England national football team player Bukayo Saka said Instagram post on Thursday that social media platforms did not do enough to prevent the racist exploitation he and his teammates faced in Italy after the loss of the team.
“For social media platforms @instagram @twitter @Facebook I don’t want any child or adult to have to receive the hostile and offensive messages I, Marcus and Jadon, have received this week, ”Saka wrote. “I knew right away the kind of anger I was going to get, and it’s the sad reality that powerful platforms aren’t doing enough to stop these messages.”
Black and black Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Saka were among the English players to take part in the penalty shootout to select the winner of the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship on 11 July. England eventually lost, and players ’social media accounts, including Twitter and Facebook-owned Instagram, were full of racist comments and messages not long after the end of the game
Instagram manager Adam Mosseri told a BBC reporter on Wednesday that Instagram had mistakenly labeled some of the comments aimed at players who used monkey emoticons as “benevolent”.
We have the technology to try and prioritize reports, and we mistakenly marked some of these as benevolent comments, which they really aren’t. The issue has since been addressed, and the publication has all this context.
– Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) July 14, 2021
Twitter said on Monday it had deleted more than 1,000 tweets and suspended some users for violating its anti-harassment and anti-hate content policies; Facebook said it suggested the use Instagram’s hidden words tool remove unfortunate comments.
But as Saka wrote in his post, he knew hostile messages were coming, but Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms usually seem to be in a state of reaction when such events occur, and did not take action to prevent abuse in the first place. Unfortunately, it was not difficult to predict racist reactions after the end of the match: Throughout the UEFA tournament fans at Wembley Stadium had shouted their home team when players knelt before the games in protest against racism. English Director Gareth Southgate said last month that the knees kneeling the English players before the friendly match with Austria experienced a critical team towards the black players.
Abuses should not be demanding better responses from social platforms, especially when everyone, with the exception of the platforms themselves, seem to know what is coming.