Morning all.

The Premier League, FA, EFL, WSL, Women’s Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL and Kick It Out have all co-signed the letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook founder, chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerburg, asking them “for reasons of basic human decency” to use the power of their systems to end the abuse. – Sky Sports.

We live in a cruel and nasty world. I’ve always maintained that here on HH, it’s ok to criticise, it’s ok to have a feisty debate too but as soon as things become personal or abusive then this isn’t the place to be. Race, religion, or any other topic which if by adding ‘ist, ism, or phobic’ makes a comment unlawful, again, not here. Soon I hope it’s not anywhere.

Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe, Anthony Martial and Lauren James are among those who have been the targets of social media abuse, along with West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers and Chelsea defender Reece James, Lauren James’ brother. Mikel Arteta and Steve Bruce too.

Social media is great but it’s like VAR, it’s not being run properly. Vile comments are being allowed, many of which are unlawful and very little is being done about it.

I detest Mike Riley in his capacity of head of the PGMOL but as a person, I’ve no idea what he’s like. He might be a really nice guy. Same with Mike Dean, although to be fair, as a referee, I don’t think he’s been too bad for Arsenal of late. However, he royally cocked up in his last fixture and afterwards an onslaught of abuse headed his way, including death threats made towards he and his family. Mikel Arteta and Steve Bruce have also been on the receiving end of some really nasty stuff.

At what stage does any person of sound mind think that is acceptable? Why on earth would someone even think to make such a threat in the first place? I suppose if I knew the answer, I’d be as bad as whoever does this kind of thing.

Marcus Rashford. I don’t like him as a footballer because I think he’s one of those players who looks for a penalty and I still blame him for the injury to Rob Holding but I couldn’t give a toss that his skin colour is different to mine. We all bleed red when cut. I think it was after Utd’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal that his own fans took to social media to express their feelings about how badly he’d played. Of course, the colour of his skin suddenly became relevant, yet it isn’t. Regardless of all the good he’s done lately here in the UK, he’s a human being and in this case, a victim too.

Football authorities request to Facebook and Twitter:

  • Messages and posts should be filtered and blocked before being sent or posted if they contain racist or discriminatory material
  • You should operate robust, transparent, and swift measures to take down abusive material if it does get into circulation.
  • All users should be subject to an improved verification process that (only if required by law enforcement) allows for accurate identification of the person behind the account. Steps should also be taken to stop a user that has sent abuse previously from re-registering an account.
  • Our platforms should actively and expeditiously assist the investigating authorities in identifying the originators of illegal discriminatory material.

 

Administrating such large social media platforms can’t be easy but that’s no excuse in my opinion. They can set filters, certain words could be banned, or certainly send a comment into a different folder where moderators could view them. From there, IP addresses can be recorded and sent to whoever might request them for investigation. What the world needs is a few prosecutions where hefty sentences are handed out by the courts. There needs to be a deterrent.

When asked about his personal experiences with online abuse, Mikel Arteta said:

I prefer not to, we are all exposed in this industry. It would affect me a lot more the moment someone wants to touch my family, because it happened. The club was aware of it and tried to do something about it. It’s not going to stop tomorrow, we know that, we want to do something medium or long term. It’s part of the job, I am not the only one suffering this type of thing.

Just because these guys are well known in footballer it doesn’t make this issue more important. Unlawful abuse towards another on social media isn’t just unacceptable because it’s been directed at people in the public eye, it’s unacceptable, period.

I disagree with Mikel Arteta, it’s not ‘part of the job’.

See you in the comments.