Anthony Martial: Man Utd forward racially abused on Instagram after West Brom draw

MANCHESTER United forward Anthony Martial was racially abused on Instagram after his side’s 1-1 draw at West Brom on Sunday.

It is the second time in three weeks that Martial has been targeted while teammates Marcus Rashford and Axel Tuanzebe have also faced racism online.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, said last week it would not ban a user who racially abused Swansea’s Yan Dhanda.

“Here we go again,” said Kick It Out’s Troy Townsend

“It’s so predictable now.

“I wonder if this account will be barred for a month and collect their ‘Insta slap on the wrist’ and ‘don’t do that again’ talk.”

France forward Martial, 25, played 66 minutes of the 1-1 draw at The Hawthorns.

The social media post targeting Martial contains a number of users tagging Instagram and calling on the platform to do something about the issue.

Manchester United said their position remained unchanged from a statement issued at the end of January, when they said they were “disgusted” at the abuse and urged social media platforms and regulatory authorities “to strengthen measures to prevent this kind of behaviour”.

Police have been informed of the messages.

Speaking on 7 February Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger said he has been subjected to “immense” racist abuse on social media.

Swansea’s Dhanda says the lack of action taken by social media companies over online abuse is giving people

“the green light to go and do it again”.

British Asian Dhanda, 22, was abused on Instagram after his side’s FA Cup defeat by Manchester City.
In that case Facebook said it had temporarily stopped the user from sending Instagram messages.

The company said people deserve a chance to learn from their errors.

“We do not want racism and hate on our platforms,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
Both Facebook and Twitter say they are committed to eradicating abuse on their platforms.

Facebook ‘horrified’ by online abuse of footballers – head of content policy Fadzai Madzingira speaks to BBC sports editor Dan Roan

Last week Facebook announced accounts which repeatedly send abusive direct messages on Instagram will no longer be banned for fixed periods but will be blocked indefinitely for a repeat offence.

A senior executive at Facebook explained the company was “horrified” by the abuse but said calls for users to all have to validate their accounts with documentation are not feasible as access to such documents is not straightforward in some countries.

A number of Premier League footballers – including West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers , Chelsea full-back Reece James and his sister, Manchester United forward Lauren James – have been subjected to abusive online messages in recent weeks.

The Football Association has called for action from the government, which has since stated social media companies could face “large fines” potentially amounting to “billions of pounds” if they fail to tackle abuse on their platforms.
-BBC SPORT

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