Social-media giant Twitter can do more to combat online abuse, says Kick It Out. Photo: Action Images/Ed Sykes

Kick It Out has applied pressure on Twitter to combat racism towards footballers on social media, despite the platform claiming they have taken action against 700 ‘hateful’ tweets.

Following a meeting between anti-racism group Kick It Out and Twitter last week aimed at tackling the recent spate of discriminatory posts towards a number of high-profile players, the social media site outlined how they plan to tackle the issue.

In a statement released yesterday, Twitter said it would participate in the PFA’s player training programme, and will be joining a series of educational sessions to support the players union’s ambition to help eradicate racism.

Twitter will also hold further talks with UK police to provide training on their own policies and how to use their reporting channels for discriminatory tweets.

They also revealed that in the past two weeks, Twitter ‘has taken action on more than 700 examples of abuse and hateful conduct related to UK football’. However, this represents just seven per cent of reported cases.

In a statement of their own, Kick It Out made clear more has to be done by Twitter to prevent the sort of online abuse that has seen Paul Pogba, Tammy Abraham, Marcus Rashford and Kurt Zouma targeted in recent weeks.

"Kick It Out will continue to take a lead in bringing the football authorities and the legal system together to tackle online abuse," it read. "But what the public need most is Twitter to show decisive leadership and deliver concrete action for change - we expect to see that in the weeks and months ahead."

In addition to the statement, Kick It Out revealed it will hold a meeting with the UK Football Policing Unit and Crown Prosecution Service to discuss how they can punish anyone who posts discriminatory abuse on Twitter.

The problem of racism in football appears more prevalent than ever. Yesterday, Sportsmail revealed Everton winger Yannick Bolasie rejected a move to CSKA Moscow to protect his family from the threat of abuse in Russia. Demba Ba also called on all black players to leave Serie A in light of the most recent racist incidents in Italy, revealing that the country’s woeful record on discrimination has seen him turn down chances to move there.

Ba was responding to an open letter written by Inter’s Curva Nord ultras to Romelu Lukaku addressing last Sunday night when the striker was targeted with monkey noises by Cagliari fans. Inter fans claimed it was a sign of ‘respect’ for the threat he posed as a player and not racism.


Daily Mail