CF Montréal’s former coach Thierry Henry has announced that he is leaving social media due to “the sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals” which is “too toxic to ignore.”
Henry took to Twitter on Friday to make the announcement and call for action from the social media regulators.
He said: “Hi Guys, from tomorrow morning I will be removing myself from social media until the people in power are able to regulate their platforms with the same vigour and ferocity that they currently do when you infringe copyright.
“The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore. There HAS to be some accountability. It is far too easy to create an account, use it to bully and harass without any consequence and still remain anonymous.
“Until this changes, I will be disabling my accounts across all social platforms. I’m hoping this happens soon.”
Thierry Henry also made a statement against racism ahead of Impact’s MLS game with New England Revolution back in July, when he took the knee for eight minutes and 46 seconds in solidarity with the movement that George Floyd’s death sparked last year.
Just like Henry, other footballers such as Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Fred and Yan Dhanda have been racially abused on social media.
Dhanda, who is of Asian British background, made a series of comments on the BBC last month after he had received a private message following Swanesa’s 3-1 defeat against Manchester City, criticising Facebook for the measures they took following the incident.
“The punishment given to the perpetrator actually gives them more fuel for hate as now they know for sure there are no firm consequences to their actions online. His dm’s may be restricted but the ramifications of his actions continue to ripple through our community.
“Banning someone from sending messages for a few days just proves that these people that are sending the racist messages know there is actually no real punishment. They get a slap on the wrist, and then they can go back to saying and doing whatever they want to hurt people’s feelings and making people think negatively about themselves.”
On Friday, following Henry’s tweet, a spokesperson for Facebook said:
“We recently announced that we’ll take tougher action when we become aware of people breaking our rules in DMs and we have built tools to help people protect themselves.
“We’ll continue this work, and know these problems are bigger than us, so are working with others to collectively drive societal change through action and education.”