Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston has urged social media companies to join forces with football authorities and find “quicker solutions” to tackle racist abuse on their platforms.
Current and former footballers, along with Huddleston, representatives of the FA, Premier League, EFL and Kick it Out sat down with these companies to discuss and hear the effects of abuse within the game suffered online.
Social media companies, who were not present at the first meeting arranged by the government held in January, heard the views of all in attendance at the virtual meeting on Thursday.
After the meeting, Sports Minister Huddleston took to Twitter to make a plea to social media companies, saying: “Racism plaguing players on social media has reached a crisis point.
1/2 Racism plaguing players on social media has reached a crisis point.
Today I urged tech platforms and football authorities to join forces and work together to create real change and help tackle this now. pic.twitter.com/eEgY2L8iFF
— Nigel Huddleston MP #GetTheJab (@HuddlestonNigel) April 22, 2021
“Today I urged tech platforms and football authorities to join forces and work together to create real change and help tackle this now.
“Government is playing its part too. This year we’re introducing new laws to tackle abuse on social media – but there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be immediate action from tech firms before that to bring about quicker solutions to this abhorrent behaviour.”
At the first meeting, Jordan Henderson, Tyrone Mings, Karen Carney and Troy Deeney gave evidence.
Ministers are keen to hear further evidence from all those concerned, with The Online Harms bill due before parliament as soon as is practicable.
Ministers are keen to further hear evidence of all concerned in efforts to combat online hate.
Instagram reveals new measures to combat social media abuse
Instagram says it empathises with footballers and clubs taking part in social media boycotts, in order to make a stand against racial abuse online.
In recent weeks a number of players, including former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry have quit online platforms over a lack of action from technology companies. So too have clubs like Swansea City, Birmingham City and Rangers.
In response, Instagram’s policy manager, Fadzai Madzingira told Sky Sports News: “I empathise with a lot of the frustrations. I think the interesting thing with the boycotts is that in the past often boycotts are because people disagree. In this case, we are on the same side.
“We want to work towards having a platform that doesn’t have this sort of abuse on it. People shouldn’t have to deal with this sort of abuse.
“We welcome conversations on how we can continue to improve our product and how we can work on tools to make people safe.
“The whole point of social media is making sure people do have a voice to make a stand. From our side, we recognise this is part of a wider conversation to raise awareness.”
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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.