The Trust fully understands that being a Fulham fan goes way beyond the match going experience. The latest FST Survey conducted in early 2021 showed that 53% of Fulham fans used unofficial social media and 20% used forums to keep up to date with Fulham news and interact with other supporters.
These places are thriving communities for Fulham fans to come together to share news, stories and information but also where opinions can be debated.
However, we all know football is an emotive subject can lead to confrontations online between supporters that have never met. Things are often said that the person writing would be unlikely to ever say to another person face to face and unaware of the impact it can have on the reader. Some comments and/or behaviour online can cause offence or considerable harm to that person and in a lot of cases, make the person feel unsafe.
The Fulham Supporters’ Trust has outlined some simple steps to take if you are the victim of such behaviour.
Simple steps to help to avoid bullying and harassment online
ONLY REVEAL INFORMATION ONLINE THAT YOU WANT OTHERS TO KNOW
Remember everything you say online can be read by everyone, not just the intended reader
An abusive user might use certain information against you
DO NOT RESPOND TO NEGATIVE POSTS
Consider whether the person speaking with you online is interested in reasoned discussion
It is often not worth it
Walk away and think again before replying
Responding with hostility could provoke people, only making things worse
Platforms can restrict their access as punishment for bad behaviour
It might act as a deterrent as well as keeping others safe
What can you do if you are affected by someone on social media?
The same laws apply in person as they do online for harassment.
If a person sends you threatening, abusive or offensive messages via Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site, they could be committing an offence.
The Metropolitan Police outlines:
The most relevant offences are harassment and malicious communications. For harassment to be committed, there must have been a clear course of conduct. That is, two or more related occurrences. The messages do not necessarily have to be violent in nature, but would need to have caused some alarm or distress.
If there has only been a single communication, it’s unlikely it would qualify as harassment, but could be considered a malicious communication. For such an offence to be committed, a message must be sent to another person, or sent via a public communications network, that is indecent, grossly offensive, obscene, threatening or menacing.
How can you report someone?
You can report harassment or malicious messaging online HERE or by calling the non-emergency line 101.
Fulham Football Club and online behaviour
Unless the incident occurred whilst on the premises of Craven Cottage, the training ground at Motspur Park, at an event run by Fulham Football Club or involves a staff member, the football club cannot enter proceedings or investigations into the matter. However, if as a result of online behaviour from a fellow match-going supporter you feel unsafe about going to Fulham matches or related events, then please get in touch with the Football Club directly using their enquiries email address and necessary steps may be taken to help.
The National Cyber Security Centre has an excellent resource on how to manage your privacy settings on popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Whilst The Fulham Supporters’ Trust does not solicit individual cases, we encourage fans to get in touch with us if they are having problems or want to raise issues.