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Wick Academy manager says sports clubs' social media boycott will send out a strong message


By Alan Hendry

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Social media companies are being urged to adopt a stronger stance against abuse on their platforms.
Social media companies are being urged to adopt a stronger stance against abuse on their platforms.

Wick Academy manager Gary Manson has given his backing to a four-day social media blackout by football clubs and other sporting organisations in a united front against online abuse and discrimination.

He says the large-scale boycott of social media platforms from Friday until Monday will send out a strong message that "enough is enough".

Manson was speaking after the Highland League management committee agreed unanimously that it, and all its member clubs, would operate a ban on social media posts from today (Friday) until Monday inclusive.

Football clubs at all levels of the game, as well as a number of governing bodies and broadcasters, are supporting the blackout. Rugby, cricket and other sports are also involved in a bid to encourage social media companies to take a stronger stance against abuse on their platforms.

Manson said: "From my point of view I am completely in agreement and support the sentiment of the social media blackout.

"It sends out a strong message that enough is enough – the unacceptable behaviour on social media won't be tolerated any longer.

"It is now up to the social media companies to create a more robust system that holds people accountable for their actions."

Wick Academy manager Gary Manson agrees that 'enough is enough' and that social media companies need to create a more robust system.
Wick Academy manager Gary Manson agrees that 'enough is enough' and that social media companies need to create a more robust system.

A statement from the Highland League management committee said: "The league continues to find all forms of social media trolling beneath contempt and urges all companies to install more stringent blocking systems.

"The league wishes to express its complete support for all those who suffer as a result of such activity and urges everyone to ensure that those victims are cared for. It also calls on authorities to utilise legislative action to attack this unwanted element of modern-day life."

Clubs, players, officials and organisations are standing together with the #StopOnlineAbuse and #FootballUnites campaigns.

Highland News & Media, which publishes the John O'Groat Journal and Caithness Courier along with many other weekly and bi-weekly newspapers across the Highlands, Moray and the north-east, recently launched a No Roles For Trolls campaign with the aim of raising awareness about the issues arising from trolling and abusive behaviour online.


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