Football players in England are asking social media companies like Twitter to permanently delete accounts after a single racist post and commit greater resources to identifying abuse.
Twitter said it has taken action on more than 700 cases of “abuse and hateful conduct” related to football in Britain in the last two weeks and promised on Wednesday to continue its efforts to curb the menace, but the players’ group is asking for the social media giant to provide greater transparency in their actions
The Professional Footballers’ Association met with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram after many of its members staged a 24-hour social media boycott in April as part a campaign called “Enough.”
But the opening month of the Premier League season has seen black players subjected to racial abuse, including Paul Pogba after missing a penalty for Manchester United, and the PFA wants tougher action from the social networks.
And the PFA told The Associated Press it wants “sufficient resources dedicated to identifying and removing offending posts without delay,” while the players want more transparency from social media sites. The PFA is also demanding players are informed that “the offending account has been permanently suspended.”
Twitter declined to directly comment on the PFA’s requests, but also said: “This vile content has no place on our service. We will continue to take swift action on the minority that try to undermine the conversation for the majority.
“This behaviour does not reflect the vast majority of fans who use Twitter… we’ve spent years forging strong partnerships with clubs, organisations and supporters and deeply value the relationships.”
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard called on social media firms to register their users in order to stamp out racist comments after defender Kurt Zouma and striker Tammy Abraham were targeted.
The social media firm said that it had met with England’s Professional Footballers’ Association and affected clubs and agreed proactive measures to collectively tackle the issue.
“We want to play our part in curbing this unacceptable behaviour… and will continue engaging with partners and clubs, protecting the conversation from abuse, and taking rapid action on accounts that break our rules,” Twitter UK added.
“Working with the @PFA, we will participate in their player training programme and will be joining a series of educational sessions with its membership to support the PFA’s ambition to tackle the issue.
“Working with @kickitout, we will continue our working relationship with UK policing to further brief them and provide training on our policies, procedures and dedicated 24/7 reporting channels for law enforcement.”
Information from Reuters and the Associated Press was used in this story.