Twitter Under Pressure Over Footballer Abuse

Twitter Under Pressure Over Footballer Abuse Photo: TT
Twitter Under Pressure Over Footballer Abuse

The UK government, the football authorities and campaign groups are putting pressure on Twitter to do more to stop the racial abuse of players on the social media platform, which is in danger of becoming a torrent at the moment.

Now scarcely a day goes by when a player of BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) origin is not subject to vile abuse from social media users who post from anonymous accounts.

Football believes that anonymous users should be outlawed, but Twitter is holding firm for the moment.

They contend that protection of users identify is one of their fundamental values, and that people should be free to post content without having to provide a government ID first. They also argue that the sue of pseudonyms has helped protesters stand up to oppressive regimes, and the same freedoms should be extended to those in liberal democracies.

The American company though has promised to work with the UK government, the football authorities, and the anti-racist group Kick It Out to try and address the problem.

Some might argue that Twitters arguments do not necessarily hold water, Footballers have as much right as anybody else to use social media without fear of being subject to abuse because of the colour of their skin, racial ethnicity, or personal beliefs. And were the perpetrators to make the same comments publicly, then they could potentially face prosecution.

It is precisely because they feel that they can get away with it that they feel emboldened to go as far as some of them do.

Australia has adopted a radically different approach to the issue.

They have just passed a law that requires social media platforms, internet service providers and other online platforms to remove abusive or bullying content within 24 hours or face hefty fines and suspension of service.

Individual users who post such content will also be fined heavily.

Some now believe the UK should follow suit.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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