Rangers signed off from their channels on Friday afternoon with a strong message from Steven Gerrard about the aim of the social media boycott [Rangers FC Twitter].
Football clubs across the UK, as well many teams and bodies in other sports, are boycotting sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter from 3pm on Friday afternoon to 11.59pm on Monday.
The SPFL released a statement earlier this week that asserted that members clubs would take part and Rangers confirmed their involvement with a brief statement of their own on Friday morning [Rangers.co.uk].
The boycott is aimed at bringing an end to abuse and discrimination on social media platforms and it follows a week-long blackout from Rangers players and staff members earlier this month.
After confirming that they would fall in line with other British clubs on the matter, Rangers covered the pre-Old Firm press conference on Twitter, with Steven Gerrard and James Tavernier addressing the media.
Several promotional tweets regarding Sunday’s Old Firm followed and then the club signed off at 2.59pm with a strong quote from the manager.
“You hope the social media companies will listen and take note. The more noise we make together will send a message that we will keep pushing for change.”
🗣️ Steven Gerrard: 'You hope the social media companies will listen and take note. The more noise we make together will send a message that we will keep pushing for change.'#EveryoneAnyone #FootballUnites pic.twitter.com/4c6g0x47UR
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 30, 2021
The boycott means that the build-up to Sunday’s Old Firm will be rather different than what many supporters are used to.
However, there’s something bigger being tackled here, and the decision has been received positively not just by Bears but by football fans across the UK.
Perhaps mass action like this by clubs and players with big followings will finally force the social media giants into meaningful action.