Thierry Henry announces he’s QUITTING social media ‘until Instagram and Twitter’s people in power regulate their toxic platform’ in stand against ‘mental torture’ from unchecked racism and bullying
- Thierry Henry has announced that he will leave social media tomorrow
- The Arsenal legend says there needs to be ‘accountability’ for online trolls
- Henry, 43, says his accounts will be disabled until platforms make changes
Thierry Henry will step away from social media until the platforms start taking racism seriously.
The Arsenal legend, 43, says he will only return once companies regulate online abuse ‘with the same vigour and ferocity’ as they tackle copyright infringements.
Henry, who recently left his role as Montreal Impact head coach, has 10 million followers on his Facebook page, along with 2.7 m on Instagram and 2.3 m on Twitter.
Thierry Henry has announced that he will disable his social media accounts tomorrow
The Arsenal legend called on platforms to do more to combat ‘bullying and racism’
Henry said: ‘I will be removing myself from social media until the people in power are able to regulate their platforms with the same vigour and ferocity that they do when you infringe copyright.
‘The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore. There has to be some accountability.
‘It is far too easy to create an account, use it to bully and harass without consequence and still remain anonymous. Until this changes, I will be disabling my accounts across all platforms.’
Meanwhile, Hamza Choudhury has revealed the support of his Leicester team-mates helped him cope when he received racist abuse online.
Choudhury, 23, was targeted on social media after a game against Liverpool in October 2019 and his club reported the abuse to police.
The midfielder said: ‘I took a screenshot and put it in our team group chat. Everyone was saying how disgusting it was.
‘They said they were sorry there were people like this. It made me feel instantly a lot better knowing that you’re not by yourself.’
A host of stars, including Man United star Fred, have received vile racist abuse this season
Red Devils team-mates Marcus Rashford (L) and Anthony Martial (R) have also received abuse
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden has responded to Henry’s announcement, reiterating the Frenchman’s call before adding that the Government are to introduce laws to make platforms accountable.
He said: ‘No one should have to switch off social media because of abuse. Social media firms must do more to tackle this and we are introducing new laws to hold platforms to account.
‘This is complex and we must get it right, but I’m absolutely determined to tackle racist abuse online.’
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden says new laws will be made in wake of Henry’s statement
Football has faced growing concerns surrounding the abuse levelled at players on social media platforms, with stars regularly targeted.
Manchester United midfielder Fred received vile racist abuse following the FA Cup quarter-final exit to Leicester last week, in which the Brazilian made an error leading to Kelechi Iheanacho’s opener.
Red Devils team-mates Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe have also been abused online this campaign.
England international Rashford spoke out after being targeted following United’s draw at Arsenal in January.
Arsenal legend Ian Wright was left ‘disappointed’ after a teenager who sent him abuse was not handed a criminal conviction
‘Humanity and social media at its worst. Yes I’m a black man and I live every day proud that I am. No one, or no one comment, is going to make me feel any different. So sorry if you were looking for a strong reaction, you’re just simply not going to get it here.’
Crystal Palace star Patrick van Aanholt outed an individual after receiving racist abuse following the Eagles’ 0-0 draw with United. The full-back was called a ‘monkey’ by the Instagram user.
Match of the Day pundit and Arsenal icon Ian Wright was left ‘disappointed’ after a teenager who abused him on Instagram was not given a criminal conviction.
Patrick O’Brien, 18, sent 20 vitriolic messages to Wright in May 2019 after losing a game of FIFA. The Irish teenager was given probation.
‘I can only wonder what deterrent there is for anyone else who spouts this kind of vile racist abuse,’ said Wright. ‘I am disappointed. I’m tired. We are all tired.’
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