Digital Transformation

Talksport to stop using Twitter to interact with fans after Stan Collymore abuse

By Angela Haggerty | Reporter

January 22, 2014 | 3 min read

Talksport will no longer use Twitter as a medium to interact with fans on air unless the social network proves it is taking abuse on the site seriously, Talksport chief executive Scott Taunton has announced.

Anger: Talksport chief Scott Taunton has written to Twitter

Anger: Talksport chief Scott Taunton has written to Twitter

Taunton has written a letter to Twitter following the racist abuse of Stan Collymore expressing anger at the lack of action from the social network to protect users from abuse. The station is calling on Twitter to act more swiftly to remove abusive tweets once reported and introduce a filtering system to “prevent hate language being used in tweets”.

“We have a duty of care to all our staff and presenters and until I am satisfied that Twitter is treating this seriously we will no longer promote Twitter accounts or use tweets on-air,” said Taunton. “We have more than three million Twitter followers across our accounts but we will not promote these until we are satisfied that Twitter is doing its utmost to prevent abuse of this nature.

“We are dismayed at the lack of response and perceived inaction by Twitter. Racist or abusive messages of this nature are illegal and unacceptable. It seems inconceivable that a hi-tech company with a market capitalisation of $30bn appears incapable of preventing racist and abusive tweets being broadcast across its platform.”

Collymore this week blasted Twitter for failing to take stronger action against trolls targeting users with vicious abuse. The former footballer-turned-pundit has been bombarded with racist tweets and even death threats. Police are investigating.

“I accuse Twitter directly of not doing enough to combat racist/homophobic/sexist hate messages, all of which are illegal in the UK,” he said on the social network. “Several police forces have been fantastic. Twitter haven’t. Dismayed.”

The main Talksport Twitter account has almost 500,000 followers.

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