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Ajax takes a stand against social hate

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    Strategy, Concept, Campaign, Video, Social, Design

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Ajax’s men’s and women’s teams will play without names on the back of their jerseys. Three dots will be printed on their jersey instead.

Every month, players from Ajax Amsterdam’s men’s and women’s teams receive more than 1,500 hate messages on social media. This figure is based on research data provided by the club. Unfortunately, they are not the only people to experience this kind of online hate. Social hate is a growing trend, affecting millions of people. On December 9, 2023, in an effort to silence social hate, Ajax’s men’s and women’s teams will play with three white dots instead of the usual names on their jerseys. The three dots are a globally recognised symbol representing silence. They also represent the menu icon you select to report hate messages and associated accounts.

Social problem

Social hate is a major social problem, impacting millions of people on a global scale. Research shows that 82%* of Dutch people are affected by reading hate messages or offensive comments on social media. These include threats, discrimination, harassment and other forms of aggression directed specifically at an individual or posted on another person's timeline. However, only 25% of social media users take action to stop it. This means that social media users unknowingly contribute to an environment in which social hate is becoming increasingly normalised. With its #SilenceSocialHate initiative, Ajax wants to start a discussion on the impact of social hate and how we can silence it together.

How can social media users take action?

Social hate will continue to exist for as long as we allow it to. By ensuring that hate messages are reported more often, it increases the pressure on social media platforms to remove the offensive content and improve their response to social hate. Establishing and reinforcing these boundaries, results in making social media a better place for current and future generations.

Reporting social hate is easy and anonymous. Select the menu icon (...) and click 'report’. The post or message and the associated account will now be up for review by the social media platform, as stated in their reporting policy: Facebook, Instagram, X, YouTube and TikTok.

Sports organizations are sharing the message massively.

The campaign was immediately embraced by various sports organizations, including KNVB, the Dutch National Team, the Oranje Lionesses, Eredivisie, UEFA, Cycling Team Jumbo-Visma, TeamNL - the Dutch Olympic Team, FC Copenhagen, Olympique Marseille, and various Eredivisie clubs, including PSV, FC Twente, and Ajax's opponent in that match - Sparta Rotterdam. Furthermore, the message was widely shared by politicians, national and international sports journalists, and influencers.

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