Twitter bosses have said that the United Kingdom was “by far” the biggest origin of “abhorrent racist abuse” on its platform when a trio of black players were targeted following England’s Euro 2020 final defeat last month.
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho and Arsenal prodigy Bukayo Saka were all sickeningly abused on social media after missing spot kicks against Italy, finding themselves bombarded with emojis of bananas and monkeys among other vile messages.
In the 24 hours that followed the Three Lions’ heartbreak at Wembley Stadium, Twitter had to remove 1,622 tweets, but claimed identify verification, as has been called for by many, “would have been unlikely to prevent the abuse”.
“Of the permanently suspended accounts, 99 percent of their owners were identifiable,” the social media platform added.
Today, We want to share an overview of our analysis of the abhorrent racist abuse directed at England players during the Euro 2020 Final last month, and an update of the ongoing steps we’ve put in place since February to protect the public conversation in the UK.
— Twitter UK (@TwitterUK) August 10, 2021
Twitter says “the UK was – by far – the largest country of origin” for online racist abuse sent to England footballers following the Euro 2020 finals on 11 July.99% accounts which Twitter suspended were not anonymous. Abusers act with impunity, without fear – this must end now
— Claudia Webbe MP (@ClaudiaWebbe) August 10, 2021
Police were reported to have arrested 11 people over the incidents last week, with Twitter adding: “While many have quite rightly highlighted the global nature of the conversation, it is also important to acknowledge the UK was – by far – the largest country of origin for the abusive tweets we removed.
“Since our update in February, we’ve improved our proactive tools to identify racist abuse and removed just under 13,000 Tweets – of which 95 percent were identified proactively.
“Soon we will be testing a new product feature that temporarily autoblocks accounts using harmful language.
“We’re determined to do all we can, along with our partners, to stop these abhorrent views and behaviors being seen on and off the platform.”
With the new season in England set to get underway this weekend, the Premier League has announced new anti-discrimination measures that include bans from all-top flight games for perpetrators, while chiefs say they are working alongside the government on a new bill to support their endeavors.
All 20 clubs in the division have signed up to the new measures, and league-wide punishments will be imposed on individuals been found to behave in a discriminatory or abusive manner towards players, staff, officials, stewards or fans either in person and online.
“The commitment from all clubs to enforce league-wide bans demonstrates there is no place for discrimination of any kind in football and we will continue to work together to fight all forms of prejudice,” remarked Premier League chief executive Richard Masters as part of a statement.
“Football is a diverse sport which brings together communities from all backgrounds.
“We call on fans to come together with us and our clubs to help tackle discrimination by challenging and reporting abuse wherever they see it.”
The announcement represents the second major statement involving all of the Premier League clubs ahead of the new season. Last week, they revealed they would continue to take the knee and carry out other symbolic gestures as part of their attempts to eradicate racism.