Every month, Ajax players receive more than 1,500 hateful messages on social media. This was revealed by an investigation carried out by the Dutch team, which in this context decided to launch an initiative "to silence" that attitude: it decided that the players of the institution will wear a special kit this Saturday, with three dots on the upper part of the back instead of their names.
The matches against Sparta Rotterdam for the men, and against PSV Eindhoven for the women, both in the Eredivisie, the local league, then served to make a call aimed at silencing that hatred and putting the spotlight on a very big social problem, even in the Netherlands.
What does the symbol used mean? The three dots make up the international symbol of silence. In addition, it is the menu icon that you click to report hate messages and the accounts associated with them.
Social hate will continue for as long as we allow it to.
Let's silence it together. See it. Report it. pic.twitter.com/rwfa0BtuHp
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) December 9, 2023
Research conducted by the Amsterdam-based institution revealed that 82% of Dutch people are annoyed by encountering hateful messages or comments on social media, including threats, discrimination and other forms of aggression directed personally at someone or visible on someone else's timeline. Importantly, only 25% take action to end this.
This scenario unconsciously contributes to an environment in which hate on social media is perceived as normal.
With the action #SilenceSocialHate, Ajax sought to start a dialogue about the impact of hate on social media and how it can be combated.
— Ajax Vrouwen (@AjaxVrouwen) December 9, 2023
Certain that hate on social media will persist as long as it remains allowed, the Dutch club stressed that the more hate messages that are reported, the more social media platforms will be urged to remove them. By defining these boundaries, we want social media to become a better place both today and in the future.
Reporting hate on social media is easy and can be done anonymously. Select the social media menu icon (...) and click on "report". The message and account will then be reviewed by the platforms, as stated in their reporting policies.