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Football and rugby clubs join social media boycott from 3pm today as part of a drive to tackle online hate on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter

By Craig Christie

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SCOTTISH Rugby and north football clubs are among sporting bodies, clubs and organisations boycotting social media this weekend.

Scottish Rugby have joined the social media blackout.
Scottish Rugby have joined the social media blackout.

The blackout is part of a nationwide drive aimed at tackling online abuse and hate.

Elgin City have joined Scottish football clubs closing down their social media communication from 3pm today until just before midnight on Monday May 3.

An Elgin City statement read: "This comes as a response to the continued racist and discriminatory online abuse of football players, staff, supporters and others in the game.

"We stand with clubs across the country, including the SFA, the SPFL, PFA Scotland, Scottish Women's Football and Show Racism the Red Card who will all switch off their social media activity."

Elgin's match at Edinburgh City on Saturday will be streamed live by the host club and match updates will be available via City's website.

Highland League clubs will close down their social media accounts for the weekend.
Highland League clubs will close down their social media accounts for the weekend.

Highland League football's management committee agreed unanimously to join all member clubs in operating a ban on social media posts until Monday.

A spokesperson 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."

A similar move by Scottish Rugby has been supported by both pro-clubs, Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors and all professional players via Rugby Players Scotland.

All associated social media accounts in support of the venture will fall silent from 3pm this afternoon.

The rugby governing body is urging all its member clubs to consider following suit.

The Scottish Rugby, Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors websites will remain in action and supporters may still receive digital communications from all three.

Scottish Rugby Board chairman, John Jeffrey, said: “We know rugby excites passion but there is absolutely no place in our game for anyone to peddle hate and abuse online.

“Scottish Rugby is open to everyone. We are committed to enhancing inclusion and diversity in our sport and to underline our determination that our social media platforms should be safe and welcoming spaces for all.”

Tim Swinson, Chairman of Rugby Players Scotland said: “All our members fully support Scottish Rugby in this initiative and in recognising the importance of inclusion and diversity for the development of the sport.”

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