Twitter has failed to take down dozens of deeply offensive social media posts to Premier League stars despite them being reported.
The Professional Footballers’ Association has carried out a shock investigation on the eve of a four day social media blackout to highlight the problem.
PFA bosses did a report in November 2020 which revealed sick messages sent to stars including Raheem Sterling and Wilfried Zaha and compiled a list of 56 racist and discriminatory posts – and, incredibly, 31 are still live and visible now.
The PFA also gave Twitter another 18 posts before the investigation began – and 15 are still visible and live.
PFA Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Simone Pound said: “This situation is absolutely unacceptable.
“While the platforms repeatedly stress that they are doing all they can to combat online abuse, extreme racist abuse remains visible on Twitter five months after we provided them with clear evidence of abusive content.”
That underlines the lack of action taken by Twitter while Facebook and Instagram have also been accused of not taking enough action, being slow to take down offensive posts while being quick to remove any copyright infringements while also not demanding users provide proper ID.
The Premier League, the EFL, clubs, players and major firms like England football sponsors Nationwide are joining the campaign which begins at 3pm on Friday and finishes at Monday May 3 at 11.59pm.
Horse racing and Rugby league are the latest sports to join up as tennis and Premiership rugby has also confirmed they will join the blackout. Sky Sports and other broadcasters are following suit.
UEFA and FIFA have also announced they are joining the blackout. UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said: “There have been abuses both on the pitch and on social media.
“This is why we are supporting this initiative. It is time for football to take a stand and I have been impressed with the solidarity shown by the players, clubs and stakeholders.”