Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari says escalating range of sanctions need to be introduced to improve transparency over the process of dealing with cases of online racial abuse.
“Perhaps most fundamentally of all – some of the communities who may lack access to government IDs are exactly those who we strive to give a voice to on Twitter.”
Willian shared screenshots of abusive messages on his Instagram Story on Friday and added the caption: “Something needs to change! The fight against racism continues.”
Arsenal team-mate Nketiah posted on his Twitter account that it was “time for change” – a message supported by the official England account, which said: “We are with you, Eddie Nketiah. This has to stop.”
Twitter said there have been over 11m tweets about football in the UK since September, of which more than 5,000 have been removed for violating the social network’s rules.
The American company vowed to continue improvements on its own in-house technology, while working alongside the UK Government and football authorities, including anti-racism group Kick It Out.
In the statement, Twitter continued: “We are acutely aware that many high-profile users can, at times, be particularly vulnerable to abuse and harassment.
“As long as any one person is targeted with abusive behaviour on our service, our work will not be done.
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“We will continue to challenge this abhorrent behaviour at source along with our football partners and other social media companies.
“We join our partners in condemning racism and we will continue to play our part in tackling this unacceptable behaviour – both online and offline. We want to reiterate – there is no room for racist abuse on Twitter.”
‘Clubs have duty of care to players in fight against racism’
Brighton chief executive Paul Barber insists football clubs have a duty of care to their players in the fight against discrimination, but believes social media companies must do more to help that support on offer.
Social media companies have been under pressure to inflict harsher punishments on accounts that violate their rules, especially discrimination, and Barber added his voice to that calls for more help from such companies, as his club does its best to look after their employees.
Brighton chief executive Paul Barber insisted clubs need more help from social media companies in their fight to eradicate discrimination in football
“We are employers, and we have a duty of care to our staff, and those staff include our players,” Barber told
Sky Sports. “Players should not have to worry about being discriminated against just because they are footballers.
“They have the same rights as every other employee in the country and they have a right to go out and do their jobs and not suffer the kind of hate we have seen in recent weeks and months.
“Clubs can take their own actions but we need some help from the social media companies to take some responsibility for their own sites and what goes on to them and when complaints are made to get various derogatory comments taken down, they are as quickly as possible.”
Much of the abuse directed at footballers comes via platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, but Barber revealed club channels on social media and their own website are also used by abusers.
“Just this week alone we have had hundreds of posts on our own channels that have had to have been removed because they are discriminatory, abusive or in some way derogatory towards individuals,” he added. “We have had to ban individuals from those sites because they have been persistent with the abuse that they are trying to push out.
“We are now hoping that people are realising that this is unacceptable and our zero-tolerance approach will lead to sanctions within the stadium if we can then identify those individuals.”
Kick It Out reporting racism
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Kick It Out is football’s equality and inclusion organisation – working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices, and campaign for positive change. Hate Won’t Stop Us
This is the message from Sky Sports presenters and reporters, who have united in supporting a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of online hate and abuse on social media.
Sky Sports is committed to making skysports.com and our channels on social media platforms a place for comment and debate that is free of abuse, hate and profanity.
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