Friday 30 April 2021

#Stoponlineabuse - Barneteye to boycott Twitter and Facebook to support the campaign

From 3pm today until Midnight on Monday, Football will be observing a social media blackout on Facebook and Twitter to oppose racism. The Barnet Eye will be participating in this. (We will continue to publish blogs on the Blogger platform as this is a publishing platform, rather than an interactive Social Media platform).

For the duration of this period we will not engage at all with Twitter or Facebook. We are following the example of football clubs, such as Manchester City FC.

On line abuse has been a particular problem in Mill Hill over the last two years. Once again, we have been contacted by locals, with concerns about the subject. We tweeted this response today, as the necessary actions are clear and simple

We apologise for any inconvenience caused to regular readers. We will not be running our popular Tweets of the week this week. For us, this a very inconvenient time. I am standing for Edgware ward in a Barnet Council By Election next Thursday and social media would normally be a massive tool for engagement. However, there are bigger issues in society than my campaign. If we can't set an example, why should anyone support us. 

There is no place for racism in our society. I was contacted by Mr Romel Miah, a well respected local restaurant owner, who has been targetted by a racist and islamaphobe Mill Hill Twitter and called the Day of the Raj an "extremist takeaway" on Twitter yesterday.  To imply that Mr Miah is an extremist, solely because he is a Muslim is a truly vile slur and a complete misrepresentation. Mr Miah was absolutley furious to be targetted in such a way. I advised him to report the account to the Police and Twitter. We will see if any action is taken. 

I have known Romel for nearly 30 years. His father opened The Day of the Raj in Mill Hill in 1985. Romel is one of the most decent people I know and has recently won awards for community work. When we arranged a multi faith religious service for local Hindu shop worker Vijay Patel, who was killed in his shop by thugs, Mr Miah donated a buffet spread free of charge. That is not the work of anyone other than an honest and genuine community hero. 

I urge everyone in Mill Hill to shun any account that uses such language to describe anyone. For the record, Mr Miah is not a member of the Barnet Lib Dems. His restaurant has hosted meals for Tories, Labour and Lib Dems (and all three following a hustings debate at Hartley Hall a few years back. 

Facebook and Twitter need a detox. We need to see people who post islamaphobic, anto semitic and racist tweets banned. We need Twitter to enforce their own community rules. We need Facebook to take down hate sites. I believe in Free Speech, but not incitement and slander. That is why I will not be looking at Twitter or Facebook until Tuesday morning. I don't think my weekend will be any worse for that. 


Roger Tichborne is the Liberal Democrat Candidate for Edgware Ward in the May 6th By Election. Roger has run Mill Hill Music Complex sudios since 1979. He attended Orange Hill School and as a teenager lived in Warwick Avenue, in Broadfields.

This article was published and promoted by Roger Tichborne on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, 29 Millway, London, NW7 3QR

No comments: