Monday 12 July 2021 / 9:19 AM Jo Stevens / Sport

Labour calls out racist abuse as social media companies fail to protect our footballing stars

The Conservative government has done nothing to stop this growing online hatred with a watered down Online Safety Bill which would not stop the awful abuse suffered by Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.

Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jo Stevens, urged the Government to urgently review their approach after their failure to act has seen this hatred become endemic on platforms which have no incentive to stop it.

This is a weak Bill which would do nothing to prevent this disgusting abuse from being published on social media.

Labour would strengthen the Bill and include criminal sanctions for senior tech executives for repeated failure to enforce the rules.

Jo Stevens MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said:

“The horrific racist abuse of the England penalty-takers had a disappointing inevitability to it.

“Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have the means to stop this hatred on their platforms and yet they decide to do nothing.

“Meanwhile the Government’s long-promised Online Safety Bill has yet again been delayed with progress unlikely to get underway until after the summer.

“No one should have to put up with this abuse online, social media companies’ self-regulation has to end and instead we need tough new laws.

“The Prime Minister has previously done no more than turned a blind eye to racism against our players. Warm words and gigantic England flags are no substitute for using the power he has, to make it stop.”