Belfast Telegraph

Twitter to meet Manchester United and Kick It Out following racist abuse

The United midfielder became the latest high-profile player to be racially abused online after missing a penalty against Wolves on Monday.

Paul Pogba was a target for racial abuse (Nick Potts/PA)
Paul Pogba was a target for racial abuse (Nick Potts/PA)

By Andy Hampson, PA

Representatives of Twitter are planning to meet with officials at Manchester United to discuss the racial abuse aimed at Paul Pogba on the social media platform.

The United midfielder this week became the latest high-profile player to be racially abused online after missing a penalty in his side’s draw against Wolves on Monday.

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham and Reading’s Yakou Meite have also been targetted in a similar way after failing to score spot-kicks in the past week.

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Rui Patricio saved Pogba’s penalty during the 1-1 draw on Monday evening (Nick Potts/PA)

The incidents have led to greater calls for Twitter to take stronger action and the company has acknowledged the seriousness of the situation.

The company had already planned a meeting with anti-racism body Kick It Out in the coming weeks and it is now looking to widen its discussions by bringing in United and other organisations.

A statement from Twitter read: “Over the next few weeks, Twitter representatives will meet with Manchester United, Kick It Out and any other civil society stakeholders interested in hearing about the proactive work Twitter is doing to address online racist abuse towards certain footballers in the UK.

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Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham was racially abused online after missing a penalty in the Super Cup final last week (Donall Farmer/PA)

“We have always maintained an open and healthy dialogue with our partners in this space, but we know we need to do more to protect our users. Racist behaviour has no place on our platform and we strongly condemn it.

“To this end, we look forward to working more closely with our partners to develop shared solutions to this issue. In the meantime, for Twitter’s part, we will continue to proactively monitor the conversation, and take aggressive enforcement action when content violates our rules.”

Twitter added that a series of accounts had been permanently suspended over the abuse.

United have acknowledged contact has been made with Twitter but a meeting is yet to be arranged. The club had urged Twitter to take action.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the club said: “Everyone at Manchester United is disgusted by the racial abuse aimed at Paul Pogba last night and we utterly condemn it.

“The individuals who expressed these views do not represent the values of our great club and it is encouraging to see the vast majority of our fans condemn this on social media also.

“Manchester United has zero tolerance of any form of racism or discrimination and a long-standing commitment to campaigning against it through our #AllRedAllEqual initiative.

“We will work to identify the few involved in these incidents and take the strongest course of action available to us. We also encourage social media companies to take action in these cases.”

PA

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