Former England and Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand says football fans have the power to change the world and if football clubs have the courage to “break free from the norm” they can harness that fan power .
He spoke about the impact of social media after Crystal Palace recently became the first Premier League club to join new social media platform WeAre8.
WeAre8, according to its press release, puts the power back in the hands of users and gives them more control over the content they view. Ferdinand, who has also joined the app, says Crystal Palace’s decision to join “a platform that wants to stamp out hate and use social media to create real change in the world” shows that its team The Premier League has a duty of care to its fans.
His support for the app stems from the failure of social media giants like Facebook and Instagram to stamp out hate speech, which he says he believes the big platforms can stop but don’t have the desire to.
Sometimes, as in the case of the racist abuse England penalty takers received at Euro 2020, these cases are highlighted in the media, but Ferdinand says there are “a lot more cases that happen that people just don’t talk about because the biggest names in the world don’t.”
During his visit to Crystal Palace, Rio Ferdinand met with coach Patrick Vieira. The two have had many “big, tough battles” during their careers, with Ferdinand saying that when he was at West Ham, he believed Vieira dominated the games against them for Arsenal, but games between the Gunners and Manchester United was “a bit more. an even keel’.
However, they have a lot in common when it comes to their views on social media, especially the need to protect their young children from images and videos they have no control over.
Ferdinand says Vieira was looking for an “antidote” to this problem. He added that he’s also not comfortable with whether the content aimed at his kids is the right type of content for kids, adding that “a lot of times it’s not.”
He also said Vieira mentioned how online abuse can affect the mood in the locker room when some players pick up their phones once they’re in the locker room and can’t help but see comments about their performance.
That’s one of the reasons he joined the Weare8 platform, which he says has a “different energy” than other platforms because “you don’t have the people who can hate and dislike and change your day with a comment”.
When it comes to tackling issues like online abuse, Ferdinand says he wants to use football and his profile to empower people and bring them together to tackle the world’s biggest problems. He says football is evolving and fans have “much more power than they know” and that they can play a part and change the world.
(tags For Translation) Rio Ferdinand