Anti-bullying charity calls for Premier League social media boycott in response to online racist abuse


Black Premier League stars like Marcus Rashford have been targeted with racist online abuse (Photo: Getty)

An anti-discrimination charity has called for a Premier League-wide boycott of social media, in response to widespread online racist abuse.

Kick It Out, which campaigns against racist abuse in football, has called for clubs to follow the lead of Swansea, Birmingham and Rangers, which are boycotting social platforms for one week.

The move comes after a spate of racist abuse directed at black Premier League football players.

Stars like Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Chelsea’s Reece James have described racist messages they had and continue to receive on Instagram.

While Rashford chose not to share the abuse he received, saying it ‘would be irresponsible to do so’, the England star said the messages were ‘humanity and social media at its worst’.

At the time, he tweeted: ‘Yes I’m a black man and I live every day proud that I am. No one, or no one comment, is going to make me feel any different. So sorry if you were looking for a strong reaction, you’re just simply not going to get it here.’

Other Premier League footballers targeted with racist abuse include West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers and United duo Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial.

After Rashford’s statement, the FA reiterated its commitment to clamping down on discrimination of all kinds.

Instagram removed the account targeting Rashford at the time, but conceded that there was ‘more to do’ to tackle the problem.

Kick It Out boss Tony Burnett said the boycotts are a mark of the ‘absolute disgust’ felt by members of the football community at the racist abuse.

He added that he felt racist abuse had only increased since the FA wrote to Facebook and Twitter in February about the changes they wanted to see to reduce abuse.

Much of the abuse has taken place on Instagram (Photo: Getty)

‘I keep hearing stats from social media companies talking about how many posts they have taken down before they get to an individual – that’s irrelevant,’ Burnett said.

‘The posts that cause the offence and cause the hurt and cause the pain are the ones that get through.

‘They’re still getting through in numbers which are just inexplicable so not enough is being done, and I’m sick of platitudes on this, we want to see action.

‘We support football and our partners in football that are taking direct action. If that’s a boycott, fantastic, we’ll get absolutely behind you on it.’

Talks have reportedly been underway between Premier League clubs for a league-wide boycott of social media platforms.

Other players have tried to raise awareness through other means, like Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who gave control of his Twitter account to anti-cyberbullying charity Cybersmile, to raise awareness.

On Henderson’s account, the charity shared an interview from ex-England striker Ian Wright, who described the abuse he had received online.

Instagram have previously acknowledged that ‘racist online abuse targeted at footballers in the UK’ was a problem and said they don’t ‘want this behaviour on Instagram’.

‘The abuse we’re seeing is happening a lot in people’s Direct Messages (DMs), which is harder to address than comments on Instagram,’ the company said in a previous statement.

Instagram claims that conversations in direct messages aren’t monitored by the same technologies used to detect racist content in comments and captions on the app.

In response to reports of racist abuse on the app, Instagram announced in February changes to the platform, including ‘new controls’ to help reduce abuse.

But many in the football community haven’t seen a reduction in abuse since the changes.


MORE : Man charged by West Midlands Police over racist abuse of West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers on social media


MORE : West Brom contact police as Callum Robinson is subjected to vile racist abuse after win over Chelsea





READ SOURCE

READ  Google Photos may require a subscription for filters, editing features: Report

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here