Southampton fans are being encouraged to raise awareness of football-related social media discrimination via the #KlickItOut campaign.
The sport’s equality and social-inclusion organisation, Kick It Out, are encouraging supporters to use the hashtag to help reduce, and also to report, incidents of abuse online.
Fans can also show their backing by sharing their “we need to #KlickItOut” message on social media.
Since 2014, Kick It Out has spoken about the issue of online discrimination.
The challenge for the organisation is that incidents occurring on social media do not fall under any football regulation, unless it can be proved that the individual involved is a participant under English football jurisdiction.
This means Kick It Out cannot use its normal route of reporting. As a result, it has taken steps towards implementing a structure to deal with complaints.
During Euro 2016, Kick It Out, alongside Brandwatch, a world leading social intelligence and analytics company, are monitoring social media discrimination aimed at selected players competing in the tournament, to further analyse the problem.
This follows on from research published in April 2015, which highlighted the true extent of discrimination towards Premier League clubs and players.
Staff from The FA, the Premier League, the PFA and The Football League, alongside Kick It Out representatives, all form part of the social media expert group which was established in 2015. The group also features Twitter and Facebook, the Government and selected experts in their field to share best practices and plan to minimise discrimination on social media.
Roisin Wood, Kick It Out director said: “We want this campaign to illustrate the level of discrimination that still occurs on social media that is a stain on football.
“At Kick It Out, we don’t have the power to change laws, but we hope our campaign shows how serious the problem is and the devastating impact it can have on people. This problem needs to be addressed now.”
For more information on the campaign, visit klickitout.org
Southampton FC also encourages fans to contact us directly if they have concerns relating to discrimination or abuse. Full details can be found by clicking here.