fallen victim to online abuse - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

"We are happy to lend our support to this social media boycott in the hope that it makes everyone stop and think about their own actions, changing them if need be.

"But we are also urging the social media companies to look at what they can do to bring in better and more stringent guidelines and protocols."

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. 

Manchester United's Lauren James in action during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match at Leig

Lauren James, of Manchester United, has fallen victim to online abuse - Credit: PA

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. 

Amazon Prime TV presenter Thierry Henry during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry quit social media over a lack of action against online abuse - Credit: PA