Town and Canaries United Against Social Media Abuse
Tuesday, 6th Feb 2018 14:45
Town and Norwich City have jointly issued a warning that “totally unacceptable comment and actions on all social media platforms” ahead of the East Anglian derby at Carrow Road a week on Sunday could lead to fans facing stadium bans.
Incidents in the run-up to the Portman Road game between the sides earlier in the season led to the stance.
“Town banned two individuals from attending the derby at Portman Road in October after comments and images about former Norwich striker Justin Fashanu, while the memory of Sir Bobby Robson was also targeted,” the club said in a statement on its official website.
Town MD Ian Milne said: “Online social media has many advantages but regrettably there is the darker side and a minority use social media to post content that is threatening, obscene and hateful.
“This can provoke or encourage violence and abuse, and is often intended to cause offence to others, although content like this is condemned by the vast majority of users.
“Ipswich Town Football Club and Norwich City Football Club have come together to take action against those who post offensive remarks or pictures and those fans face a stadium ban.
“We have dealt with offenders in the past and will continue to do so. They have no place in football and we will have no hesitation in making the police aware of comments if we consider it appropriate.”
Milne’s Norwich City counterpart, Steve Stone, said: “The East Anglian derby is one of the great rivalries in English football and one to be enjoyed and celebrated in the right spirit by everybody connected with both clubs. We’re all looking forward to the latest instalment when we host Ipswich later this month.
“Unfortunately, however, when we last met at Portman Road in October there was some material posted on social media, by a tiny minority of fans of both clubs, which has no place in modern football or society in general.
“We are therefore determined to unite with Ipswich Town in dealing with this sort of material and we will issue stadium bans where we deem it appropriate. Of course in some cases, posts of this nature may fall into the realms of criminal offence and could also lead to police action.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Parkes, of Suffolk Constabulary, added: “The club has taken a really strong moral stance on this issue which has to be applauded.
“Suffolk police monitor social media in the build up to significant games. Whilst we investigate any crimes identified, my main concern is to ensure that where postings are aimed at provoking violence we notify the club straight away so that they can consider banning the offender.”
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