Prince William is taking a stand against the online abuse received by the football community in England by going on a social media hiatus for four days.
The Duke of Cambridge announced on Twitter that he will be absent from social media in support of the football community's social media boycott. He wrote in a tweet last Friday, "As President of the FA I join the entire football community in the social media boycott this weekend."
He also made the same announcement on Instagram, as he promised to dedicate himself to the social media boycott "from 3 pm on Friday 30 April to 11.59 pm on Monday 3 May, in response to the sustained abuse received online by players and many others in the football community."
Prince William's social media hiatus comes at the heels of Manchester City soccer star Raheem Sterling's plea for social media companies to "do more" to address bullying and racism.
On his Instagram post, the 26-year-old Premier League player asked firms to "put stronger preventative and takedown measures in place to stop discriminatory abuse being sent or seen." He also asked that they "be accountable for safety on platforms and protect users by implementing effective verification."
Lastly, Sterling asked the companies to "ensure real-life consequence for online discriminatory abuse" including banning perpetrators, stopping their account re-registration, and aiding law enforcement. He added the hashtags #Enough and #StopOnlineAbuse.
The Duke of Cambridge had spoken up against "despicable" comments made towards athletes of colour in England four months prior. He asked for the "racist abuse—whether on the pitch, in the stands, or on social media," to stop.
"We all have a responsibility to create an environment where such abuse is not tolerated, and those who choose to spread hate and division are held accountable for their actions. That responsibility extends to the platforms where so much of this activity now takes place," he tweeted in January and commended "all those players, supporters, clubs, and organizations who continue to call out and condemn this abuse in the strongest terms."
Prince William's social media boycott coincides with Princess Charlotte's birthday on May 2. He and Kate Middleton normally share on Twitter and Instagram portraits of their children to celebrate their birthdays. The Royal Family shared the photo instead on social media, along with a birthday greeting for the now six-year-old princess.