THE world of sport in the UK fell silent on social media during the Bank Holiday weekend, calling for big tech companies to tackle abuse and discrimination on their platforms.

Players, clubs, athletes, pundits, and a number of sporting bodies joined the four-day silence on Friday, while football clubs changed their Twitter feed icons into a blacked-out version of their logo.

Reacting to the boycott, councillor Stuart Carroll, lead member for adult social care, children’s services, health, and mental health, deemed this stance as a ‘relative success’, but thinks social media giants, like Twitter and Facebook, need a ‘deep clean’.

He said: “The boycott has raised more awareness, the issue, and the point of the vociferous sentiment that a huge proportion of the world and society will not accept this anymore, and I think that’s a really positive thing.

“It’s coming together as one to deal with this issue.

“Whether it will prove to be an absolute success is now over to the social media providers and internet providers.”

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The Royal Borough councillor added more boycotts are ‘on the table’ as he fears this type of online behaviour could be ‘normalised’ if little to no action is taken.

He and Joy Morrissey MP for Beaconsfield have launched a campaign demanding social media companies and internet providers to do more to regulate posts before they go up rather than delete racist and abusive comments retrospectively where they can be screenshot or potentially trend.

Cllr Carroll said: “Of course, we all want to protect freedom of speech and the opportunity for people to engage on social media but if social media providers are incapable, incompetent, or unwilling then governments will have to step in because we cannot allow a lawless, unregulated vacuum on social media – which is damaging people and their mental health enormously.

“Social media providers do need to step up here and I think they have been wheeling out sugary excuses for far too long.”

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One of the actions Cllr Carroll has called for social media giants to adopt is for users to verify themselves when setting up an account to weed out anonymous and fake accounts that are spreading hate speech and misinformation.

Cllr Carroll said: “If you remove that, you don’t remove the entirety of the problem, but you will significantly cut off the oxygen supply to these trolls and people committing these crimes, and, therefore, that’s an obvious step to take.

“Yes, you’re going to get people who are silly and stupid enough to do it but you start isolating the problem and stop making it the easy problem that it is.

“Yes, you’re going to have people who will attempt to fake identification to get an account but if you keep making it more and more difficult and keep raising the stakes around the criminal activity that’s being engaged in.

“The more and more you do that, the more you can start cleaning up social media and it needs a very serious deep clean because it has, frankly, got out of hand.”