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Digital & Social Media Channels

The growth of digital and social media has been particularly significant over the last decade, and the EFL has kept pace with that change in order to provide information and engagement around our clubs and competitions.

Key messages and information is globally consumed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we have developed our online presence in order to engage supporters and provide the information they require, when and how they want to access it.

Our official EFL supporter-focused digital and social media channels are:

Website: efl.com

Facebook: @theEFL

Twitter: @EFL / @EFL_Comms

Instagram: @EFL

YouTube: /c/theEFL

TikTok: @EFL

Our digital presence is constantly evolving and expanding in order to ensure we provide the content our supporters want, while in addition to the above we also have a range of social media accounts dedicated to each of our competitions.

Supporters can also ensure they receive official email communications from the EFL by registering for newsletters at www.efl.com.

These accounts are outlets both to provide official information and news on the EFL and through which we can engage with supporters tens of thousands of posts.  Together they represent a multi-platform audience of millions of fans and while we try to answer questions as best we can via social media, supporters should be aware that the EFL cannot guarantee a response to every supporter who contacts us via these channels. Should supporters wish to receive a guaranteed response to an enquiry or complaint they should follow the procedure outlined in the Supporter Services section of the Supporter Charter and contact us by email, post or phone.

 

EFL Social Media Community Standards Guidelines

The English Football League (EFL) believes in open communication across all its channels and both shares and embraces the passion fans have for their teams, communities and game as a whole. It is the same passion that drives supporter attendance at matches around the country week in, week out, and keeps fans globally hooked on the action.

The online conversation around our game is continuously evolving and there are now multiple opportunities for engagement, from forums to podcasts, and the 24/7 use of many different social media platforms. These avenues provide a vibrant, ever-changing place for people to come together to support their Clubs and provide the opportunity to positively engage in meaningful conversations around the game we all love.

Ultimately, the EFL believes everyone has the right to express their opinions and beliefs in a respectful and tolerant way online. Football is, after all, very much a game of opinion. However, we are also aware of the potential risks associated specifically with the misuse of online platforms. Such risks might impact on any number of stakeholders, either directly or indirectly, be it Clubs, players, staff, supporters, partners or sponsors for example.

Therefore in order to strive for a safe, enjoyable and inclusive experience we continue to work with other football authorities, partners, law enforcement agencies and the technology platforms themselves to help create a positive social media environment, and we will not hesitate to report any individuals or organisations who breach official laws and guidelines.

The following guidelines offer transparency into how we hold ourselves and our communities to account for online activity. It sets out the standards the EFL expects, and will uphold, across its online channels, and outlines measures we will take to maintain these standards, along with action individuals can take to help keep all fans and participants safe online.

STANDARDS WE UPHOLD ON OUR CHANNELS

  • Impartiality - We represent the oldest football league in the world, and have a duty of care to ensure that we represent each of our Clubs, players, and staff equally across all platforms. We aim to speak in positive terms about all of our Clubs, players and match officials.
  • Respect - League football thrives on tough sporting competition with no quarter given between competing Clubs. There is a strong sense of rivalry between fans of different Clubs and we believe that to be a good thing. However, it must also be founded in decency and respect. The EFL has zero tolerance for racism, bigotry, misogyny, express or implied threats of harassment of physical harm, or hate speech. We will not tolerate comments or any form of speech - including emojis, gifs or rich media - which dehumanises, ridicules, or condones or promotes violence against a protected class of people.
  • A responsible approach - When we share content online, we represent the EFL, our people, our values. Anything that is published will be rooted in truth, without attempting to mislead followers or fans. While we may occasionally make mistakes, we will always aim to be honest and transparent and admit to them immediately, before following through with any additional courses of action which are required.
  • To uphold our values - We aim to ensure that content shared on our social media channels upholds and reflects the values listed above. Equally, we acknowledge that engagements taken from our channels such as sharing or ‘liking’ third-party content can be considered endorsements and must also reflect our core values. Additionally, our employees are aware that when they post on social media - either personally or professionally - that they represent the EFL and are the public face of our values.
  • To be fan-facing - We treat all fans and followers of our social media accounts with the respect they deserve and ask that they would do the same for us. We will not tolerate abuse against our players, Clubs or admins on social media and will treat instances of abuse in a manner consistent with the level of abuse.

UNACCEPTABLE CONTENT

The EFL will not tolerate any online behaviour on its channels that constitutes hate speech, violence, threats and criminal activity. We further define such behaviour as follows:

Hate speech describes forms of communication or expression that promotes or encourage violence, hatred or discrimination against others, particularly because of their ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, transgender identity, disability, national origin or immigration status. It can take the form of:

  • Offensive social media posts or comments
  • Direct attacks on an individual via their personal accounts
  • Threats
  • Messages or posts calling for violence
  • Links to websites with pictures, videos or words that glorify hatred against particular groups
  • Chat forums where people encourage others to commit hate crimes
  • Cyberbullying and Trolling

We define attacks as violent or dehumanising speech, harmful stereotypes, statements of inferiority, expressions of contempt, disgust or dismissal, cursing and calls for exclusion or segregation. We consider age a protected characteristic when referenced along with another protected characteristic.

