English football, sporting organisations and people across the world united over the weekend to boycott social media, challenging platforms to do more to stop online discriminatory abuse.
Alongside the Premier League and its clubs, we now call on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to use their power to affect change and ensure there are real-life sanctions for online hate.
At Chelsea FC, we recognise that we cannot stand still while those companies respond to our request for action. We are therefore presenting a new Social Media Policy for fans to provide guidance on engaging with the Club, our players, staff and other fans on social media. This policy also sets out the action we will take, and the action we ask you as fans to take, in response to online discriminatory abuse.
The Social Media Policy (set out below) is the next step in our No To Hate campaign, through which we will continue to work to create a social media environment where hateful and discriminatory actions are as unacceptable online as they would be on the street.
Social Media Policy
Guidance for Chelsea FC fans
At Chelsea Football Club, we believe social media is an important means of connecting with our fans and communities all over the world. We use our channels on social media platforms to inform and entertain, to share our stories and make you as fans feel welcome, valued and included as a part of this Club.
Social media also provides us with an opportunity to engage with each other, and we greatly welcome discussion, debate and opinion on our channels that is responsible and respectful. Nonetheless, we recognise that social media can be a place where interaction is not respectful. We are all too aware that social media platforms can, and have, been used to post and amplify hate, abuse and discrimination.
Chelsea FC is clear that there can be no place in our game, nor our society, for racism, antisemitism, homophobia, sexism or any form of discrimination. In sport, as in wider society, we must create a social media environment where hateful and discriminatory actions are as unacceptable online as they would be on the street.
This Social Media Policy for Chelsea FC Fans therefore provides guidance on engaging with the Club, its players, staff and other fans on social media, and sets out the action we will take, and the action we ask you as fans to take, to ensure that our collective experience on social media is as positive, inclusive, safe and as healthy as can be.
We also have a number of social media channels in local languages for our fans across the world.
Guidance for fans
As a Club, we are committed to embedding equality, diversity and inclusion into everything we do. We are also committed to fighting racism, and all forms of discrimination wherever we find it.
We would therefore ask our fans to reflect the Club’s values and beliefs when engaging online, whether that is with the Club, with each other, or with anyone else online. We will use our channels and platforms to promote tolerance, respect and fairness, and we ask our fans to join us in saying no to hate, abuse and discrimination in any form.
For more information on the Club’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work please see:
What we will do
We believe social media companies must do more to tackle hateful, abusive and discriminatory behaviour on their platforms. Nonetheless, as a Club, we are committed to taking action and playing our part.
We will consider taking action against individuals or groups who produce or disseminate social media posts that contravene the Club’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies and our actions to fight discrimination. We will not tolerate discriminatory online abuse of our players, coaches, staff and family members.
We will examine complaints on a case by case basis, and will investigate if we believe the posts or content:
- Contravene our values and our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies
- Bring the Club into disrepute, and/or;
- Target our players, coaches, staff and/or family members
- Deleting discriminatory posts on social media platforms, where possible
- Blocking the individuals or groups from following our global social media accounts
- Banning the individuals or groups from attending Chelsea FC matches
- Reporting the individuals or groups to the social media platform
- Reporting the individuals or groups to the police if we have grounds to believe a crime has been committed
- Working with the police and authorities to support prosecutions
We will do everything reasonably practical to protect the Club, its players, staff and its fans from discriminatory online abuse. The sheer volume of posts and content on our social media channels means that it is not possible or realistic for the Club to intervene in every situation. The decision on whether to take action will remain at the Club’s sole discretion. Any decision not to act does not constitute an endorsement of the content under complaint by the Club.
As part of our No To Hate campaign, we have also committed to engaging the early warning risk intelligence agency Crisp to help us identify, report and, where possible and dependent on platform functionality, remove hateful and discriminatory posts. Crisp will also help us by offering our players individual and bespoke support to identify and report hateful and discriminatory comments posted to their digital channels.
We will support the Premier League and all relevant authorities when they report incidents of discriminatory online abuse to the relevant social media platforms and where they decide investigation and legal action are appropriate.
What you can do
You can block users and report incidents to social media platforms
We strongly advise that should you receive or witness hateful, discriminatory and/or abusive comments or content online, you report this to the relevant social media platform. Each platform has its own reporting mechanism, and we have listed these below for ease of use:
- Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/help/181495968648557/
- Twitter - https://help.twitter.com/en/safety-and-security#sensitive-content
- Instagram - https://help.instagram.com/contact/383679321740945
- YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/intl/en-GB/about/policies/#reporting-and-enforcement
- Snapchat - https://support.snapchat.com/en-US/i-need-help
- TikTok - https://support.tiktok.com/en/safety-hc/report-a-problem
You can report incidents to the Club
If you witness discriminatory online abuse related to Chelsea FC, staff, players or supporters, we ask that you also report these to the Club via the web form at the following address: chelseafc.com/reportabuse
When contacting us, please share details of the content and screenshots of any offensive social media posts where possible. The Club will acknowledge receipt of your complaint and respond directly if we require further information in order to investigate.
We will look at every complaint and if we do not respond this does not necessarily mean that we have not taken action, or that the Club endorses the incident or content under complaint.
You should report crimes to the Police
You should report incidents directly to the police if you have been a victim of a crime or you feel a crime has been committed through social media.
You can also report incidents to the Metropolitan Police via Twitter. To do so, please send a direct message to the @MetCC account.
More information from the Metropolitan Police on reporting hate crimes or harassment is provided below.
Reporting hate crimes:
Reporting harassment on social media:
You can report incidents to Kick it Out
Incidents can also be reported to Kick it Out, English football’s equality and inclusion organisation, via this online form: https://www.kickitout.org/forms/online-reporting-form
Advice for parents
Parents should be aware of the use of social media by children who may be particularly susceptible to harmful content online and we recommend that parents appropriately supervise this usage.
The NSPCC provides useful resources on keeping children safe online: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/