Posted on July 13, 2021

Facebook and Twitter Under Fire After England Soccer Players Face Racial Abuse Online

Ryan Browne, CNBC, July 12, 2021

Facebook and Twitter are being criticized over a failure to act fast enough to tackle a flood of racial abuse directed at Black England soccer players following the team’s loss to Italy in the Euros final.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were the target of a torrent of racist comments on major social media platforms after England lost Sunday. The three players missed penalties in a 3-2 shootout loss to Italy.

The Football Association governing body condemned the abuse in a statement Sunday night, saying it was “appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media.”


The British government is aiming to crack down on large tech companies over the proliferation of harmful content. Proposed legislation known as the Online Safety Bill would give media watchdog Ofcom the power to fine companies up to £18 million ($24.9 million) or 10% of their annual global revenues, whichever is higher, for breaches.

“I share the anger at appalling racist abuse of our heroic players,” British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said {snip}

“Social media companies need to up their game in addressing it and, if they fail to, our new Online Safety Bill will hold them to account with fines of up to 10 per cent of global revenue.”

Another U.K. politician, Conservative member of Parliament Damian Collins, took aim at Facebook, asking the tech giant how many accounts it had deleted given its terms of service prohibit hate speech.