For Thierry Henry, football’s decision to follow his boycott on social media is “a start” on the road to ending online abuse.
Henry is happy that his decision to quit social media in March “created a wave,” which led the wider sports community to boycott the platforms over the past weekend.
The former Arsenal striker praised the show of unity and said: ‘If you’re alone, these companies don’t care about individuals,’ as he called for an end to anonymity on platforms social media.
“It’s a start because people have been talking about it,” said Henry Sky Sports at Monday night football. “I still don’t agree.
“At the end of the day, if I stayed on it and talked about it, I don’t think people would have wanted to tell me about it. So I stopped, a lot of people came to talk to me about it, I talked about it, and it created a wave.
“I am more than happy that people have realized what is at stake not only in football, not just because of racism, because of bullying, harassment and how you can be abused there- low.
“I think we all have kids, you don’t wanna see this [happen to them]. My daughter is going through this, a lot of people here that I’m sure I’m watching are trying to see what the situation can be. Can it be regulated?
“A friend of mine was doing a live exercise on it and the music in the background stopped the video because he didn’t own the rights to the music. If you can do that, surely with an NHS number – maybe being that passport can be difficult because not everyone has a passport – but we need to know who is behind these accounts.
“When I personally saw the reaction of football it was amazing. And the reaction of everyone, not just football, because it seems that in the last few days everyone has come to support him.
“I was really happy, I always mentioned the strength of the peloton.”
Who participated in the boycott?
The FA, Premier League, EFL, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out and the FSA have united in the boycott from Friday to Monday.
The Scottish FA, Scottish Professional Football League, Scottish Women’s Football and PFA Scotland have also confirmed the participation of football clubs and organizations in Scotland.
UEFA also lent its support on Thursday, urging players, clubs and national associations “to lodge formal complaints whenever players, coaches, referees or officials are victims of unacceptable tweets or messages”.
FIFA has also said it supports England’s football boycott of social media in response to discriminatory and offensive social media abuse.
The world football governing body added in a statement: “We believe that authorities and social media companies should take real and effective steps to end these heinous practices, as they keep getting worse and worse and something needs to be done – and done quickly – to stop it. “
Key organizations from other UK sports – such as England and Wales Cricket Board, England Rugby, Premiership Rugby, Scottish Rugby, Professional Darts Corporation, British Cycling, Lawn Tennis Association and British Horseracing Authority – have chosen to join, just like the broadcasters. including Sky Sports, BT Sport, At The Races and talkSPORT.
The British Basketball League and Women’s British Basketball League also backed the boycott with key organizations in the rugby league, including the Rugby Football League, Super League Europe, Rugby League World Cup 2021 and the Rugby League Players’ Association.
What Did Social Media Companies Say?
A Twitter spokesperson said Sky Sports News: “Racist behavior, abuse and harassment have absolutely no place in our service and alongside our football partners, we condemn racism in all its forms.
“We are steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that the football conversation on our service is safe for fans, players and everyone involved in the game.
“Since the start of the season on September 12, there have been over 30 million Tweets from people in the UK about football. During this period we have deleted over 7,000 Tweets in the UK which targeted the football conversation with Twitter rule violations.This represents around 0.02% of the overall UK football conversation and does not reflect the vast majority of people who engage in heated discussions on football on Twitter.
“We have been working to improve our proactive measures, whereby 90% of abuse targeting players is removed without the need to report a user. We have also provided expedited reporting channels to our football partners to ensure review any potentially non-compliant content and act promptly.
“Racism is a deep and complex societal issue and everyone has a role to play. We are determined to do our part and continue to work closely with valuable partners in football, government and police, as well as the task force convened by Kick It Out to identify ways to collectively tackle the issue. this problem – both online and outside of social media. “
Facebook, owner of Instagram, said it would “continue to listen to comments and fight hate and racism on our platform” and work with UK police on hate speech.
A Facebook spokesperson said: “No one should be abused anywhere, and it is against our policies to harass or discriminate against people on Instagram or Facebook.
“We agree and have already made progress on many player suggestions, including taking tougher action against people who break our rules in DMs.
“We also recently announced that starting next week, we will be providing new tools, based on consultations with footballers and anti-discrimination experts, to help prevent people from seeing abusive messages. from strangers. “
Sky Sports News has also reached out to Snapchat, Tik Tok and YouTube for a response.
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Kick It Out is the football for equality and inclusion organization – which works across the football, education and community sectors to fight discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for change. positive.