Thierry Henry to quit social media due to 'toxic' racism and bullying and lack of regulation

Thierry Henry on social media: "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 consequence and still remain anonymous."

Thierry Henry has announced he is set to leave social media due to racism and bullying
Image: Thierry Henry has announced he is set to leave social media due to racism and bullying

Thierry Henry says he is quitting social media until online abuse is regulated "with the same vigour and ferocity" that copyright infringements are.

Henry, who recently left his role as Montreal Impact head coach, is demanding accountability from social media companies and says he will keep himself off their platforms until it is no longer easy to create an account with the intention of harassing another user and remaining anonymous.

The former Arsenal, Barcelona and New York Red Bulls striker wrote on his social media accounts: "From tomorrow (Saturday) 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 consequence and still remain anonymous.

"Until this changes, I will be disabling my accounts across all social platforms. I'm hoping this happens soon."

Henry's official Facebook page has 10m followers, while he has a further 2.7m followers on Instagram and 2.3m followers on Twitter.

In a statement to Sky Sports News, a Facebook company spokesperson said: "We don't want discriminatory abuse on Instagram and we remove it when we find it. Between October and December last year, we took action on 6.6 million pieces of hate speech content on Instagram, 95 per cent of which we found before anyone reported it to us.

"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. We're committed to our ongoing work with the industry, government and others including our work with Kick It Out."

Twitter referred Sky Sports News to its latest announcement of measures to combat this "abhorrent" behaviour, titled "No room for racist behaviour on Twitter".

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Last July, Henry paid tribute to George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement by kneeling for the first eight minutes and 46 seconds of Montreal Impact's game against New England Revolution in the 'MLS is Back' tournament

Back in July 2020, the World Cup winner took a knee for eight minutes and 46 seconds ahead of Impact's MLS game with New England Revolution in a stand against racism following the death of George Floyd.

Hate Won't Stop Us

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This is the message from Sky Sports presenters and reporters, who have united in supporting a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of online hate and abuse on social media

Sky Sports is committed to making skysports.com and our channels on social media platforms a place for comment and debate that is free of abuse, hate and profanity.

For more information please visit: www.skysports.com/hatewontstopus

If you see a reply to Sky Sports posts and/or content with an expression of hate on the basis of race, colour, gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, age or class, please copy the URL to the hateful post or screengrab it and email us here.

Kick It Out reporting racism

Online Reporting Form | Kick It Out

Kick It Out is football's equality and inclusion organisation - working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.

www.kickitout.org

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