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Klopp Talk: On Social Media Abuse and the Boycott

In the face of a lack of action by social media platforms against online abuse, Liverpool FC and its players will boycott these platforms.

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A cell phone shows the mobile Twitter app, highlighting a tweet by Liverpool FC clarifying that they will take part in a social media boycott. Picture date: Friday April 30, 2021.
A cell phone shows the mobile Twitter app, highlighting a tweet by Liverpool FC clarifying that they will take part in a social media boycott. Picture date: Friday April 30, 2021.
Photo by Tim Goode/PA Images via Getty Images

Jürgen Klopp is not one for social media, as he has said again and again — a position reinforced by his lack of social media profiles (that anyone can find).

Nonetheless, the Liverpool boss has found himself speaking on social media abuse often this season, as the issue has captured and retained the attention of fans, players, and the wider media.

Speaking to the press ahead of Sunday’s match away at Old Trafford, Klopp doubled down on the importance of the boycott.

“So, I think I said it before, I’m not the most experienced person with social media things. But, of course, we had cases where players faced some weird things on social media.

“Yes, I had some talks as well with the boys then, didn’t happen too often actually because we have a pretty good set-up for that, we have smarter people than me, people who know better about the issues could show up and all these kind of things.

“The world of a football player is anyway a pretty public world and you can ask players from the past what kind of life they had around football games and how much joy they had around that, that has all disappeared, that cannot happen anymore for a lot of reasons – and one of them is social media.

But anyway it’s used by a lot of people on this planet, so it’s a very important thing to do and I support, obviously, the boycott, the club supports the boycott.

“I’m happy that we all together sent a sign because things in this department, for sure, need to change. We cannot influence all of it but as much power as we have as a unit, or as a society, we should try to use in this moment. I really hope it has an impact.”

This desire for targeted action by social media companies echoes the manager’s previous comments on the subject. After multiple players were on the receiving end of racist abuse online, both the manager and the club have previously expressed frustration with the lack of action (and punishment) resulting from such abuse.

We all hope, just as Klopp does, that the present boycott forces the hand of thus far inactive social media companies and results in meaningful change.