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England’s Bukayo Saka Urges Facebook and Twitter to Crack Down on Abuse

England’s Bukayo Saka Urges Facebook and Twitter to Crack Down on Abuse
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England’s Bukayo Saka Urges Facebook and Twitter to Crack Down on Abuse

England’s Bukayo Saka Urges Facebook and Twitter to Crack Down on Abuse

After Bukayo Saka missed a penalty for the England national team on Sunday in the European Football Championship final, he and several teammates were overwhelmed by a wave of racist abuse.

On Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, people have posted monkey emojis and racist epithets to insult Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, all black players who missed their shots on goal in the shootout against their Italian rival. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prince William and others were quick to speak out against the ugly eruption of racist comments, especially against a team that had come to symbolize England’s racial diversity.

On Thursday, 19-year-old Saka spoke for the first time since Sunday’s final. In one declaration on Twitter he condemned the online fanaticism he and his fellow gamers have faced. After saying how disappointed and sorry he was at the loss, Saka took to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, urging them to do more to crack down on the abuse.

“On social media platforms Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, I don’t want a child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that I, Marcus and Jadon have received this week,” Saka wrote. “I instantly knew the kind of hate I was about to receive and it is a sad reality that your powerful platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages.”

Saka’s comments added to growing calls for platforms to take action against hate speech.

Mr Johnson said on Wednesday he had warned representatives of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Snapchat that they would face fines under UK online safety legislation if they failed remove hate speech and racism from their platforms.

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The England Football Association also released a statement, saying “Social media companies must step up efforts and take action to ban attackers from their platforms, collect evidence that may lead to prosecution and support the release of platforms of this kind of heinous abuse. “

Facebook, owner of Instagram, said it was removing comments and accounts that directed abuse against the England team and providing information to law enforcement authorities. Four people have been arrested for racist online attacks targeting English players, British police said on Thursday.

Twitter said it deleted more than 1,000 tweets and permanently suspended “a number of accounts” for breaking its rules.

Facebook and Twitter have long struggled to tackle hate speech on their platforms. Last year, during the Black Lives Matter movement and just months before the presidential election, civil rights groups called on advertisers to boycott Facebook if it did not do more to combat toxic speech and misinformation on its site.

The issue became particularly hot last year before the presidential election, when President Donald J. Trump spread lies about voting and made veiled threats against lawmakers. In January, after a violent crowd stormed the United States Capitol, Twitter and Facebook banned Mr. Trump from speaking on their platforms which they said could incite more violence. .


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