Digital Transformation

Social networks have 'duty of care' to troll victims says former PFA chief after racist abuse of Stan Collymore

By Angela Haggerty | Reporter

January 12, 2014 | 3 min read

Social media providers like Facebook and Twitter have a “duty of care” to users and should provide better protection against online abuse, former Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Clarke Carlisle has said after most recent spate of racist abuse directed towards former footballer Stan Collymore on Twitter.

Comments: Clarke Carlisle has spoken out

Collymore has been targeted for racist abuse on Twitter over the last two years and has been in contact with Staffordshire Police over comments. A student from Newcastle was handed a two-year community order in January after sending racist tweets to him.

In recent months, abuse has been on the increase, and comes amid a series of high-profile cases of being people being victimised on social media, including feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez.

Carlisle, a Show Racism the Red Card ambassador, told Sky Sports: “It’s very disturbing and I think they have a responsibility to have some kind of administration and moderation of what goes on on their sites.

“They should have a responsibility because they are the ones who are supplying the platform for people to spout this abuse so I believe there is a duty of care to govern the media that they’re operating.”

Carlisle added that young people involved in social media trolling may not fully understand the seriousness of their comments and said there was a “lack of awareness” of how far-reaching their messages were.

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