Football bosses demand Twitter, Facebook to tackle 'havens of abuse'

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Feb 11, 2021, 08:11 PM(IST)

Football chiefs demand Twitter, Facebook tackle 'havens of abuse' Photograph:( AFP )

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Football chiefs in England have penned a letter to the bosses of social media giants Twitter and Facebook calling for action to tackle "havens of abuse" after a series of online racist incidents.  

Football chiefs in England have penned a letter to the bosses of social media giants Twitter and Facebook calling for action to tackle "havens of abuse" after a series of online racist incidents.  

An open letter to the platforms’ chief executives Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg has asked them "for reasons of basic human decency" to address the long-term problem. 

Swansea's Yan Dhanda was the latest to face racial abuse on social media platform following his team's defeat against Manchester City in the FA Cup. A number of players including the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe along with Chelsea's Reece James have been subjected to racial abuse on social media in recent weeks.  

"The language used is debasing, often threatening and illegal," said the letter. "It causes distress to the recipients and the vast majority of people who abhor racism, sexism and discrimination of any kind. 

"We have had many meetings with your executives over the years but the reality is your platforms remain havens for abuse." 

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Signatories of the letter include Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham, Premier League CEO Richard Masters and referees chief Mike Riley. 

"Your inaction has created the belief in the minds of the anonymous perpetrators that they are beyond reach," they said. 

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The much-talked-about letter calls on the platforms to develop mechanism to tackle, filter and block posts with racist or discriminatory content while taking down offending material. An improvement in verification process to identify the account holders has also been asked by the football chiefs. 

Photo-blogging platform Instagram, owned by Facebook, on Wednesday announced new measures in a bid to tackle online abuses. 

The letter from football chiefs acknowledged the steps being taken but said "far more is needed to drive change".  

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said tech giants could face hefty fines under new legislation. 

"We're introducing a new age of accountability for these (social media) companies through our upcoming Online Safety Bill and this could see huge fines for firms which fail to clearly and transparently protect their users," he said. 

(With AFP inputs) 

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