We define hate crime as a crime against someone because of who they are. Characteristics covered by law include race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity and disability. When hate speech becomes a criminal offence, it is known as hate crime.

ACTION THE EFL WILL TAKE

The EFL has dedicated staff who own and oversee all content published across our social media channels, including issuing and revoking access to any necessary third parties. This team is accountable to the entire EFL and all staff and stakeholders know how to contact them with any queries.

Part of the team’s responsibility is to identify any breach of these online community standard, and both flag and take action if any content viewed on our channels is deemed to be abusive, be classed as hate speech or discriminatory as defined above. Similarly, they will work with member Clubs to advise and guide on any behaviour that is brought to the attention of the League. If such content is spotted we have the right to:

  • Capture necessary evidence
  • Remove the content
  • Block the user
  • Report the user to law enforcement
  • Share with UKFPU and other relevant stakeholders
  • Report the user to social media companies

As a further safeguard, internal reviews of our social media content are regularly undertaken to ensure it meets the high standards we hold and expect of all member Clubs. In addition the EFL regularly works with its member Clubs to advise and guide on all aspects of social media use and safety measures.

HOW TO REPORT ONLINE ABUSE

We ask all users to adhere to the same high standards we aim to uphold on our channels. Occasionally fans and users of our channels may witness comments and messages that fall short of these standards, and we want such behavior to be reported, in order for it to be removed and further action taken.

There are a number of ways users can play their part in upholding our community standards which include:

  • Reporting any abuse to the relevant Club, or League
  • Reporting any abuse to Kick It Out via their online reporting tool
  • Inform Law Enforcement of any abuse or threats (Document the violent or abusive messages with printouts or screenshots)
  • Inform the social media company whose platform the abuse was witnessed on

Any malicious content can be reported to the relevant social media platforms directly using their respective in-built tools. Further information is available via:

Twitter - https://help.twitter.com/en

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/help

Instagram - https://help.instagram.com

To report to the EFL, please email communications@efl.com

Alternatively, fans can report any online abuse to Kick It Out. They have an online reporting form which can be accessed here. In addition there is further guidance on how to report incidents of discrimination in football via their site here.

There are also various in-app safety tools available to users when using the respective social media platforms.

Twitter

Block - Block any account instantly when you don’t want someone to see your Tweets and don’t want to see theirs. Click the ‘three dots’ icon located at the top of a Tweet from the account you wish to block and select ‘Block.’

Mute – Users can mute an account if they do not want to see their Tweets, but don’t want to unfollow the account or don't want them to know they're blocked. From a Tweet or profile page, click the ‘three dots’ icon and click ‘Mute.’ Users can also mute particular words, conversations, phrases, usernames, emojis, or hashtags. Go to ‘Mute and Block’ in ‘Privacy and Safety’ settings review.

Conversation Settings – Before sending a Tweet, users can decide who will be able to reply to it. Users will see a default setting of ‘Everyone can reply’ next to a globe icon in the compose Tweet box. Tapping this prior to posting allows users to choose who can reply to them.

Hide Replies - Tweet authors have the option to hide replies to their Tweets. From a reply to one of your Tweets, click or tap the ‘downwards arrow’ icon. Select hide reply and confirm.

Notification filters - Filter the accounts you see in your notifications. Users can decide not to see Tweets that mention them from people who haven't confirmed their email or phone number or from new accounts. You can access advanced filter settings by navigating to ‘Settings and Privacy’ > ‘Privacy and Safety’ > ‘Notifications’ > ‘Advanced filters’

Instagram

Message controls - All Instagram accounts in the UK have the ability to filter Direct Messages (DMs). Users can use the platform’s default list of potentially offensive terms, and add their own words/emojis to the filter. With the feature on, users can still report messages that contain potentially offensive terms, but without having to see the message.

Settings > Privacy > Hidden Words > Hide Message Requests

Comment controls – Just add emojis, words or phrases you find offensive to your comment filter, and no comment containing these terms will appear under your posts.

Settings > Privacy > Hidden Words > Manage Custom Word List

Who can message - All accounts on Instagram have the option to switch off Direct Messages (DMs) from people they don’t follow.

Settings > Privacy > Messages

Who can comment – In addition to filtering comments that contain certain words, phrases or emojis, (as above), users can control who can comment on their posts. Users can also access comment controls within a comment section of their own post.

Settings > Privacy > Comments

Blocking profiles and accounts – Users can block people to prevent contact from those they do not wish to interact with on Facebook or Instagram. Blocking someone also means they cannot search for the user’s profile. When blocking someone, users will also have the option to pre-emptively block new accounts that person may create.

REVIEW

The social media landscape is constantly evolving and changing; therefore these guidelines must evolve and change with them. They will be reviewed at least once per year, published on our website and all EFL employees will be provided with access to a copy for reference.

We will continue to uphold these standards to ensure our social media channels reflect the passion, hope, and excitement of our competitions and the game as a whole and strive to offer a safe and positive space for every single fan of all of our Clubs.