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RPS joins social media blackout in protest at racism and abuse online

RPS: We're disappointed that social media companies have failed to take action to address racism
RPS: We're disappointed that social media companies have failed to take action to address racism

The RPS is taking part in a collective social media blackout this weekend to challenge racism, harassment and abuse online.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) social media accounts will “remain silent” from 3pm today (May 28) until 11.59pm on Monday (May 31) “in protest at the inadequate action taken by social media platforms… to address persistent racism, harassment and abuse” online, the society said yesterday (May 27).

The RPS joins other health sector organisations the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, Royal College of Psychiatrists, British Dietetic Association, Intensive Care Society, College of Paramedics and British and Irish Orthoptic Society, in publicly challenging the issue.

“We are disappointed that social media companies have failed to take action,” the RPS said, calling for them to “take meaningful steps to resolve it”.

“They must demonstrate that they are committed to preventing and removing abuse and hateful content from their platforms,” the RPS stressed.

In a statement about this weekend’s social media blackout, the RPS said it is “committed to advocating for our members in all circumstances” and admitted it is “on our own journey with inclusion and diversity”.

“We will continue to challenge ourselves and others to do better around anti-racism and all forms of discrimination,” it stressed.

Racism in pharmacy

Last year, C+D exclusively revealed that nearly two-thirds of pharmacy staff (64%) had faced racism from patients over a six-month period. While 56% of pharmacy workers from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds had suffered racial abuse from a colleague.

Listen to the podcast below to hear how experts from across pharmacy believe pharmacy professionals can assist victims of racism.

Please note, the sound quality of this podcast may be affected as it was recorded remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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