Warriors support social media boycott and BT Sport Draw The Line campaign

Warriors are supporting the BT Sport’s Draw The Line campaign to stand against hate speech and abuse on social media.

The campaign, which aims to address the problem by raising awareness of the impact of online hate and advocating change, follows new research commissioned by BT and YouGov which shows that over one in ten people have experienced some form of online abuse in the last year and over 1.8 million have experienced threatening behaviour online in the last 12 months.

In addition to supporting BT Sport’s Draw The Line campaign, Warriors will be joining other professional sports clubs in boycotting social media over the coming Bank Holiday weekend.

“As a club we accept that everyone has a right to free speech but we will not tolerate posts that over step the mark into personal or collective abuse,” said Warriors’ Managing Director Peter Kelly.

“As part of our support for Draw The Line we shall be joining the boycott of social media over this weekend.

“From 3pm on Friday April 30 to 11.59pm on Monday May 3 we will not be posting anything on the club’s various social media channels.

“In order for the boycott to be fully effective we have also asked all members of staff – playing and non-playing – to resist the temptation to post on their own social media accounts for the duration of the boycott.”

BT’s campaign Draw the Line will spotlight the issue across BT Sport channels for the remainder of the season and see the implementation of an Anti-Online Abuse Policy. BT will proactively respond, delete, block or report hate and abuse to ensure its own social channels are safer spaces for their communities.

Wider data from the YouGov research showed that minority groups are more likely to receive abuse, with a quarter of the population having seen racist abuse online. Women are also significantly more likely to suffer online hate, with one in five women that received online abuse saying it was about their appearance.

Draw the Line has been developed with support from Glitch, a UK charity making the internet safer for everyone. Glitch training has upskilled the BT team to become active bystanders online, as well as help develop an An AI Abuse tracker tool, which tracks the level of abuse on Twitter.

With one in seven people believing those in the public eye should expect abuse, when the BT Sport on-air team were surveyed, all reported experiencing online hate. Most controlled their exposure to comments by waiting days or weeks after a major televised event before looking at their mentions.

The YouGov survey confirmed their feedback that a huge amount of abuse is received in private, with 22% of the population having seen or received private abuse online.

For more information on the campaign and for advice on what you can do to help Draw The Line click here