RaceFans site development

RaceFans will support the ‘#Enough’ campaign against racism on social media

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    When I set up RaceFans in 2005 (back when we were still called F1 Fanatic) we didn’t even have a facility for readers to comment on articles. That came the following year, and it was a long time before anyone used it. We didn’t have a lot of readers back then!

    By 2007 we were starting to get a few comments occasionally, and by 2008 they were much more frequent. Then as now, while we welcomed the vast majority of contributions from our readers, sadly a small number of them were unacceptably hostile, or worse.

    I remember my shock the first time I discovered someone had attempted to use a racist slur on the site. It became clear to me then I had underestimated how serious the problem of racism was, and that I needed to do more to prevent those who saw my site as an place to spread abuse and hatred.

    Since then I’ve worked to facilitate a good standard of debate on RaceFans. Regular readers will have seen the changes we’ve made in this area in recent weeks, such as introducing a facility for reporting comments which do not meet our long-established policy.

    I may not always get it right. Over the years I have received various complaints that our criteria either are too tough or too lenient. Figuring out where to draw the line is a constant challenge.

    But preventing abuse, including racism, should be the minimum standard. And it is clear that several major social media platforms are not even doing as little as this. This is unacceptable and it must stop.

    Abusive, hateful, racist, sexist and other discriminatory comments which would never be permitted here regularly appear on these platforms, including in response to what we have shared on them. It’s for this reason that I wish to show support for the #Enough campaign.

    Various factors including pre-existing commitments make a full boycott impossible for us, especially given the short notice involved. RaceFans will therefore participate in the boycott from 3pm on Friday until midnight on Monday as follows:

    • No original material will be shared on RaceFans’ social media presences
    • No session commentary will be published on the RaceFansLive social media presence. This will appear here instead: https://www.racefans.net/live/f1/
    • Our social media biography pages will be revised to indicate our support for the boycott
    • Previously scheduled advertisements and automated messages will remain

    For more on the reasoning behind the boycott I recommend reading the this.

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