Sacha Baron Cohen asks Facebook, Twitter to curb racist abuse after Euro final

British actor Sacha Baron Cohen has spoken out against the surge in abuse against English soccer players following the Euro 2020 final.

Taking to Twitter, the Trial of the Chicago 7 star issued a plea to social media bosses, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey to take action against the racist attacks aimed at team England’s African athletes.

“Hey Mark Zuckerberg & @jack Dorsey — Facebook and Twitter are spreading racist attacks on these Black athletes. Online racism leads to -world hate crimes. It’s time to rid racism from your platforms once and for all!” wrote the actor.

In response, Twitter issued a statement to Metro, saying: “The abhorrent racist abuse directed at England players last night has absolutely no place on Twitter. In the past 24 hours, through a combination of machine learning based automation and human review, we have swiftly removed over 1000 Tweets and permanently suspended a number of accounts for violating our rules – the vast majority of which we detected ourselves proactively using technology. We will continue to take action when we identify any Tweets or accounts that violate our policies.”

“We have proactively engaged and continue to collaborate with our partners across the football community to identify ways to tackle this issue collectively and will continue to play our in curbing this unacceptable behaviour — both online and offline,” the statement added.

On the other hand, a Facebook rep said to the outlet: “No one should have to experience racist abuse anywhere, and we don’t want it on Instagram. We quickly removed comments and accounts directing abuse at England’s footballers last night and we’ll continue to take action against those that break our rules.”

“In addition to our work to remove this content, we encourage all players to turn on Hidden Words, a tool which means no one has to see abuse in their comments or DMs. No one thing will fix this challenge overnight, but we’re committed to keeping our community safe from abuse,” they added.

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